Pirfenidone, an antifibrotic medication for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), is now available in France in two formulations: tablets since April 2018, and the initial capsules form. We conducted a cohort study to describe tolerance and acceptability of capsules and/or tablets of pirfenidone in patients with IPF.


This study was nested within the French, non-randomized, multicenter RaDiCo-ILD (Rare Disease Cohort-Interstitial Lung Diseases). Included patients with IPF received at least one dose of pirfenidone tablets or capsules from July 2017 to June 2019 in three populations: the inclusion population (patients treated at least once with pirfenidone during the study period, n = 288); the potential switch population (patients treated with pirfenidone during the switch period starting April 2018, n = 256); the newly treated population (patients who initiated pirfenidone during the study period, n = 162). Each of those last two populations included three subgroups (tablets, capsules, and substitution).


In 288 patients treated, 162 newly initiated pirfenidone during the study period: there were no meaningful differences in the baseline characteristics with the 256 patients treated during the potential switch period. In the newly treated population, 30.3% started pirfenidone treatment with tablet formulation. In the potential switch population, 44.9% of patients shifted from capsule to tablet. Half of the patients shifted to tablet formulation within the first 10 months. The mean treatment duration was 21.5 months with a mean dose of 2106.7 mg/day; 46.5% of patients discontinued treatment, mainly because of adverse events. There were fewer discontinuations in the tablets and substitution subgroups than in the capsules-only subgroup. The most reported adverse event was skin rash (11.5%). No new adverse event was identified.


This real-life cohort assessing the characteristics of the prescription of pirfenidone tablets and capsules suggests a good acceptability of the tablet formulation by patients with IPF.

Trial registration:

Clinical trial registered with (NCT04238871).


Antifibrotic; Capsule; Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Interstitial lung disease; Pirfenidone; Tablet.

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