If you have pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), you may benefit from Revatio. This prescription medication is specifically approved to improve the ability to exercise and to slow down worsening conditions in people with PAH. The drug is available in tablet and intravenous injectable form, and is used three times daily. Some of the common side effects include headaches, abnormal vision, and indigestion.
What Is Revatio?
Revatio® (sildenafil citrate) is a prescription medication approved for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It belongs to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. This medication is designed to help relieve symptoms in people with PAH, which can improve their ability to exercise and delay a significant event that can worsen their physical condition.
Revatio blocks an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5). This enzyme is responsible for breaking down a chemical in the lungs that causes blood vessels to relax.
By blocking PDE5, Revatio allows more of this chemical to be available. As a result, the blood vessels in the lungs stay relaxed, allowing blood to flow more easily through them.
Clinical Effects of Revatio
Clinical studies have shown that Revatio can improve walking distance in people with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) when given alone or in combination with Flolan® (epoprostenol). For example, in one study, people taking Revatio could walk up to 50 meters farther over 6 minutes than people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients).
Revatio has also been shown to decrease the pressure in the lung's arteries in people with PAH and to slow down changes that can lead to serious problems.
In one study, when Revatio was given in combination with Flolan, it delayed the time before a serious complication occurred. Some of these complications included lung transplants, the need for additional medications, and even loss of life.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Revatio [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Inc.;2012 August.
Sildenafil citrate. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Drug Facts and Comparisons 4.0 [online]. 2010. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed July 3, 2010.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed July 7, 2010.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed November 16, 2012.
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