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Clin Pharmacokinet. 2008;47(9):611-8.

A clinical comparison of slow- and rapid-escalation treprostinil dosing regimens in patients with pulmonary hypertension.

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Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Cardiology, Vienna General Hospital, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



Subcutaneous treprostinil is an effective treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). A previous pivotal study indicated that infusion site pain was dose dependent and resulted in suboptimal dose escalation by week 12 and a reduced clinical benefit. We hypothesized that a rapid-escalation treprostinil dosing regimen would be as safe and effective as a slow-escalation dosing regimen.


Twenty-three patients received treprostinil to treat PH of various aetiologies and were randomized into two groups. Group 1 (11 patients: seven females and four males, aged 51.7 +/- 15.4 years) received a slow-escalation regimen, and group 2 (12 patients: ten females and two males, aged 51.3 +/- 16.7 years) were exposed to rapid dose escalation. The dose escalation, exercise capacity (a 6-minute walk test [6WT] or a shuttle walk test [SWT]), WHO classification, blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, baseline haemodynamics and adverse events were followed up for 12 weeks.


Baseline haemodynamics did not differ significantly between the treatment groups. At follow-up, the treprostinil dose reached 12.9 +/- 2.7 ng/kg/min in group 1 and 20.3 +/- 5.8 ng/kg/min in group 2 (p < 0.01). The patients' WHO classification improved significantly (p < 0.05), with no difference between the groups. Improvement of exercise capacity was greater in group 2 (6WT and SWT, p < 0.05). Infusion site pain occurred in 81.8% of group 1 and in 58.3% of group 2 (p < 0.05) patients. Other adverse events and changes in the heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure were similar in both groups.


The rapid-dosing regimen is as safe and effective as the slow-escalation regimen and may be associated with even better clinical outcomes. Infusion site pain is not dose dependent.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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