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Pulmonary Vascular Disease

Treatments for Pulmonary Vascular Disease continued...

Chronic thromboembolic disease: Serious cases of thromboembolic disease may be treated with surgery to clear out the pulmonary arteries (thromboendarterectomy). Blood thinners are also used. Riociguat (Adempas) is a drug approved for use after surgery or in those who can't have surgery, to improve the ability to exercise.  

Pulmonary arterial hypertension: Several medicines can lower blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries:

  • bosentan (Tracleer)
  • sildenafil (Revatio)
  • epoprostenol (Flolan)
  • treprostenil (Remodulin)
  • riociguat (Adempas)

These drugs have been best shown to improve idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Pulmonary venous hypertension: Because this form of pulmonary vascular disease is usually caused by congestive heart failure, these treatments for heart failure are usually appropriate:

  • Diuretics, like furosemide (Lasix) and spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, like lisinopril
  • Beta-blockers, like metoprolol (Lopressor) and carvedilol (Coreg)
  • Vasodilators that reduce blood pressure, like amlodipine (Norvasc), hydralazine (Apresoline) and isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur)

If pulmonary vascular disease is brought on by another condition, treating that condition might improve the pulmonary vascular disease:

  • Autoimmune diseases (lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome) are usually treated with drugs that suppress the immune system. Prednisone, azathioprine (Imuran), and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) are examples.
  • In lung disease with low blood oxygen levels (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease), providing inhaled oxygen can slow progression of pulmonary vascular disease.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on June 12, 2012

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