Which medications in the drug class Phosphodiesterase-5 Enzyme Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension?

Updated: Aug 06, 2021
  • Author: Kristin E Schwab, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Phosphodiesterase-5 Enzyme Inhibitors

The antiproliferative effects of the phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) pathway, which regulates cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) hydrolysis, may be significant in the long-term treatment of PAH with PDE5 inhibitors such as sildenafil.

Sildenafil (Revatio)

Sildenafil promotes selective smooth-muscle relaxation in lung vasculature, possibly by inhibiting PDE5. This results in a subsequent reduction of blood pressure in pulmonary arteries and an increase in cardiac output.

Tadalafil (Adcirca)

Tadalafil is a PDE5 inhibitor indicated for improving exercise capacity in patients with WHO group 1 PAH. It increases cGMP, the final mediator in the nitric oxide pathway.

Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn ODT)

Vardenafil is a PDE5 inhibitor. This medication has been demonstrated to increase 6-minute walk distance. It is dosed as once or twice daily.

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