Latest research has shown that treatment with the oral drug bosentan (Tracleer) has led to significant improvements in an often fatal disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension ( PAH) .
PAH is usually linked with human immunodeficiency virus infection. HIV infection is believed to cause the overproduction of endothelin, which increases the chance for small pulmonary arteries to become obstructed. This chronic obstruction leads to PAH, a condition that in most cases is the direct cause of death. Bosentan mediates the effects of excess endothelin production.
For the study 16 HIV-positive patients suffering from PAH who were treated with bosetan for 16 weeks were evaluated. Results showed there was significant improvement in survival indicators of the disease, such as six-minute walk distance and cardiac index, following bosetan treatment. However all patients suffered at least one adverse side effect of the drug including peripheral edema, headache, abnormal liver function, muscle cramps, fluid retention, and vomiting.