What is cystic fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition, which means that it is something you are born with. Cystic fibrosis is known to cause your lungs to produce extra-thick, sticky mucus. This mucus builds up and clogs your airways.

Even before symptoms present, people with cystic fibrosis develop mucus that is thicker and stickier than normal.

Healthy lungs: The lungs naturally produce a thin layer of mucus that helps protect the airways from dangerous bacteria that can cause infections.

Lungs affected by CF: For people living with cystic fibrosis, the mucus in the lungs is thicker than normal. This thick mucus can build up in the airways, allowing germs to thrive and become a source of infection and inflammation that can lead to decreased lung function.

Sticky mucus contributes to the progression of cystic fibrosis over time.

Graphic depicting cycle of mucus obstruction, inflammation, and infection

Controlling mucus early in the course of cystic fibrosis may be an important part of managing the disease.

As the white blood cells fight the infection caught in the mucus, they leave behind remains called extracellular DNA. The buildup of these remains makes the mucus in lungs affected by cystic fibrosis even thicker than before, leaving your lungs even more vulnerable to decreased lung function. Because the mucus is even more thick and sticky, it can be difficult to get rid of this abnormal mucus.

This may begin a cycle of blockage and infection that may lead to poorer lung function.

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Tips for managing cystic fibrosis

Read about how nutrition and exercise, in addition to your treatment, may help manage your cystic fibrosis.

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Cystic fibrosis resources

Find helpful information on patient advocacy, research, education, the cystic fibrosis community, and support for parents and caregivers.

Helpful tips on how to stay ahead of cystic fibrosis

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Partner with your CF Care Team to come up with a treatment routine that works best for you

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Eating a high-calorie, high-fat diet is important to help make sure you are getting the nutrients you need from food

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Exercise as often as you can to help manage lung function

The effect of Pulmozyme on exercise tolerance has not been established in adults or children.

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Make time every day for your Pulmozyme and other cystic fibrosis treatments

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Eating well, being active, and establishing treatment routines may all help you manage your cystic fibrosis

It is important to discuss these plans with your doctor and CF Care Team to find the right balance that fits your unique needs.

Be sure to stick to your cystic fibrosis treatment routine to help manage the course of your disease. Though you or your loved one may not see or feel the signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis right away, the disease is still present.

THE CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION GUIDELINES RECOMMEND REGULAR VISITS TO YOUR CHILD'S PRIMARY DOCTOR AND CYSTIC FIBROSIS CARE CENTER SO THEY CAN HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR CHILD'S CYSTIC FIBROSIS.

Supporting your child with cystic fibrosis

It’s important to help your child develop healthy ways of dealing with any problems they may have. Here are some ways you can help:

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Listen to your child

They are experiencing a lot of different emotions and may need someone to talk to. Let them know you’re there to help them work through any feelings they may be having.

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Create a safe place

Older children may begin to feel pressured to fit in with their friends at school. You can help by making your home as comfortable as possible. Encourage the rest of your family, including siblings, to be supportive as well.

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Make sure to have some fun

You and your child are dealing with a busy schedule, so it’s important that you both have time for fun activities. Set aside some time each week to go to the park or cook a special dinner together.

The safety and effectiveness of Pulmozyme have been established in patients 5 years of age and older. The safety of Pulmozyme, 2.5 mg by inhalation, was studied with 2 weeks of daily administration in 65 patients with cystic fibrosis aged 3 months to < 5 years. While clinical trial data are limited in pediatric patients younger than 5 years of age, the use of Pulmozyme should be considered for pediatric cystic fibrosis patients who may experience potential benefit in pulmonary function, or who may be at risk of respiratory tract infection.

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Cystic fibrosis resources

Find helpful information on patient advocacy, research, education, the cystic fibrosis community, and support for parents and caregivers.

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Find financial support

Learn how Genentech and Pulmozyme Access Solutions can help you get your prescribed medicine.