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Cystic fibrosis: Existing drug may improve lung function

Researchers say a drug that is already available on the market can help those affected by cystic fibrosis.

Amphotericin, which is an antifungal medication, might help people with cystic fibrosis fight the chronic bacterial lung infections that tend to occur with this disease, according to a recent study.

“The really exciting news is that amphotericin is a medicine that is already approved and available on the market,” said Martin D. Burke, Ph.D., study leader and professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

This study, which appears in the journal Nature, outlines the researchers’ encouraging findings.

The team used lung tissue from people who have cystic fibrosis, as well as animal models of cystic fibrosis, to see how the drug would drive changes in the tissue.

They discovered that amphotericin sparked changes in the lung tissue.

These changes have associations with improved lung function and include restoration of pH levels, increased antibacterial activity, and improved viscosity.

In addition, they explained that people could administer this medication into the lungs directly, which should reduce side effects.

Cystic fibrosis in brief

Cystic fibrosis is present at birth. Those who have the condition have a faulty protein that impacts the cells, tissues, and glands that make mucus and sweat.

With cystic fibrosis, thickened mucus can build up in affected organs. This can lead to damage or infections in these areas, which can be life-threatening.

It can also lead to inflammation that can cause problems in organs, such as the lungs or pancreas.

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Source: Medical News Today