Parenteral conversation

Approaching the parenteral therapy conversation and increasing patient understanding

Research shows that differences in perspective between healthcare providers and their patients sometimes create barriers to communication. To understand and improve upon the healthcare provider-patient conversation regarding parenteral therapy, United Therapeutics partnered with leading PAH and behavioral science experts to develop the Remodulin Dialogue Initiative, a 4-step method:

patient agenda patient agenda
  1. Set a positive tone: Parenteral treatment can be a daunting proposition for patients—a little encouragement goes a long way.
  2. Ask and listen: Patients may be hesitant to ask questions, or may not know what questions to ask. Ask if they know the options available to them, listen to their concerns, and probe further to understand what treatment option might work for them.
  3. Make a confident recommendation and explain: Once you have chosen either Remodulin IV or SC, be sure to explain to your patient why this is your recommendation and what the treatment process for this option entails.
  4. Discuss patient commitment: Parenteral treatment is an important decision; make sure patients are ready to move forward with the treatment process.

By following these simple steps, you may increase patient understanding of your recommendation to start parenteral therapy, thus helping to ensure that PAH patients initiate the right medication at the right time.

Barriers to communication

Additionally, consider all of the following aspects of communication that may lead to misunderstanding between you and your patient during the treatment conversation:

patient barriers

Remodulin® (treprostinil) Injection

Indication

Remodulin is a prostacyclin vasodilator indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; WHO Group 1) to diminish symptoms associated with exercise. Studies establishing effectiveness included patients with NYHA Functional Class II-IV symptoms and etiologies of idiopathic or heritable PAH (58%), PAH associated with congenital systemic-to-pulmonary shunts (23%), or PAH associated with connective tissue diseases (19%).

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Remodulin® (treprostinil) Injection

Indication

Remodulin is a prostacyclin vasodilator indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; WHO Group 1) to diminish symptoms associated with exercise. Studies establishing effectiveness included patients with NYHA Functional Class II-IV symptoms and etiologies of idiopathic or heritable PAH (58%), PAH associated with congenital systemic-to-pulmonary shunts (23%), or PAH associated with connective tissue diseases (19%).

In patients with PAH requiring transition from epoprostenol, Remodulin is indicated to diminish the rate of clinical deterioration. Consider the risks and benefits of each drug prior to transition.

Important Safety Information for Remodulin

Warnings and Precautions

  • Chronic intravenous (IV) infusions of Remodulin delivered using an external infusion pump with an indwelling central venous catheter are associated with the risk of blood stream infections (BSI) and sepsis, which may be fatal. Therefore, continuous subcutaneous (SC) infusion is the preferred mode of administration.
  • Avoid abrupt withdrawal or sudden large reductions in dosage of Remodulin, which may result in worsening of PAH symptoms.
  • Titrate slowly in patients with hepatic or renal insufficiency, because such patients will likely be exposed to greater systemic concentrations relative to patients with normal hepatic or renal function.
  • Remodulin is a pulmonary and systemic vasodilator. In patients with low systemic arterial pressure, treatment with Remodulin may produce symptomatic hypotension.
  • Remodulin inhibits platelet aggregation and increases the risk of bleeding.

Adverse Reactions

  • In clinical studies of SC Remodulin infusion, the most common adverse events reported were infusion site pain and infusion site reaction (redness, swelling, and rash). These symptoms were sometimes severe and sometimes required treatment with narcotics or discontinuation of Remodulin. The IV infusion of Remodulin with an external infusion pump has been associated with a risk of blood stream infections, arm swelling, paresthesias, hematoma, and pain. Other common adverse events (≥3% more than placebo) seen with either SC or IV Remodulin were headache (27% vs. 23%), diarrhea (25% vs. 16%), nausea (22% vs. 18%), rash (14% vs. 11%) jaw pain (13% vs. 5%), vasodilatation (11% vs. 5%), edema (9% vs. 3%), and hypotension (4% vs. 2%).

Drug Interactions

  • Remodulin dosage adjustment may be necessary if inhibitors or inducers of CYP2C8 are added or withdrawn.

Specific Populations

  • In patients with mild or moderate hepatic insufficiency, decrease the initial dose of Remodulin to 0.625 ng/kg/min of ideal body weight, and monitor closely. Remodulin has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic insufficiency.
  • Safety and effectiveness of Remodulin in pediatric patients have not been established.
  • It is unknown if geriatric patients respond differently than younger patients. Caution should be used when selecting a dose for geriatric patients.
  • There are no adequate and well-controlled studies with Remodulin in pregnant women. It is not known whether treprostinil is excreted in human milk or if it affects the breastfed infant or milk production.

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