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Trade namesTracleer, Stayveer
  • 4-tert-butyl-N-[6-(2-hydroxyethoxy)-5-(2-methoxyphenoxy)-2-(pyrimidin-2-yl)pyrimidin-4-yl]benzene-1-sulfonamide
Clinical data
Drug classEndothelin receptor antagonist[1]
Main usesPulmonary artery hypertension (PAH), systemic sclerosis[1][2]
Side effectsRespiratory tract infection, low red blood cells, fever[1]
  • AU: X (High risk)
  • US: X (Contraindicated)
  • X
Routes of
By mouth
External links
License data
Legal status
  • UK: POM (Prescription only) [4]
  • US: ℞-only [1]
  • EU: Rx-only [3]
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
Protein binding>98%
Elimination half-life5 hours
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass551.62 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
  • CC(C)(C)c1ccc(cc1)S(=O)(=O)Nc2c(c(nc(n2)c3ncccn3)OCCO)Oc4ccccc4OC
  • InChI=1S/C27H29N5O6S/c1-27(2,3)18-10-12-19(13-11-18)39(34,35)32-23-22(38-21-9-6-5-8-20(21)36-4)26(37-17-16-33)31-25(30-23)24-28-14-7-15-29-24/h5-15,33H,16-17H2,1-4H3,(H,30,31,32) checkY

Bosentan, sold under the brand name Tracleer among others, is a medication used to treat pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH) and systemic sclerosis.[1][2] It is taken by mouth.[2] It may be used in those over the age of 2.[1]

Common side effects include respiratory tract infection, low red blood cells, and fever.[1] Other side effects may include swelling, liver probelms, and pulmonary veno-occlusive disease.[1] Use in pregnancy may harm the baby.[1] It is a endothelin receptor antagonist.[1]

Bosentan was approved for medical use in the United States in 2001 and Europe in 2022.[1][3] It is avaliable as a generic medication.[2] In the United Kingdom 4 weeks of treatment costs about £110 as of 2021.[2] This amount in the United States is about 1,100 USD.[5]

Medical uses

Bosentan is used to treat people with moderate pulmonary arterial hypertension and to reduce the number of digital ulcers — open wounds on especially on fingertips and less commonly the knuckles — in people with systemic scleroderma.[1][4][6]

Bosentan causes harm to fetuses and pregnant women must not take it, and women must not become pregnant while taking it (Pregnancy Category X). It may render hormonal contraceptives ineffective so other forms of birth control must be used.[1][4]

In the US it is only available from doctors who follow an FDA-mandated risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) with respect to risks to fetuses and its risks of causing liver damage. The doctor must document a negative pregnancy test for women before prescribing the drug, counsel about contraception, and give regular pregnancy tests.[7] Because there is a high risk that bosentan causes liver damage, the REMS plan also requires pre-testing for elevated transaminases and regular testing while the drug is being taken.[7] Bosentan is also contraindicated in patients taking glyburide due to an increased risk of increased liver enzymes and liver damage when these two agents are taken together.[1]


Bosentan is available as film-coated tablets (62.5 mg or 125 mg) or as dispersable tablets for oral suspension (32 mg).[1] It is started at 62.5 mg twice per day for 4 weeks and than increased to 125 mg twice per day.[2]

Side effects

In addition to the risk of causing birth defects and of causing liver damage, bosentan has a high risk of causing edema, pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, decreasing sperm counts, and decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit.[1][4]

Very common adverse effects (occurring in more than 10% of people) include headache, elevated transaminases, and edema. Common adverse effects (between 1% and 10% of people) include anemia, reduced hemoglobin, hypersensitivity reactions, skin inflammation, itchiness, rashes, red skin, flushing, fainting, heart palpitations, low blood pressure, nasal congestion, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, and diarrhea.[1][4]

Mechanism of action

Bosentan is a competitive antagonist of endothelin-1 at the endothelin-A (ET-A) and endothelin-B (ET-B) receptors. Under normal conditions, endothelin-1 binding of ET-A receptors causes constriction of the pulmonary blood vessels.[8] Conversely, binding of endothelin-1 to ET-B receptors has been associated with both vasodilation and vasoconstriction of vascular smooth muscle, depending on the ET-B subtype (ET-B1 or ET-B2) and tissue.[9] Bosentan blocks both ET-A and ET-B receptors, but is thought to exert a greater effect on ET-A receptors, causing a total decrease in pulmonary vascular resistance.[1]


Absolute bioavailability of bosentan is about 50% in healthy subjects.[10] Peak plasma concentration of bosentan with the dispersable tablets for oral suspension is 14% less on average compared to peak concentration of the oral tablets.[1]

Bosentan is a substrate of CYP3A4 and CYP2C9. CYP2C19 may also play a role in its metabolism.[1] It is also a substrate of the hepatic uptake transporter organic anion-transporting polypeptides (OATPs) OATP1B1, OATP1B3, and OATP2B1.[11][12]

Elimination of bosentan is mostly hepatic, with minimal contribution from renal and fecal excretion.[13]

Use of bosentan with cyclosporine is contraindicated because cyclosporine A has been shown to markedly increase serum concentration of bosentan.[1]


Bosentan was studied in heart failure in a trial called REACH-1 that was terminated early in 1997, due to toxicity at the dose that was being studied; as of 2001, the results of that trial had not been published.[14]

It was approved for pulmonary artery hypertension in the US in November 2001,[1][15] and in the European Union in May 2002.[4][3]

Society and culture


By 2013, worldwide sales of bosentan were $1.57 billion. The patents on bosentan started expiring in 2015.[16]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 "Tracleer- bosentan tablet, film coated Tracleer- bosentan tablet, soluble". DailyMed. 15 June 2020. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 BNF 81: March-September 2021. BMJ Group and the Pharmaceutical Press. 2021. p. 198. ISBN 978-0857114105.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Tracleer EPAR". European Medicines Agency (EMA). Archived from the original on 5 November 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Tracleer (bosentan) 62.5 mg and 125mg film-coated tablets". UK Electronic Medicines Compendium. May 2017. Archived from the original on 27 July 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  5. "Bosentan Prices, Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs". Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  6. Abraham S, Steen V (2015). "Optimal management of digital ulcers in systemic sclerosis". Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 11: 939–47. doi:10.2147/TCRM.S82561. PMC 4474386. PMID 26109864.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Approved Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS)". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Archived from the original on 27 July 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  8. Givertz MM, Colucci WS, LeJemtel TH, Gottlieb SS, Hare JM, Slawsky MT, et al. (June 2000). "Acute endothelin A receptor blockade causes selective pulmonary vasodilation in patients with chronic heart failure". Circulation. 101 (25): 2922–7. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.101.25.2922. PMID 10869264.
  9. Hynynen MM, Khalil RA (January 2006). "The vascular endothelin system in hypertension--recent patents and discoveries". Recent Patents on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery. 1 (1): 95–108. doi:10.2174/157489006775244263. PMC 1351106. PMID 17200683.
  10. Weber C, Schmitt R, Birnboeck H, Hopfgartner G, van Marle SP, Peeters PA, et al. (August 1996). "Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the endothelin-receptor antagonist bosentan in healthy human subjects". Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 60 (2): 124–37. doi:10.1016/S0009-9236(96)90127-7. PMID 8823230. S2CID 3039181.
  11. Jones HM, Barton HA, Lai Y, Bi YA, Kimoto E, Kempshall S, et al. (May 2012). "Mechanistic pharmacokinetic modeling for the prediction of transporter-mediated disposition in humans from sandwich culture human hepatocyte data". Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 40 (5): 1007–17. doi:10.1124/dmd.111.042994. PMID 22344703. S2CID 15463540.
  12. Treiber A, Schneiter R, Häusler S, Stieger B (August 2007). "Bosentan is a substrate of human OATP1B1 and OATP1B3: inhibition of hepatic uptake as the common mechanism of its interactions with cyclosporin A, rifampicin, and sildenafil". Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 35 (8): 1400–7. doi:10.1124/dmd.106.013615. PMID 17496208. S2CID 2625368.
  13. Weber C, Gasser R, Hopfgartner G (July 1999). "Absorption, excretion, and metabolism of the endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan in healthy male subjects". Drug Metabolism and Disposition. 27 (7): 810–5. PMID 10383925.
  14. van Veldhuisen DJ, Poole-Wilson PA (August 2001). "The underreporting of results and possible mechanisms of 'negative' drug trials in patients with chronic heart failure". International Journal of Cardiology. 80 (1): 19–27. doi:10.1016/S0167-5273(01)00447-8. PMID 11532543.
  15. "Drug Approval Package: Tracleer (Bosentan) NDA #21-290". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 20 November 2001. Archived from the original on 6 May 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  16. Helfand, Carly (2015). "The top 10 patent losses of 2015: Tracleer". FiercePharma. Archived from the original on 2020-12-04. Retrieved 2021-10-25.

External links

  • "Bosentan". Drug Information Portal. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Archived from the original on 2021-09-27. Retrieved 2021-10-25.