Right Heart Catheterization
While there are several tests that may lead a doctor to suspect pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), only a right heart catheterization (RHC) can definitively diagnose the disease. You will need this procedure and a diagnosis of PAH to start taking Tyvaso.
The RHC is performed in a medical setting and involves inserting a catheter through the blood vessels and into the heart. This procedure allows your doctor to measure heart function and blood pressure in the heart and pulmonary artery. It also helps evaluate the severity of PAH.
Make sure to check with your doctor to see if you require any special preparation for the procedure. Tell him or her about any medications you are taking before the procedure. Usually they will instruct you not to eat or drink for several hours before the procedure.
While every patient is different, and your experience may vary, the following is a general description of what you can expect the day of your RHC:
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- The procedure will be done in a medical facility, in a special procedure area
- You should not eat anything 8 hours before the test—confirm any other preparations with your doctor
- You will arrive at the hospital and go to an area to be prepared for the procedure
- You will change into a hospital gown
- You may be given a sedative to help you relax, but you will remain awake during the procedure
- The nurse will start an IV and do lab reports
- You will be given a local anesthetic (a medication to numb sensation) on your skin where the catheter will be inserted
- A thin catheter will be inserted into a vein in either your groin or neck. You may feel some discomfort or pressure at the site where the catheter is inserted
- The catheter will enter the heart where it will measure pressure in the pulmonary arteries and right chamber of the heart
- The catheter will then be removed
- You may then be admitted to the hospital to initiate treatment, otherwise you will wait in the recovery room for sedatives to wear off
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR TYVASO
- Tyvaso is breathed in (inhalable) through your mouth into your lungs. Tyvaso should only be used with the Tyvaso Inhalation System.
Before you take Tyvaso, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have a lung disease (such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)).
- Have a lung infection.
- Have liver or kidney problems, as your ability to tolerate Tyvaso may be affected.
- Have low blood pressure, as Tyvaso may cause symptomatic hypotension (low blood pressure).
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Tyvaso will harm your unborn baby. Women who can become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking Tyvaso.
- Are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. It is not known if Tyvaso passes into your breast milk.
It is important to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you may be taking, including
prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they may affect your use
of Tyvaso by increasing the risk of side effects or decreasing effectiveness. Especially tell your healthcare
provider if you take any of these medicines:
Medicines that decrease blood clotting such as warfarin or heparin, as Tyvaso reduces the ability of your
blood to clot (coagulate), and increases your risk for bleeding if you are taking blood thinners
Diuretics (water pills), antihypertensives (medications used to treat high blood pressure or heart
disease), or other vasodilators (medications that lower blood pressure), as Tyvaso may increase your
risk for hypotension (low blood pressure).
Gemfibrozil such as Lopid (for high cholesterol) or rifampin such as Rimactane, Rifadin, Rifamate or
Rifater (for infection), as your Tyvaso dosage may need adjustment.
The most common side effects of Tyvaso are coughing, headache, throat irritation and pain, nausea,
reddening of the face and neck (flushing), and fainting or loss of consciousness. These are not all the
possible side effects of Tyvaso. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects that bother you or do
not go away. Your healthcare provider may be able to help you manage the side effects.
Tyvaso is a prescription medicine used in adults to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) (WHO
Group 1), which is high blood pressure in the arteries of your lungs. Tyvaso can improve exercise ability in
people who also take bosentan (an endothelin receptor antagonist, (ERA)) or sildenafil (a
phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor). Your ability to do exercise decreases 4 hours after taking Tyvaso.
The effects of Tyvaso are unknown in patients under 18 years of age.
Please see the Full Prescribing Information, Patient Package Insert, and the Tyvaso Inhalation System Instructions for Use manual.
For additional information about Tyvaso, visit www.tyvaso.com or call 1-877-UNITHER (1-877-864- 8437).
Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/MedWatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
This information is provided for an informational purpose and is not intended as treatment advice. Patients should consult a healthcare professional for treatment advice.