Remodulin (treprostinil sodium) also called UT-15 and Uniprost, is a form of prostacyclin, a very powerful vasodilator that helps most PPH patients that take it.
The drug is made by United Therapeutics, Inc and was approved by the FDA for use within the United States in May 2002. Remodulin is the only the second FDA approved treatment (after Flolan) for PPH patients.
Remodulin is injected through a catheter into the patient, usually near the gut. The drug is slowly absorbed after being injected into fat cells. It then works it way to the blood vessels of the lung, relaxing them enabling the patient to breath easier. Some researchers believe it may also slow the PPH scarring process.
Remodulin has several advantages over Flolan treatment.
1) Remodulin is stable at room temperature for about 3 months (although it should be kept refrigerated), while Flolan requires an ice pack.
2) Remodulin comes packaged and does not need to be mixed. Flolan, which comes as a freeze dried powder, needs to be mixed each day.
3) The Remodulin pump (made by Minimed) is a small pager size item, makes little noise and can be placed in a water proof pack. Flolan requires a larger pump packed with ice and makes a whirling noise.
4) Remodulin lasts longer in the body than Flolan does. Remodulin stays in the body for several hours after injection, making a sudden interruption in treatment less severe than Flolan. Flolan only lasts a few minutes and must be constantly infused.
5) Perhaps the biggest advantage is that Remodulin, avoids the dangerous infections that can arise from the indwelling Flolan catheter.
The downside is that the injections are extremely painful. Pain at the point of injection is the biggest complaint and nearly 8% of patients cannot tolerate the pain and must try another therapy. After 6 months the pain subsides in some people. Other side effects can include jaw pain, foot cramps and flushing.
The drug is very expensive, with the reported wholesale price at $65 per milligram, the treatment runs well into the tens of thousands of dollars. United Therapeutics' distributes Remodulin through Priority Healthcare Corporation and Gentiva Health Services.
We may be able to help you pay for Remodulin: Contact us on our Remodulin Page to find out more.
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