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Trade namesRemodulin, Orenitram, Tyvaso, Trepulmix, others
  • (1R,2R,3aS,9aS)-[[2,3,3a,4,9,9a-Hexahydro-2-hydroxy-1-[(3S)-3-hydroxyoctyl]-1H-benz[f]inden-5-yl]oxy]acetic acid
Clinical data
Drug classProstacyclin analog[1]
Main usesPulmonary arterial hypertension[1]
Side effectsHeadache, nausea, flushing, pain[1]
  • AU: B3
  • US: C (tablets); B (inhalation); N (parenteral)
Routes of
Subcutaneous, intravenous, inhalation, by mouth
External links
License data
Legal status
  • US: ℞-only
  • EU: Rx-only
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
MetabolismSubstantially metabolized by the liver
Elimination half-life4 hours
ExcretionUrine (79% of administered dose is excreted as 4% unchanged drug and 64% as identified metabolites); feces (13%)
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass390.520 g·mol−1
  • InChI=1S/C23H34O5/c1-2-3-4-7-17(24)9-10-18-19-11-15-6-5-8-22(28-14-23(26)27)20(15)12-16(19)13-21(18)25/h5-6,8,16-19,21,24-25H,2-4,7,9-14H2,1H3,(H,26,27)/t16-,17-,18+,19-,21+/m0/s1 checkY

Treprostinil, sold under the brand names Remodulin among others, is a medication used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.[1] It is taken by mouth, injected, or inhaled.[1]

Common side effects include headache, nausea, flushing, and pain.[1] Other side effects may include infection, bleeding, and low blood pressure.[1] Safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding is unclear.[2] It is a vasodilator and synthetic analog of prostacyclin.[1]

Treprostinil was approved for medical use in the United States in 2002.[1] In the United States it can only be acquired through a specialty pharmacy.[1] In Europe it was granted orphan designation in 2004.[3] In Canada the injectable formulation cost about 52,000 to 173,000 per year as of 2015.[4] A generic version was approved in 2017.[5]

Medical uses

Treprostinil is used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients with NYHA Class II-IV symptoms to diminish symptoms associated with exercise.[6] It may be administered as a continuous subcutaneous infusion or continuous intravenous infusion; however, because of the risks associated with chronic indwelling central venous catheters, including serious blood stream infections, continuous intravenous infusion should be reserved for patients who are intolerant of the subcutaneous route, or in whom these risks are considered warranted. This medication is also available in inhaled and tablet forms.

In patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension requiring transition from epoprostenol sodium (Flolan), treprostinil is indicated to diminish the rate of clinical deterioration. The risks and benefits of each drug should be carefully considered prior to transition.

Treprostinil therapy may be effective in treating Degos disease.[7]



Treprostinil may be administered as a continuous subcutaneous infusion or continuous intravenous infusion via a small infusion pump that a person wear at all times. Treprostinil can be given subcutaneously by continuous infusion using an infusion set connected to an infusion pump, but also may be given intravenously via a central venous catheter if the person is unable to tolerate subcutaneous administration because of severe site pain or reaction.

Remodulin is supplied in 20 mL vials, containing treprostinil in concentrations of 1 mg/mL, 2.5 mg/mL, 5 mg/mL, and 10 mg/mL. Treprostinil can be administered subcutaneously as supplied. It must be diluted for intravenous infusion with either sterile water or a 0.9% sodium chloride solution prior to administration.

The infusion rate is normally initiated at 1.25 ng/kg/min, but may be reduced to 0.625 ng/kg/min if the normal rate provokes unwanted side effects. The infusion rate should be increased no more than 1.25 ng/kg/min per week for the first month, then 2.5 ng/kg/min per week for the remaining duration of infusion. The infusion rate should ideally be high enough to improve symptoms of pulmonary hypertension, while minimizing unpleasant side effects (headache, nausea, emesis, restlessness, anxiety and infusion site pain or reaction). Dosage adjustments may be undertaken more often if tolerated. There is little experience with doses >40 ng/kg/min. Abrupt cessation of infusion should be avoided. Restarting a Remodulin infusion within a few hours after an interruption can be done using the same dose rate. Interruptions for longer periods may require the dose of Remodulin to be re-titrated.

In patients with mild or moderate liver dysfunction, the initial dose of Remodulin should be decreased to 0.625 ng/kg/min ideal body weight and should be increased cautiously. Remodulin has not been studied in patients with severe liver dysfunction.

No studies have been performed in patients with kidney dysfunction. No specific advice about dosing in patients with renal impairment can be given.


The inhaled form of treprostinil was approved by the FDA in July 2009 and is marketed as the trade name Tyvaso. The inhaled form is used with a proprietary inhalation device supplied by the manufacturer. Patients use one ampule with inhalation solution a day, four times a day at least four hours apart.[8]

By mouth

The oral form of treprostinil was approved by the FDA in December 2013 and is marketed as the trade name Orenitram.[9] Orenitram is taken 2 or 3 times daily with food.[10]

Side effects

  • Since treprostinil is a vasodilator, its antihypertensive effect may be compounded by other medications that affect the blood pressure, including calcium channel blockers, diuretics, and other vasodilating agents.[11]
  • Because of treprostinil's inhibiting effect on platelet aggregation, there is an increased risk of bleeding, especially among patients who are also taking anticoagulants.[11]
  • It is not known whether treprostinil is excreted in breast milk. Caution is advised when administering this medication to nursing women.
  • Caution is advised when administering treprostinil to patients who have impaired kidney or liver function.[11]

Common side effects depending on route of administration:


  • Abrupt interruption of the treprostinil infusion can lead to worsening of pulmonary hypertension symptoms, and should be avoided.


Activity of TPIS in lungs promotes long-acting pulmonary vasodilation[12]

Mechanism of action

The major effects of treprostinil are vasodilation of arteries in the lungs and body. Treprostinil also inhibits platelet aggregation and smooth muscle proliferation.


The pharmacokinetics of continuous subcutaneous treprostinil are linear over the dose range of 1.25 to 125 ng/kg/min (corresponding to plasma concentrations of about 15 pg/mL to 18,250 pg/m) and can be described by a two-compartment model. Dose proportionality at infusion rates greater than 125 ng/kg/min has not been studied.

Treprostinil is substantially metabolized by the liver, but the involved enzymes are not currently known. Five metabolites (HU1 through HU5) have been described thus far. Based on the results of in vitro human hepatic cytochrome P450 studies, Remodulin does not inhibit CYP-1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, or 3A. Whether Remodulin induces these enzymes has not been studied.


During the 1960s a U.K. research team, headed by Professor John Vane began to explore the role of prostaglandins in anaphylaxis and respiratory diseases. Working with a team from the Royal College of Surgeons, Vane discovered that aspirin and other oral anti-inflammatory drugs worked by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins. This finding opened the door to a broader understanding of the role of prostaglandins in the body.

Vane and a team from the Wellcome Foundation had identified a lipid mediator they called “PG-X,” which inhibited platelet aggregation. PG-X, which later would become known as prostacyclin, was 30 times more potent than any other known anti-aggregatory agent.[citation needed]

By 1976, Vane and fellow researcher Salvador Moncada published the first paper on prostacyclin, in the scientific journal Nature.[13] The collaboration produced a synthetic molecule which was given the name epoprostenol. But like native prostacyclin, the structure of the epoprostenol molecule proved to be unstable in solution, prone to rapid degradation.[citation needed] This presented a challenge for both in vitro experiments and clinical applications. To overcome this challenge, the research team that discovered prostacyclin was determined to continue the research in an attempt to build upon the success they had seen with the prototype molecule. The research team synthesized nearly 1,000 analogs.[citation needed]

Remodulin was approved for use in the United States in May 2002,[14] and again in July 2018.[15] Tyvaso, the inhaled form of treprostinil, was approved for use in the United States in July 2009.[16] Orenitram was approved in December 2013.[17]

Trepulmix was approved for use in the European Union in April 2020.[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Treprostinil Monograph for Professionals". Archived from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  2. "Treprostinil Use During Pregnancy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  3. "EU/3/04/197: Orphan designation for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension". Archived from the original on 9 August 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  4. Information, National Center for Biotechnology; Pike, U. S. National Library of Medicine 8600 Rockville; MD, Bethesda (July 2015). "Table 1, Cost Comparison Table for Drugs Used for the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension". Archived from the original on 9 October 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  5. "Generic Remodulin Availability". Archived from the original on 25 September 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  6. "Remodulin". United Therapeutics Corporation. Archived from the original on 20 May 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  7. Shapiro LS, Toledo-Garcia AE, Farrell JF (April 2013). "Effective treatment of malignant atrophic papulosis (Köhlmeier-Degos disease) with treprostinil--early experience". Orphanet J Rare Dis. 8: 52. doi:10.1186/1750-1172-8-52. PMC 3636001. PMID 23557362.
  8. "Tyvaso" (PDF). Patient Package Insert. United Therapeutics Corp. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  9. "Rare Disease and Orphan Drug Designated Approvals 2013" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  10. "Orenitram" (PDF). Full Prescribing Information. United Therapeutics Corp. 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 April 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Kumar P, Thudium E, Laliberte K, Zaccardelli D, Nelsen A (December 2016). "A Comprehensive Review of Treprostinil Pharmacokinetics via Four Routes of Administration". Clin Pharmacokinet. 55 (12): 1495–1505. doi:10.1007/s40262-016-0409-0. PMC 5107196. PMID 27286723.
  12. Chapman, Richard W.; Corboz, Michel R.; Malinin, Vladimir S.; Plaunt, Adam J.; Konicek, Donna M.; Li, Zhili; Perkins, Walter R. (1 December 2020). "An overview of the biology of a long-acting inhaled treprostinil prodrug". Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 65: 102002. doi:10.1016/j.pupt.2021.102002. ISSN 1094-5539.
  13. Moncada, S.; Gryglewski, R.; Bunting, S.; Vane, J. R. (21 October 1976). "An enzyme isolated from arteries transforms prostaglandin endoperoxides to an unstable substance that inhibits platelet aggregation". Nature. 263 (5579): 663–665. Bibcode:1976Natur.263..663M. doi:10.1038/263663a0. PMID 802670. S2CID 4279030.
  14. "Drug Approval Package: Remodulin (Treprostinil Sodium) NDA #021272". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 24 December 1999. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  15. "Drug Approval Package: Remodulin". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 7 February 2019. Archived from the original on 29 March 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  16. "Drug Approval Package: Tyvaso (Treprostinil) Inhalation Solution NDA #022387". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 24 December 1999. Archived from the original on 31 March 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  17. "Drug Approval Package: Orenitram (Treprostinil) Extended Release Tablets NDA #203496". U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 24 December 1999. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  18. "Trepulmix EPAR". European Medicines Agency (EMA). 29 January 2020. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.

Further reading

External links

External sites: