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Treatment for PAH

The goals of treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are to relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

What treatment options are available?

  • Oral therapy—medications that are taken by mouth
  • Inhaled therapy—medications that are inhaled
  • Continuous intravenous (into a vein) or subcutaneous (under the skin) infusion—medications that are delivered continuously to your bloodstream through a vein or a needle placed under the skin
  • Combination therapy—2 or more medications that work together
  • Surgery—including lung or heart-lung transplantation; considered for the most severe cases of PAH, in which medication is not successful

What other medications might my treatment include?

  • Anticoagulants ("blood thinners") to prevent blood clots
  • Diuretics ("water pills") to reduce swelling
  • Supplemental oxygen to make sure your body has enough oxygen
  • Calcium channel blockers for the small percentage of people with a positive response to "vasodilator challenge" testing during right heart catheterization

Talk to your doctor to learn about the treatment options that are best for you.