The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved Letairis, a new medication, for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), which affects 100,000 individuals in the United States says the FDA News.
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) is a rare disease affecting the blood vessels in the lungs. The simplest explanation of the condition is that it is high blood pressure in the lungs. The pulmonary artery runs from your heart to your lungs, so that blood can travel from the heart to the lungs, where the blood is oxygenated.
When an individual has PAH, the pulmonary artery has narrowed or become blocked, which makes getting blood to the lungs more difficult. As a result, the heart must work overtime to pump blood to the lungs. The most common cause of death among individuals with PAH is heart failure. Other symptoms of PAH include dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and fainting.
Letairis is one of the options for treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. According to John Jenkins M.D., Director of the Office of New Drugs, Letairis is similar to an existing drug that also treats PAH, but has the potential for fewer drug interactions, reports the FDA News.
The effectiveness and safety of Letairis was shown with two clinical international studies. The studies involved 393 participants with PAH. Compared to a placebo, Letairis significantly improved the capacity to do physical activity, reports the FDA News. The FDA News also reports that Letairis was effective in delaying the worsening of symptoms in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.
Clinical studies show that the most common side effects of Letairis include nasal congestion, sinusitis, swelling in the ankles and legs, and getting red in the face or flushing reports the FDA News. According to the FDA, Letairis is manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc. and will be available in once daily five or 10-milligram tablets.
Patients who are prescribed Letairis must have monthly blood tests in order to check for injury to the liver reports the FDA News. Women who may become pregnant or who are pregnant should not take Letairis because it may cause birth defects.
Letairis provides new hope for individuals who suffer from Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. In order to determine if Letairis is right for you, talk to your doctor about the medication’s risks and benefits. Your doctor will be able to provide all the information you need to make an informed decision about treatment for your PAH.