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Opsumit Approved for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
New drug relaxes lung arteries

By Scott Roberts

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Opsumit (macitentan) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a debilitating disease characterized by high blood pressure in the lung arteries.

Pulmonary hypertension causes the heart to overwork, which can limit exercise, cause shortness of breath and create the need for a lung transplant. Opsumit relaxes the lung arteries, decreasing blood pressure in the vessels, the FDA said in a news release.

The drug's safety and effectiveness were evaluated in clinical studies involving 742 people. The medication was found effective in "delaying disease progression," the agency said.

The most common side effects included anemia, cold-like symptoms, bronchitis, headache, flu and urinary tract infection.

Opsumit's label includes a boxed warning that the medication could harm a developing fetus, so the drug should not be taken by pregnant women, the FDA said.

The drug is marketed by Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, based in San Francisco.

More information

To learn more about PAH, visit the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=681422

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Hypertension
Lung
Blood
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Heart
Infection
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Transplants
Adult
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
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