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Cystic Fibrosis

Background

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease of the mucus and sweat glands. It affects mostly your lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses, and sex organs. CF causes your mucus to be thick and sticky. The mucus clogs the lungs, causing breathing problems and making it easy for bacteria to grow. This can lead to repeated lung infections and lung damage.

The symptoms and severity of CF can vary. Some people have serious problems from birth. Others have a milder version of the disease. CF is diagnosed through various tests, such as gene, blood, and sweat tests.

There is no cure for CF, but treatments have improved greatly in recent years. In the past, most deaths from CF were in children and teenagers. Today, with improved treatments, some people who have CF are living into their forties, fifties, or older.1

In the United States:

  • 30,000 children and adults have cystic fibrosis
  • 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year
  • More than 75% of people with CF are diagnosed by age 2
  • More than half of the CF population is age 18 or older

Treatment

The goals of CF treatment include:

  • Preventing and controlling lung infections
  • Loosening and removing thick, sticky mucus from the lungs
  • Preventing or treating blockages in the intestines
  • Providing enough nutrition
  • Preventing dehydration (a lack of fluid in the body)
     

Treatment may include:

  • Airway clearance — to help loosen and get rid of the thick mucus that can build up in the lungs
  • Inhaled medicines — to open the airways or thin the mucus
  • Pancreatic enzyme supplement — capsules to improve the absorption of vital nutrients
  • CFTR Modulators — correct the function of the defective protein made by the CF gene

Texting Program

We offer a free Cystic Fibrosis Texting Program to help you take your medications on time and to take an active role in managing your health. The program provides additional support for side effects, nutrition, a way to connect with a pharmacist, and much more. To sign up, text SUPPORT to 90803.

Disclaimer: By texting SUPPORT to 90803, you agree that Msg and data rates may apply, terms and privacy information are available at: https://specialty.optumrx.com and these messages will be recurring. By sending us a text message, you also are verifying the number you wish to receive texts on and acknowledge and agree that our text messages, which may contain Protected Health Information (PHI), will be sent via unencrypted means and there is some risk of disclosure or interception of the messages.

All content for this texting program is for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your medical provider, go to the emergency room or call 911 immediately.

References