There are currently 4 oral medications approved by the FDA to treat PAH symptoms.
*Tracleer (bosentan): Tracleer is an ERA, which stands for endothelin receptor antagonist. Endothelin causes the blood vessels to narrow. Tracleer blocks endothelin, which is produced in overabundance in PAH patients. This helps to reduce blood pressure in the lungs, and to improve activity level. Tracleer is taken twice a day, 12 hours apart. Tracleer requires monthly bloodwork to check for liver failure.
*Letairis (ambrisentan): Letairis is also an ERA, and also works very much in the same way as Tracleer does. It is taken once a day. Letairis does not require bloodwork, although some doctors may still want labs checked occasionally.
*Revatio (sildenafil): Revatio is a PDE5 inhibitor. This means that Revatio relaxes the blood vessels of the lungs to increase blood flow, making it easier for the heart to pump. Revatio is taken three times daily. Revatio is commonly know as Viagra!
*Adcirca (tadalafil): Adcirca is also a PDE5 inhibitor. It is also know as Cialis. The biggest difference from Revatio is that Revatio is taken three times daily, and Adcirca is only taken once a day.