Pune hospital study shows oral sildenafil more effective than injection for pulmonary hypertension among kids
Pune: A study carried out by Bharati Hospital, Pune, and published in international science journal BMC, shows that oral drug sildenafil is as effective as IV sildenafil (injection) and has less side effects. The drug is mainly used to treat hypertension among newborns and costs 500 times less than its injection alternative. Doctors said that every five-six babies out of 1,000 reported deaths in the country are due to pulmonary hypertension.
In a newborn, high pressure in pulmonary vessels is a serious condition. As part of treatment, intravenous sildenafil is used which costs around ₹2,000 to ₹10,000 per day and the price of its oral alternative is around ₹20 per day.
Dr Pradeep Suryavanshi, corresponding author, professor and head, department of neonatology, Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College Pune said, “About 5-10 doses of IV sildenafil are required depending on the baby’s weight. We have found in our study that both the doses (injection and oral) are equally effective and there are more side effects for IV compared to oral, which includes hypotension.”
An open labelled randomised trial was conducted in a neonatal intensive care unit of urban tertiary hospital in western India between February 2019 and December 2020. About 40 infants born after 34 weeks of gestation with pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) more than 25 mm Hg measured by echocardiography, within 72 hours of birth, were enrolled for the study. Dr Suryavanshi said pulmonary hypertension in newborns contracts the blood flow from heart to lungs. The drugs help release the pressure and the side effect could be hypotension which reduces the pressure flow.
The causes of pulmonary hypertension include asphyxia, sepsis or lung pneumonia. BioMed Central (BMC) is a United Kingdom-based, for-profit scientific open access publisher that produces over 250 scientific journals online. Founded in 2000, it is has been owned by Springer Nature, since 2008.
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