New drug appears to slow effects of cystic fibrosis, offering hope to long-suffering patients
A breakthrough drug was approved Oct. 21 for 90% of teen and adult patients with cystic fibrosis, a genetic life-threatening disease that causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and other organs. The drug—Trikafta—is the first therapy to show dramatic improvement in lung function for a majority of those with the disease.
Knowing the drug showed promising results in studies, families had been waiting anxiously for months for approval by the federal government, which came faster than expected.
"Today marks a tremendous breakthrough and exciting news for people with cystic fibrosis," said Dr. Preston Campbell, president of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "This milestone is the result of an extraordinary community coming together against great odds, and we are overjoyed that this will mean more people will have effective treatments for their disease."
Chastain began taking the pill a few weeks after it was approved, and within three days, she said she already felt better. After her morning treatments to clear the mucus that settles in her lungs overnight, she had little to cough up.
She has more energy. She's able to make her bed, keep her wood floors clean and walk to her car without getting winded and having to take breaks.
"I read that it takes effect that quickly, but I didn't believe it," Chastain said. "But it is. It's been amazing."