Cystic Fibrosis - Treatment Overview
cystic fibrosis problems or
complications occur when the
respiratory system or
digestive system becomes damaged.
Bronchiectasis, which is caused by long-lasting airway
inflammation, is common. Most people who have complications will need to stay
in the hospital. Treatment for complications may include medicines or surgery,
depending on the person's age and symptoms.
Some of the tests that
help the doctor know what kinds of problems your child is having
- A chest
X-ray, to look for signs of lung infection or other
CT scan, to identify any serious disease in the lungs,
pancreas, or other organs.
If complications develop, one or more of the following
medicines may be needed:
- Antibiotics, to treat
- Anti-inflammatories to reduce
- Bronchodilators and
anticholinergics, to open airways in the
- Medicine to control the amount and thickness of
mucus and to reduce the chance of infection
Sometimes surgery is needed to treat complications of
cystic fibrosis. Procedures may include:
Other treatments used to treat complications from cystic
fibrosis may include:
- Blood transfusions and medicines to treat the bleeding (embolization therapy),
if your child is coughing up large amounts of blood. Coughing up small amounts
of blood is normal for people who have cystic fibrosis, but coughing up large
amounts of blood can be life-threatening.
- Placement of a feeding tube into your child's
- Placement of a semipermanent intravenous (IV) tube in
order to give your child antibiotics frequently without having to place a line
in the vein each time.
As your condition gets worse, you
may want to think about
palliative care. Palliative care is a kind of care for
people who have illnesses that do not go away and often get worse over time. It
is different from care to cure your illness, called curative treatment.
Palliative care focuses on improving your quality of life-not just in your
body, but also in your mind and spirit. Palliative care can be combined with
Palliative care may help you manage symptoms or
side effects from treatment. It could also help you cope with your feelings
about living with a long-term illness, make future plans around your medical
care, or help your family better understand your illness and how to support
If you are interested in palliative care, talk to your
doctor. He or she may be able to manage your care or refer you to a doctor who
specializes in this type of care.