Revatio (Sildenafil) To Treat Pulmonary Hypertension
Revatio is a Pfizer manufactured drug designed to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). For patients with PAH, this drug helps to improve the flow of blood through the body and make it easier to exercise more effectively.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a health condition that narrows and restricts the pulmonary arteries. These are pretty essential arteries in the human body, connecting the heart to the lungs. So when someone is diagnosed with Pulmonary arterial hypertension, it means those arteries have narrowed, thereby restricting the flow of blood.
As a consequence of this happening, usually caused by a plaque build-up inside the arteries, this places a strain on the right-hand side of the heart and circulation of blood through the lungs is reduced. People suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension are at greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Revatio, also known as Sildenafil (full name: Sildenafil citrate) is an FDA-approved drug designed to treat the symptoms and improve the outcome of exercise, which in turn should reduce the chance of more plaque coating the inside of a patients arteries.
How does Revatio work?
Within Revatio, the active ingredient is Sildenafil, a citrate-based salt. Sildenafil is also the active ingredient of Viagra, which is also manufactured and sold by Pfizer around the world.
Viagra was created to treat erectile dysfunction and works in similar ways to Revatio, except with this medicine the focus is on improving blood flow in the arteries between the heart and lungs, not the penis.
The Sildenafil citrate in Revatio acts in the body to dilate – or widen – the walls of the pulmonary arteries, which takes the strain off the heart because it doesn’t need to work quite as much to get blood to vital organs, such as the lungs. People with PAH can suffer shortness of breath and dizziness, which is a sign that not enough blood is getting to the lungs, making it more difficult to process oxygen into the bloodstream.
Because the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension make exercise difficult, it becomes a viscous cycle, when exercise would improve overall health, reduce weight and reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke. Remember, if you are overweight, always talk to a doctor, physical therapist or dietician before making any major fitness or dietary changes, just to make sure you are taking the right steps to reduce weight.
Revatio – Sildenafil citrate – works because it’s a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor. What this means is; phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are enzymes that are part of our body. They are present in the arteries and lungs. These enzymes, PDE-5s, break down cGMPs, which are small naturally occurring molecules in our blood stream.
cGMP are pretty important molecules, they act to keep the arteries relaxed and dilated sufficiently to encourage the free-flowing movement of blood around the body. This improves circulation and keeps oxygen moving around the body too, also reducing any strain on our hearts at times when it needs to work harder.
When someone takes, Revatio, the active ingredient, Sildenafil citrate, inhibits the phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) in our bloodstream, which in turn means that we can produce more cGMPs, making it easier again for blood to move around the body. This takes pressure of the heart and improves oxygen in-take.
What should people know when taking Revatio?
Revatio was approved by the FDA after peer-reviewed medical trials in June 2005. In the EU, the European Commission formally approved it for sale in Europe in October 2005. A version that can be injected into the blood stream, only by a doctor or other medical professional, was later approved in 2009.
As is the case with any drug or medicine, Pfizer issues various warnings of what to avoid taking it with and potential side effects.
Common side effects of Revatio include nose bleeds, hot flushes, headaches, an upset stomach, headaches, a shortness of breath, congestion, and in some cases difficulty sleeping. Pfizer warns of more serious side effects whereby a doctor should be consulted; including allergic reactions, hearing loss, convulsions or edema. In the event of any of these side effects, do contact a doctor or even go to an emergency medical center straight away.
A maximum recommended dosage is 20mg. Until 2012, it was possible for children to take this, then the FDA said it wasn’t safe for children.
According to the Revatio Pfizer website, it shouldn’t be taken with Riociguat (Adempas®) or any soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator medicines. If you take it with any of these, or any nitroglycerin that is taken for chest pains – even if you only do this once in a while – there is a risk that “your blood pressure could drop quickly to an unsafe level.”
Pfizer also strongly warns people not to take Revatio if you are allergic to sildenafil, or any other ingredient. It is also recommended not to take with Viagra, or any other similar medicine, or medicine with the same active ingredients.
Providing you are aware of these warnings, Revatio is a great medicine for anyone suffering from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Always keep an eye on any potential side effects, and contact a doctor if you are concerned. With Revatio in your system, it should make exercise more effective and make it possible for exercise for longer, which will help improve overall physical health and reduce weight. Your heart should be able to move blood around the body and to the lungs more easily with Revatio.