Esbriet (pirfenidone) is a brand-name drug prescribed for pulmonary fibrosis in adults. Esbriet comes as an oral capsule or tablet that’s typically taken three times per day. Dosage can vary depending on certain factors.

Esbriet is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This condition is characterized by scar tissue forming deep within the lungs. (When a disease is idiopathic, it means there’s no known cause.) The scar tissue thickens and becomes stiff over time, which can make it harder to breathe.

Esbriet belongs to a drug class called pyridones. It’s available in a generic version called pirfenidone.

Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Esbriet, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Esbriet, see this article.

Note: This article describes typical dosages for Esbriet provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Esbriet, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Below is information about Esbriet’s forms, strengths, and dosages.

Esbriet forms

Esbriet comes as oral tablets and oral capsules.

Esbriet strengths

Esbriet oral capsules come in one strength of 267 milligrams (mg).

Esbriet oral tablets come in two strengths: 267 mg and 801 mg.

Typical dosages

Typically, your doctor will start by prescribing you a low dosage. Then, they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Doctors may prescribe Esbriet to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

If your doctor prescribes Esbriet for your condition, your starting dose will likely be 267 mg. Typically, you’ll take this three times per day.

After 7 days, your doctor may recommend increasing your dose to 534 mg three times per day. Then, 7 days after that, they may increase your dose to 801 mg three times per day. This is the typical recommended dosage of Esbriet for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

The table below shows the typical dosage schedule, including the starting dosage and maintenance dose when prescribed Esbriet. Your doctor will choose a maintenance dose that suits your needs.

DosageForm and strengthTotal daily dose
Days 1–7267 mg, 3 times per day• one 267-mg capsule
• one 267-mg tablet
801 mg
Days 8–14534 mg, 3 times per day• two 267-mg capsules
• two 267-mg tablets
1,602 mg
Day 15 and beyond801 mg, 3 times per day• three 267-mg capsules
• three 267-mg tablets
• one 801-mg tablet
2,403 mg

For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.

Long-term treatment

Esbriet is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Esbriet is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

Before you start taking Esbriet, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.

The Esbriet dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • other medications you take
  • side effects you may have with Esbriet
  • your liver function

Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Esbriet dosage.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage if you take certain medications, such as CYP1A2 inhibitors. CYP1A2 is a liver enzyme that breaks down medications. These drugs can increase the level of Esbriet in your body, which may increase the risk of side effects. Examples of CYP1A2 inhibitors include fluvoxamine and ciprofloxacin. To find out what other drugs may interact with Esbriet, see this article.

For similar reasons, your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage of Esbriet if you have liver damage. If your liver doesn’t function as well as expected, your body may have difficulty removing Esbriet from your system. Your doctor will test your liver function throughout treatment and adjust your dose as necessary.

Esbriet may also cause persistent or bothersome side effects, such as sun sensitivity, skin rash, or certain digestive problems. If you experience any of these with Esbriet, your doctor may lower your dose. For more information about Esbriet’s side effects, see this article.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and any health conditions you may have.

Esbriet comes as oral capsules or oral tablets that you’ll swallow whole. The drug’s prescribing information doesn’t say whether to crush, chew, or split the tablets, or open the capsules. Taking your dose with a meal or snack may help decrease the risk of nausea and dizziness.

It may also be helpful to take Esbriet around the same time of day. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Esbriet can work effectively.

If you have trouble swallowing capsules or tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you have questions about how to take Esbriet, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.


Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Esbriet in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.

If you miss a dose of Esbriet, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for the missed one. Do not take more than three doses per day. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose or skip it, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you miss 14 days or more of Esbriet, call your doctor right away for further instructions about how to take your medication.

To help make sure you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.

It’s important that you do not take more Esbriet than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to harmful effects or overdose.

If you take more than the recommended amount of Esbriet

Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Esbriet. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Esbriet.

Is the dosage of Esbriet similar to the dosage of Ofev?

No, the dosage of Esbriet is not similar to the dosage of Ofev (nintedanib). These drugs have different active ingredients, so their doses and how often you take them would be different.

For example, Esbriet comes as oral tablets or oral capsules. It comes in two strengths: 267 mg and 801 mg. Depending on the strength, it may be taken up to three times per day.

In contrast, Ofev only comes as an oral capsule and it’s typically taken twice per day. It also comes in two strengths: 100 mg and 150 mg.

Your doctor will prescribe the drug and dosage that’s right for you.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also refer to this article on Ofev’s dosage.

How long does it take for Esbriet to start working?

Esbriet starts to work within hours after your first dose. Because of how the drug works, you likely won’t feel the drug working in your body. But your doctor will monitor you during treatment to check whether the drug is working to treat your condition.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Esbriet treatment.

The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Esbriet for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

As with any drug, never change your dosage of Esbriet without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Esbriet that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.

Besides learning about dosage, you may want more information about Esbriet. These additional articles might be helpful:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.