A question for the Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Community

Take a moment to describe how you or your loved one currently manage this condition, including any medical treatments. How did you or your loved one and doctor decide on this approach?

Answers from the Community

I take an oral medication, from day one, which was started in 2002. I started with a drug called TRACLEER. And in 2013, I started on a newer drug called Opsumit, and I don’t have to take a liver enzyme test monthly, which makes it much more convenient.

I am currently taking some medication for high blood pressure. I take medication also for fluid retention, I’m taking Lasix. And then also I am participating in a clinical trial for a device, an intra atrial shunt. And the way that I decided on that, of course, my doctor made the recommendations. I researched the medications and what the different side effects are. We agreed on the medication. And then when the trial became available, same thing; I researched the company, talked to different people that I knew in the industry that were familiar with the company, read the previous clinical trials. And then my doctor had indicated that I had all the criteria that I could be accepted into the program. So based on that, I chose to move forward with the clinical trial.

I am currently on four different pill medications. I’m on one that I take three times a day. Another one, I take three times a day. One that I take twice a day, and one that I take once a day. I arrived at that by educating myself on different levels of treatments that seem to work better versus going on an IV therapy, which would be what’s next in my treatment plan.

Well, I’ve been diagnosed, it’s been a year and a half, close to two years now. But I wanted to stay on oral treatments and not go to IV or subQ quite yet. So far so good. I know it’s a progressive disease, so we’ll see what happens in the future. But right now I’m doing well with the oral treatments that are available, and we just manage like that. And I still work full time. So it keeps me going, keeps me living.

I have a great doctor. I actually really trust my pulmonologist. After being misdiagnosed for several years by my general doctor, I was worried at first with the doctors, but my pulmonologist is great and I have a lot of confidence in him. I’m on Adcirca and Tadalafil, two diuretics and potassium, oxygen, and then that’s all for the PH. And then, in the last year, I learned that I have Graves’ disease as well.

The biggest thing that I do to manage my condition is take medications. I take three, two pills and inhaled treatment as well. I use oxygen, supplemental oxygen when I need it, and I decided on this approach basically after consulting with my doctors and what they knew about the condition and my current state.

Manage my health with constant monitoring. I see my heart doctor once every three months, along with two different types of medications, a yearly right heart catheterization, and a yearly echocardiogram. And with that, we adjust according to how I’m doing, with the results for the right heart cath each year.

When I was diagnosed, I was a functional class IV. I had very shallow breathing, even at rest. I couldn’t do anything. So my doctor decided to hit me with everything. I was placed on a PDE5 inhibitor and I was placed on a Veletri pump at that time, just to try to get my condition better. I was a 400% chance of having a heart attack, and through the increasing of my pump dose and my heart now, seven years later, is much, much better. It’s almost normal. My pressures are almost normal. I am able to have a full activity, full exercise, and the medical treatments, other than the side pain from the pump and being attached to a pump, have been wonderful.

I’m on IV therapy, and I’m on two pills currently. The IV medication, I really didn’t have a choice in it, because I was so severe that there was no other options but to do the IV therapy. So, I have them doing that, say, like 11 years now, ever since the beginning, and then I take Adcirca and Opsumit. Those are just two pills, and that’s how I manage those. I got one pill with my old doctor, and I’ve had that prescription since then, so probably like eight or nine years, I’ve been taking Adcirca. Then the Opsumit, my new doctor put me on that one, and the decision was, because he wanted me to be on three different therapies, to attack pulmonary hypertension at all different angles so that not any angle is left, so that it’s progressing more, and so that it stays more stable, instead of getting worse all the time.

I’m currently on Adempas. I was on Remodulin, sildenafil at one point, but that was before I had the endarterectomy. Once I had that, I was able to go to just the Adempas. I am on oxygen as well, and I am at six liters 24/7 and that is continuous. Really, we just talked about what was the best options between me and my doctor. He gave me recommendations, and I agreed with them and we went from there.

Well, I’m currently taking Adempas and diuretics, Aldactone and Lasix. And, of course, diet and exercise. And I saw a regular cardiologist for two years prior to seeing a pulmonary hypertension specialist. And adding the Adempas was actually a result of seeing the specialist.

When I was first diagnosed with my condition, my doctor advised me to consider a double lung transplant. I wasn’t ready to do that. So, I tried other options, more holistic options, even going as far as trying stem cell treatments. Once I realized how ill I was, I decided to go for the double lung transplant. And now I’m on probably around. 13 or 14 different medications, including anti-rejection medications, et cetera. I am on insulin now as some of the medications cause my blood sugar to spike. So, I am on a daily dose of 20 units of insulin, but generally coping very well.

The medical approach that I’m on for pulmonary hypertension is medication. Medication is called Lasix. It’s medicine that takes out the excess fluid that’s inside a person’s body through urine. That is the medicine me and my doctor decided would be best for me and he came up…I guess it was the best medicine on the market for me and he decided to start on a lower dose because too much fluid loss can affect my underlying condition with sickle cell anemia.

We started off with one medication orally because it’s the easiest way to go. You don’t have to get any central lines or PICC lines or any type of things that would be just an inconvenience. When that medication, I had a reaction to is just mostly all about trial and fail. I finally found some medications that would work. I am currently using Adempas and Remodulin. I now had to go to the pumps because I was running out of options.

Hi, I actually take Sildenafil and I take the max amount of that, and then I take Tracleer, and I take the max amount of dose of that, and I may be moving up into the third medication in that category be taking an inhalants, but my doctor just pretty much put me on it and they increased it as needed, and when I told her I was having problems and struggling. So, there’s not really much you can do about it when only there’s so many limited medications you can take for the disease, but I seem to have the least side effects this way.