Available Cystic Fibrosis Treatments

Though there is no cure for cystic fibrosis, close monitoring and early, aggressive treatment can ease symptoms and reduce complications. Treatment aims to prevent and control lung infections, loosen and remove mucus in the lungs, treat and prevent intestinal blockages, and ensure that adequate nutrition is received.

Cystic fibrosis management is complex and we recommend pursuing treatment with pulmonary pediatricians or pulmonologists who can offer specialized care and treatment plans.

Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Options:


  • Antibiotics to treat lung infections

  • Anti-inflammatory medications to lessen swelling in your lung airways

  • Mucus-thinning drugs to make it easier to cough up mucus

  • Bronchodilators that relax the muscles around your bronchial tubes to help keep airways open

  • Oral pancreatic enzymes to improve absorption of nutrients in your digestive tract

  • Ivacaftor: A new medication on the marketing, Ivacaftor is recommending for cystic fibrosis sufferers with very specific gene mutations to improve lung function and weight, and decrease the saltiness of their sweat.


  • Physical exercise

  • Breathing techniques that may loosen mucus and improve breathing

  • Nutritional counseling

  • Counseling and support


Pulmonary associates work to loosen the thick mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough up.


  • Nasal polyp removal: Removal of nasal polyps that obstruct breathing.

  • Oxygen therapy: In the case that your blood oxygen levels decline, breathing pure oxygen may help prevent pulmonary hypertension.

  • Endoscopy and lavage: Using an endoscope, mucus may be suctioned from obstructed airways.

  • Feeding tube: If your cystic fibrosis interferes with digestion, a feeding tube can help deliver extra nutrition while you sleep.

  • Bowel surgery: In the case of a bowel blockage, surgery may be required for removal.  

  • Lung transplant: In the cases of severe breathing problems, life-threatening lung complications or increasing antibiotic resistance to lung infections antibiotics, lung transplantation can be explored as an option. Note: Cystic fibrosis does not recur in transplanted lungs, but other cystic fibrosis complications such as sinus infections, diabetes, pancreas problems and osteoporosis can still occur.