Ofev is a prescription medication that helps manage pulmonary fibrosis. Avoiding certain foods, such as dairy and spices, may help manage some of the drug’s side effects.

Doctors may prescribe nintedanib (Ofev) to treat lung diseases that result from inflammation and fibrosis (scarring) in your lungs. These include idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and certain other interstitial lung diseases.

Like other drugs, Ofev can cause side effects, including gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort. Avoiding certain foods during Ofev treatment may help manage the side effects.

In this article, we describe the different foods to avoid during Ofev treatment. You’ll also learn how to take Ofev with food.

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There are no reports of foods interacting with Ofev in the drug’s clinical trials. However, certain foods may trigger or worsen unpleasant GI side effects with Ofev. More common side effects reported in the drug’s trials include diarrhea and vomiting. Nausea is another common side effect, reported in 25 of 77 people who took Ofev in a small study.

To help reduce the risk of these side effects, avoid the following foods:

  • spicy foods, such as salsa and curries
  • raw vegetables
  • greasy and fried foods
  • sugar-free candies that contain xylitol
  • dairy products such as milk and cheese
  • alcohol
  • caffeinated beverages

Learn more about Ofev side effects in the “Can certain foods reduce side effects of Ofev?” section below.

If your doctor recommends Ofev, you should take the drug as prescribed. Ofev comes as an oral capsule you swallow whole with some liquid during a full meal.

Taking Ofev with food increases the availability of nintedanib (the active ingredient) by 20% compared to taking it on an empty stomach. This means the drug is more likely to be effective in reducing your IPF symptoms.

Nintedanib binds to proteins once inside your body. Consuming meals high in protein to take your dose can help improve the availability of the medication in your body. (Learn about the dosage of Ofev in this article.)

Can certain foods help when you have pulmonary fibrosis?

According to the American Lung Association, no specific foods are beneficial for IPF, but a healthful diet can support IPF treatment. It can help you maintain a moderate weight, which is important for managing IPF symptoms.

This is because carrying excess weight can make it more difficult to breathe by placing pressure on your lungs. Likewise, consuming smaller meals when you have IPF can help you avoid getting too full and experiencing difficulty breathing as a result.

In general, try to include the following nutritious foods in your diet:

  • lean meats
  • fish
  • healthy fats such as olive oil
  • whole grains
  • fresh vegetables

It’s also important to drink lots of water.

If you have questions about diet and IPF or need help in this area, talk with your doctor. They may recommend that you meet with a dietitian.

Depending on the side effect, consuming certain foods may relieve your symptoms. For example, if you have mild diarrhea, a diet of bananas, white rice, applesauce, and toast (the BRAT diet) can help rebalance your GI system and reduce symptoms. The foods are all low in fat, protein, and fiber, so they’re easy for most people to digest.

If you have diarrhea, be sure to drink plenty of water. Diarrhea can cause dehydration (loss of fluids), and drinking extra fluids helps prevent dehydration.

In addition to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, Ofev side effects can include:

For more information about possible side effects from Ofev, talk with your doctor.

Do the side effects of Ofev go away?

Some side effects, such as diarrhea, are more likely to occur during the first 3 months of Ofev treatment. However, it’s important to talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects from Ofev. They’ll determine the next steps to take if your side effects don’t resolve in a reasonable amount of time.

Your doctor will also be able to advise you on whether your dosage needs any adjustment to help reduce side effects. They may recommend medications to relieve your symptoms. For example, they may recommend loperamide (Imodium) to help stop diarrhea.

What happens if you stop taking Ofev?

There’s currently a lack of research detailing the response of IPF to stopping Ofev treatment. However, there’s evidence that stopping medications containing nintedanib causes lung health to severely deteriorate within 3 weeks.

Some people taking Ofev in clinical trials discontinued the drug due to side effects. If you’re experiencing persistent side effects from Ofev, talk with a doctor or pharmacist. Do not stop taking Ofev without your doctor’s recommendation and supervision. They can advise you about other medications that may work for your condition.

Ofev is a brand-name medication that slows the progression of fibrosis in your lungs. It’s important to take each dose of Ofev with a full meal rich in protein.

As with other drugs, Ofev can cause side effects, such as diarrhea and nausea. Certain dietary habits may help reduce the severity of these symptoms. Take care to avoid dietary triggers such as dairy and spicy foods while taking Ofev.

Self-care for diarrhea can include the BRAT diet. However, be sure to tell your doctor if you have diarrhea or any other side effects from Ofev. They’ll assess your symptoms and recommend an appropriate treatment if needed.