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Sildenafil For Pulmonary Hypertension

Sildenafil For Pulmonary Hypertension

Description

The active ingredient of Revatio is sildenafil, a citrate salt. This ingredient is found in several other medications, the most common being Viagra, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction. It acts to dilate (widen) the walls of the arteries, increasing blood flow and reducing the strain on the heart.

How to Work?

PDE5 is a substance produced in the lungs and other parts of the body that breaks down another substance called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP). Cyclic GMP causes the blood vessels (arteries) to relax and widen. Sildenafil decreases the activity of PDE5, so that more cyclic GMP is available for the blood vessels inside the lungs. This leads to relaxation, or widening, of those vessels. Relaxing and widening of the blood vessels in the lungs decreases the pulmonary blood pressure to the heart and improves its function. This reduces blood pressure in the lungs which generally results in the ability to be more active. Research studies have verified this improvement.

What are the frequent side effects of sildenafil?

Sildenafil is generally well tolerated. The most frequent side effects are:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach and heartburn
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Worsening shortness of breath
  • Nasal congestion.

Can men and women take sildenafil?

Yes, studies have evaluated sildenafil in both men and women with PAH, and no differences in side effects have been reported between genders. Studies have not shown any effect on sexual function in women who have taken sildenafil.

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