Drug Treatments

Doctors may prescribe a number of different medications in order to treat the symptoms of primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).

Flonan is a one of a type of drugs known as vasodilators, which relax the blood vessels and allow the pulmonary artery to pump more blood to the heart. Studies have shown that treatment with Flonan can prolong the life expectancy of patients with PPH and allow those with even the most serious forms of the disease to increase the amount of physical activity in their daily routine.

Because the effects of Flonan last only a few minutes, patients who are prescribed this medication in order to treat their PPH symptoms must wear a pumping device that delivers a continuous supply of the drug through a catheter to the lungs.

Another vasodilator medication prescribed for the treatment of PPH is Remodulin. Because a dose of Remodulin works for up to six hours, patients do not need to receive a continuous supply of the drug, as with Flonan. Instead, doses of Remodulin are delivered by a MiniMed microinfusion device—about the size of a pager—which is used by the patient to deliver an injection under the skin.

A third medication used to treat PPH patients is Tracleer. Unlike Flonan and Remodulin, Tracleer comes in pill form, and is taken orally. Tracleer works by blocking the activity of a chemical in the body which causes the blood vessels to narrow. Studies have shown that patients undergoing treatment with Tracleer experience greater blood flow through the pulmonary artery and decreased blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs.

Patients with early-stage PPH may be prescribed the drug Revatio, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005. Studies have shown that PPH patients who are prescribed Revatio display an increased ability to exercise, as well as improvements in arterial blood pressure and other cardiac functions.

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) such as Cardizem or Procardia may be prescribed in order to lessen pulmonary vasoconstriction (narrowing of the pulmonary artery), which can be effective at prolonging a patient’s life. However, because CCBs are only effective in 20% of patients, doctors must perform tests before prescribing these drugs over the long term.

In addition to these medications, your doctor may prescribe other drugs to treat your PPH symptoms depending on the specifics of your case. Other drugs used for PPH treatment include blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent clots, digoxin to improve heart function, diuretics to prevent swelling (peripheral edema) and Viagra (sildenafil).

If you have been diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension and have taken the diet drug combination Fen Phen, or herbal Fen Phen products containing ephedra or ma huang, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free consultation about your legal rights, contact the law office of Hissey Kientz by calling toll-free at (866) 275-4454, or by filling out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page.

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