Transition of Intravenous Treprostinil to Oral Therapy in a Patient with Functional Class IV Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension

Kristina M. Thurber, Breann M. Williams, Ruth E. Bates, Robert Frantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) occurs when pulmonary emboli fail to resolve with anticoagulation. For patients with inoperable or residual CTEPH, riociguat is currently the only therapy approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. However, some patients with CTEPH may require therapy beyond riociguat, such as intravenous prostacyclins, which can present significant administration challenges in patients with complex comorbid conditions. We describe a 42-year-old man with T12 paraplegia complicated by CTEPH (functional class IV with substantial right ventricular dysfunction) and severe pressure ulcers. In order to facilitate goals of care (hospital discharge to a skilled nursing facility where parenteral prostanoids could not be administered), he underwent rapid transition from intravenous treprostinil to oral selexipag in the form of a cross-taper over 6 days. The patient required readmission due to worsening symptoms and was transitioned back to intravenous treprostinil; he tolerated conversion to oral treprostinil for approximately 4 months, but it was subsequently discontinued due to nausea and modified goals of care. The patient underwent transition to hospice care 3 months later and eventually died from clinical deterioration. To our knowledge, this is the first report to describe transition from intravenous treprostinil to selexipag as well as conversion from parenteral treprostinil to oral treprostinil in a patient with CTEPH and illustrates the approaches to and potential issues with prostanoid transitions. Additional observations are necessary to better understand the relative roles of selexipag and oral treprostinil regarding comparative efficacy and tolerability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPharmacotherapy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

Keywords

  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Selexipag
  • Treprostinil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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