We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Kinds of Pulmonary Hypertension Treatment?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pulmonary hypertension is a serious illness that has many treatments but no cure. It occurs when the pulmonary arteries have higher pressure than right ventricular pressure. This causes the right ventricle to pump blood to the lungs with decreasing efficiency. Over time, the effect combines to lower oxygen blood level, to cause shortness of breath and fatigue, to risk conditions like blood clots, and to create right heart failure and fluid overflow in the lungs. Available pulmonary hypertension treatment can slow down this process and address the greater risks of edema and dangerous blood clots; specifics of each person’s care vary and are based on health history and doctor discretion.

Two types of pulmonary hypertension are typically identified. A primary or idiopathic type occurs in absence of any other causal factors, and secondary pulmonary hypertension is usually caused by some condition that gradually impacts the pulmonary arteries. The causes can be varied and include some autoimmune diseases, congenital heart defects, illness in the left side of the heart, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, stimulant medicines or street drugs, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Since pulmonary hypertension isn’t curable, effort is made to cure or address conditions that could create it. Kids with heart defects have early full repair of anomalies or palliative surgeries like banding of the main pulmonary artery to avoid right heart and lung damage. Treatments to improve left heart function or sleep apnea, and programs to get people off street drugs might help prevent this disease.

In the absence of successfully timed preventative techniques, a number of pulmonary hypertension treatment medications may help the right ventricle function more efficiently and reduce resistance in the pulmonary arteries. One common treatment is to use special vasodilators that help open pulmonary arteries. Medications most used are epoprostenol and iloprost. The first is continuously injected into the body through a small catheter that is portable, and the second is inhaled from a nebulizer. Other vasodilators might also be considered.

Another pulmonary hypertension treatment is the drug bosentan. It enlarges blood vessels by reducing their endothelial lining, which can thicken and cause blockage. Other medicines may open the blood vessels, and groups of drugs like calcium channel blockers in very high doses can relax blood vessel tension and promote better flow.

In addition to medications that may provide pulmonary hypertension treatment, some treatments help to reduce side effects or risks. Patients may need oxygen, and most need blood thinners like warfarin to prevent possibility of forming blood clots. Other drugs like furosemide, a diuretic, are commonly used to reduce fluid overload.

Occasionally doctors recommend surgery as part of pulmonary hypertension treatment, though it is risky and not available to all people. One surgery, atrial septostomy, creates a hole between the atria, which can reduce flow of blood from right side of the heart to the pulmonary arteries. Another option is heart lung transplant, but thus far, these transplants don’t have encouraging survival rates and they are difficult to obtain.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.