Cornerstone Health Solutions is dedicated to supporting you through your pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatment. We are committed to helping you with financial assistance, providing you with thorough medication education, helping keep you on track, and being fully available to you to answer questions.
What is PAH?
PAH is high blood pressure in your lungs. High blood pressure in your lungs can eventually lead to serious heart problems. You can have PAH even if your regular blood pressure (measured on your arm) is normal. Symptoms that you may experience from this condition include:
- Shortness of breath that worsens over time
- Feeling tired
- Swelling of the feet, legs, abdomen, and neck
- Chest pain
- Rarely – change in voice, coughing up blood
What causes PAH?
PAH is caused by scarring of the small blood vessels in your lungs. This scarring causes those blood vessel to become narrow and block the flow of blood through the lungs. This leads to an increased pressure in the blood vessels. Factors and conditions that can lead to scarring of these blood vessels include:
- Exposure to certain drugs and toxins (example: cocaine)
- Scarring of the liver
- Heart problems that you’re born with
- Idiopathic (unknown cause)
When the blood vessels in your lungs are narrowed/blocked, this forces the right side of your heart to pump harder, under greater pressure, to try to get the blood through. This can overwork the heart and eventually may cause it to fail.
What specialty medications do you offer to treat PAH?
What should I expect from treatment?
Specialty medications that we currently offer to treat PAH are either oral or IV (intravenous, injected directly into your veins). These medications will most likely be used in combination with other medications to treat your PAH. Which medication you receive will depend on how severe your condition is, the results of your diagnostic tests, and how much support you have at home.
Oral medications (Latairis, Opsumit, and Tracleer) are taken once or twice a day depending on which one your provider prescribes. Common side effects that you may experience from these medications include headache, nausea, swelling of your face, arms, and/or legs, anemia, and liver damage.
Epoprostenol is an IV medication that is administered continuously through a pump directly into a large vein in your heart if you are going to use it for a long period of time. You will receive detailed instructions on how to operate the pump and how to keep the IV line to your heart clean if you are prescribed this medication. Common side effects that you my experience from this medication include headache, upset stomach, reactions at the injection site, and jaw/muscle/joint pain.
If any of these side effects become unmanageable, or if you experience any other side effects, contact your provider.
To learn more about PAH visit the following resources: