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Esbriet Side Effects

Generic name: pirfenidone

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 19, 2023.

Note: This document contains side effect information about pirfenidone. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Esbriet.

Applies to pirfenidone: oral capsule, oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Esbriet

Along with its needed effects, pirfenidone (the active ingredient contained in Esbriet) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking pirfenidone:

More common

Incidence not known

Other side effects of Esbriet

Some side effects of pirfenidone may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to pirfenidone: oral capsule, oral tablet.


Common (1% to 10%): Increased ALT, increased AST, increased gamma glutamyl transferase

Postmarketing reports: Increased bilirubin in combination with increased ALT and AST[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Photosensitivity reaction (up to 12.2%)

Postmarketing reports: Angioedema[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Rash (up to 30%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pruritus, erythema, dry skin, erythemous/macular/pruritic rash, sunburn[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 36%), diarrhea (up to 26%), abdominal pain/distension/discomfort (up to 24%), dyspepsia (up to 19%), vomiting (up to 13%), gastroesophageal reflux disease (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Gastritis, constipation, flatulence[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 22%), dizziness (up to 18%)

Common (1% to 10%): Somnolence, dysgeusia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (up to 26%)

Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, non-cardiac chest pain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anorexia (up to 13%), decreased weight (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Decreased appetite[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hot flush[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Agranulocytosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 10%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (up to 27%), sinusitis (up to 11%)

Common (1% to 10%): Cough[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. UK Summary of Product Characteristics.

2. Product Information. Esbriet (pirfenidone). Intermune Inc. 2013.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.