The development of parenteral prostacyclin therapy marked a dramatic breakthrough in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Intravenous (IV) epoprostenol was the first PAH specific therapy and to date, remains the only treatment to demonstrate a mortality benefit. Because of the inherent complexities and risks of treating patients with continuous infusion IV therapy, there is great interest in the development of an oral prostacyclin analog that could mimic the benefits of IV therapy. Herein, we highlight the development of oral prostacyclin therapy, focusing on oral treprostinil, the only US Food and Drug Administration approved oral prostacyclin. Recent Phase III clinical trials have shown the drug to improve exercise tolerance in treatment-naïve PAH patients, but not patients on background oral therapy. Oral treprostinil appears to be most efficacious at higher doses, but its side effect profile and complexities with dosing complicate its use. While oral treprostinil’s current therapeutic role in PAH remains unclear, ongoing studies of this class of medication should help clarify their role in the treatment of PAH.
Pugliese, S. C., & Bull, T. M. (2016, January 25). Clinical use of extended-release oral treprostinil in the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Integrated Blood Pressure Control. Dove Medical Press Ltd. https://doi.org/10.2147/IBPC.S68230