Once we have identified your child's problem, our team will develop an individualized treatment plan that can help your child breath easier. Medicines, such as bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs, can help keep your child's airways open and improve breathing if your child has asthma. Medications also can help children with cystic fibrosis improve their lung function and control troublesome symptoms.

In addition, airway clearance devices can help cystic fibrosis or other diseases that cause severe muscle weakness.

Your child's treatment may include special feeding and nutrition, particularly if your child was born prematurely. Our doctors also can outline exercise and rehabilitation strategies to help increase your child's lung function.

Medication Therapy

Medication is often a key component of your child's treatment. Our team can establish a medication regimen that is right for your child. It may include:
  • Mucus-thinning medicines and other medications to help keep airways clear
  • Ivacaftor, a new medication that can help some children with CF who have specific mutations in the gene
  • Oral, inhaled or intravenous (IV) antibiotics to control infections

Respiratory Therapy

Freeing mucus from the lungs improves their function and is critical for managing CF. Our team can provide guidance on techniques and devices that help clear your child's airways at home.

Nutrition Therapy

Digestive issues are a common concern in children with CF. Nutrition therapy can help minimize the associated symptoms, such as pain and constipation. Our experts can develop a customized plan that includes a well-balanced diet to help maintain your child's weight. It also may include oral pancreatic enzyme replacement to improve digestion as well as supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

A registered dietitian with expertise in CF is available every time you visit the center to discuss your child's nutritional needs.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Being active is important for young people to stay healthy, especially if they have CF. Our specialists can get your child started in a pulmonary rehabilitation program, which includes exercise to improve or maintain lung function.

Home Oxygen Therapy

Children and adolescents with advanced CF may require oxygen therapy. Our team can help coordinate these services for you.

Compassion & Support

Caring for a child with CF can present many challenges for families. Our team includes social workers who can help parents and patients develop strategies to manage CF over the long term.

Lung Transplant

Teens and young adults with severe CF may be candidates for lung transplant. If you would like to find out if your teen or young adult is a candidate for a transplant, our medical team can make an assessment and refer you to our highly skilled lung transplant experts at UChicago Medicine.

Our team is actively involved in research to evaluate promising treatments for children with CF. In recent years, we have tested many of the newer inhaled antibiotics, as well as ivacaftor, a new oral medication that can help children and teens who have certain genetic mutations causing CF.

The Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Program helps educate patients and families to live better with CF. This is a recommended list of CF resources: