Could a vasodilator medication help my PH?

In some patients, PH is due to spasm (also known as vasoconstriction) of the pulmonary arteries. In these patients, PH can be treated with vasodilator medications, which relax the muscles in the walls of the pulmonary arteries, opening up (also known as dilate) the pulmonary arteries.

Vasodilator medications for PH include Calcium channel blockers (CCBs).

  • CCBs are commonly used to treat high blood pressure (also known as systemic hypertension).
  • CCBs include amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac), and nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia).
  • CCBs can be very effective, and can dramatically improve PH in some patients.
  • CCBs can also cause serious side effects, and can be harmful in many patients with PH.
  • Overall, only a very small number of patients with PH will respond to CCBs.

Pulmonary Artery Spasm