Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure that affects the veins and arteries in the lungs. PH narrows the arteries so that the heart must work harder to pump blood through the lung tissue. Pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension are chronic, progressive diseases with no cure. Treatment for pulmonary hypertension focuses on relieving the symptoms and preventing or slowing further damage, particularly damage to the heart.

Drug Treatment

There are a number of medications used for various purposes in treatment for pulmonary hypertension. They include medications that are taken orally, intravenously, subcutaneously or through inhalant therapy. The most common drugs used as treatment for pulmonary hypertension include:

Conventional Therapies

* Calcium channel blockers to control blood pressure

* Digoxin to strengthen the heart

* Diuretics to remove excess fluid that strains the heart

* Oxygen therapy for patients that require it

* Warfarin to thin the blood


Vasodilators help open the blood vessels and relieve symptoms of pulmonary hypertension, such as chest pain and shortness of breath.

PDE 5 Inhibitors

PDE 5 inhibitors, such as Sildenafil and Tadalafil, help the lungs produce more natural vasodilators.


Some medications may be delivered via inhalers to help relieve shortness of breath.

Surgical Treatment

When medical treatment for hypertension is no longer effective, some patients may benefit from lung transplant. Lung transplantation can improve quality of life and increase survival by as much as 10 years. However, the overall one-year survival rate is 74%, the five year survival rate is only 45%. There are numerous serious side effects and possible complications with a lung transplant, including chronic rejection. In addition, lung transplantation relies on the availability of donor organs, and not all patients are suitable candidates for lung transplantation.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

Treatment for pulmonary hypertension involves many lifestyle changes and modifications. People with PH tire easily and can find it challenging to live an active life. Coping with pulmonary hypertension may involve changing making modifications to the home to make tasks easier, relying on friends and families to help with chores and daily tasks, and learning how to conserve energy by reevaluating the importance of daily tasks.

Alternative Therapies

In addition to conventional medical treatment for pulmonary hypertension, most doctors now accept that there are complementary alternative treatments that can help reduce symptoms and may help slow the progression of the disease. These include nutritional supplements that support heart health and herbs that may help lower blood pressure, rid the body of excess fluids and thin the blood.

Stem Cell Therapy for Pulmonary Hypertension

Stem cell therapy may be a useful treatment for pulmonary hypertension. There have been a number of reported cases where adult stem cells have been used to treat pulmonary hypertension and produced significant improvements. For the most part, stem cell therapy is still experimental, but holds a great deal of promise as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension.