Pulmonary Hypertension | Treatment


How is pulmonary hypertension treated?

If the cause of your pulmonary hypertension is known, treating the cause may improve your condition. Lifestyle changes can also help you feel better. If you smoke, stop. Maintain a healthy weight, eat a nutritious diet and reduce the amount of stress in your life. If you are a loud snorer or have other signs of sleep apnea, ask your doctor about a sleep study to diagnose this condition. Ask your doctor to recommend ways that you can stay as active as possible.

Breathing oxygen from a tank can help relieve shortness of breath. Medicines that can be used to treat pulmonary hypertension include the following:

  • Endothelin receptor antagonists
  • Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors
  • Prostacyclins
  • Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medicine)
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Digoxin

Your doctor will decide what type of medicine is right for you.

In some cases, people who have pulmonary hypertension need surgical treatment. Surgical treatment options include a lung transplant and a type of heart surgery called atrial septostomy (say: “ay-tree-all sep-toss-teh-mee”).


Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension by TD Nauser, MD; SW Stites, MD (American Family Physician May 01, 2001, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010501/1789.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 05/01