Several options are available to help treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). There is no cure for PAH. But, medications can slow the disease, help blood flow from your lungs to your heart and body, and help your heart work less hard. All of these may help you breathe easier and do more of the things you enjoy.
Your PAH team will decide which medications are best for you based on what kind of PAH you have. And your treatment plan may change from time to time depend on things like:
- What symptoms you have and how much they affect your ability to do your day-to-day activities.
- How the medications work for you.
- What kind of support you have at home.
Each medication works differently. But, they all help open up the blood vessels so blood and oxygen flow better through your body. They also come in different forms. Some you take by mouth (oral), some are infused through your vein (intravenously) or through a small needle under your skin (subcutaneously or subq), while others are given through an inhaler.
Your doctor may add other treatments that may help manage your symptoms so you can do more in your day. These may include:
- A heart medication called digoxin to help your heart to pump more efficiently.
- Water pills (diuretics) to help reduce fluid retention and swelling in your body.
- Blood thinners (anticoagulants) to help prevent you from getting blood clots, especially in your lungs.
- Oxygen to help increase the levels in your body.
Depending on the type of PAH you have, some may benefit from a group of medications called calcium channel blockers.
Every person with PAH responds differently to different treatments. Sometimes it takes a few tries to see which treatment or treatments work best for you. Some patients may need more than one therapy to get the best results (and they may come from different pharmacies). Talk with your care team about how you feel between doctor visits. Keep track of your symptoms, either by writing them in a journal or on a calendar. Or use an app. This helps both you and your PAH team see how you are doing each day and how well your treatment is working.
Talk to your doctor and your CVS Specialty PAH care team any time you have questions about your symptoms, treatment or supplies. Call 1-87-PAHCARE-8 (1-877-242-2738), anytime.