What Does Letairis Do?

Letairis® (ambrisentan) is a prescription drug approved to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a condition in which there is high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs. But what exactly does Letairis do?
Letairis belongs to a group of medicines known as endothelin receptor antagonists. Endothelins are a type of protein that can cause blood vessels to constrict (narrow). People who have PAH have high levels of endothelins. Letairis works by binding to certain receptors in the body, blocking the action of the extra endothelins. As a result, the blood vessels relax and blood flow improves. Using Letairis can help slow down the progression of PAH and improve a person's ability to exercise.
Clinical studies on this drug showed that people who took Letairis were able to walk farther over a six-minute period than people who did not take the drug. It was also shown to slow down the worsening of the disease.
(Click Letairis Uses for more details on using this medicine for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension. This Web page also covers possible off-label uses and whether the drug can be used in children.)
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