Prostacyclin Class Therapy

Prostacyclin class therapy was the first type of treatment approved for PAH and has been used to treat PAH for over 10 years.

Expert physician groups, including the American Heart Association, recommend prostacyclin class therapy for PAH patients in Functional Class III and IV. However, many patients still don’t receive this treatment.

Know the benefits.

Prostacyclin is a natural substance found in the body. But, if you have PAH, your body may not produce enough prostacyclin.

Prostacyclin class therapies mimic the effects of natural prostacyclin by helping to keep the blood vessels open so blood can flow through the lungs and absorb oxygen.  In addition, prostacyclin therapy

  • Keeps blood vessels open and working properly. Prostacyclin therapy makes it easier for your heart to pump blood through your lungs to help improve PAH symptoms
  • May help improve PAH symptoms. Studies have shown that prostacyclin class therapy may help improve the ability to exercise. It may also reduce the symptoms that occur from exercise, such as shortness of breath and fatigue
  • Treats a different PAH pathway. Many physicians use more than one medicine to treat PAH patients

Understand the risks.

  • If you have low blood pressure, prostacyclin class therapy may lower your blood pressure further
  • Some common side effects of prostacyclin class therapy are headache, nausea, and flushing
  • There are important risks associated with blood stream infection, cough, and site pain and reaction. Review the available prescribing information and talk to your doctor to determine treatment options that are right for you

How is it taken?

Prostacyclin class therapy can be taken in 2 different ways—inhaled or through a pump.

  • Inhaled therapies are administered through a handheld device. The medicine is breathed in so it goes directly to your lungs. The devices are portable and can travel with you throughout your day
  • With pump therapy, prostacyclin goes into your body continuously using a small pump. There are multiple pump options for you and your doctor to consider

For both inhaled and pump treatments, you will receive support and information through specialty pharmacies.

Did you know?
Expert physician groups, including the American Heart Association, recommend prostacyclin class therapy for PAH Functional Class III and IV. However, many patients still aren’t receiving this therapy.

Learn more about prostacyclin therapy.