Conventional Drugs

Many PHers are on one or more of the following conventional drugs to treat symptoms:

Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs) - These are oral meds which relax the muscles around blood vessels which allows better blood flow. CCBs can also help to regulate heart rates. CCBs are only effective in less than 10% of PH patients.

Digoxin - Digoxin can help the heart pump. It can also help regulate the electrical activity in the heart. It is an oral med taken once a day. I've been on this medication for over 35 years!!

Warfarin (Coumadin) - Warfarin is a blood thinner taken once a day. It must be carefully regulated, so bloodwork is required often. Warfarin can be affected by foods and other medications, so a person taking it must make sure they monitor what they eat and the other things they ingest closely. I was on Coumadin for at least 10 years, and finally stopped it last year to try a baby aspirin instead. I can tell you that I don't miss Coumadin at all!!! lol

Diuretics - These meds help treat heart failure and fluid retention. They are oral pills taken once or twice a day to help reduce the amount of fluid in the legs and/or abdomen.

Oxygen - Yes, oxygen is a medication! Low oxygen can cause the pulmonary vessels to constrict and may worsen PAH. Oxygen levels should be maintained at 90% or above in PAH patients, and can be done be using supplemental oxygen. UNLESS YOU'RE LIKE ME!! My congenital heart defect doesn't really allow me to be anywhere near 90%, even when I'm on a high liter flow of oxygen. My body has become accustomed to the low numbers, but I usually wear the oxygen anyway just because I know it's at least keeping my heart from working too hard!


Anonymous said…
Great pots you are doing!
Hope that you are having a great weekend, Loca.
Stay warm. Sending hugs and love to ya :)

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