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Effectiveness of Imuran for treating pulmonary fibrosis
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Effectiveness of Imuran for treating pulmonary fibrosis

My soon to be 78 year-old father is currently in the hospital and has been diagnosed with end stage pulmonary fibrosis as a result of taking amiodarone (cordarone) for 17 years.  The doctor suggested putting my father on Imuran to treat the fibrosis.  My sister was concerned about the toxicity of Imuran because it is used to treat cancer.  Can you give me more information about the drug and it's effectiveness on pulmonary fibrosis?
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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is one form of interstitial lung disease (ILD).  This causes inflammation or swelling that leads to scarring or fibrosis in the interstitium of the lungs.  The interstitium is the area between the air sacs and the blood vessels.  The most common symptoms of IPF are shortness of breath with exercise and a dry cough.  Some people also may have a fever, weight loss, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and abnormal chest sounds, depending upon the cause.

The ultimate goal of treatment is to clear the swelling before it leads to scarring.  Once scarring has occurred it cannot be reversed.  In general, the improvement that people with IPF have had with the medicine that is currently available is much lower than we would like.  Because of this, new approaches for this disease are aggressively being pursued.  However at this time the medicines that are used to treat IPF are
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