Frequently Asked Questions
What is Remodulin?
Remodulin is a prescription medication used in adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; WHO Group 1), to diminish symptoms associated with exercise. Remodulin is a prostacyclin-class therapy that may increase the blood flow in your arteries.
Remodulin can be taken 1 of 2 ways: as a continuous subcutaneous (SC) infusion or intravenous (IV) infusion. Both have benefits and risks. Speak with your doctor to see which might be right for you.
In people with PAH who need to switch from Flolan® (epoprostenol sodium), Remodulin is approved to slow the worsening of symptoms. The risks and benefits of each drug should be carefully considered before switching.
I read that Remodulin is a type of prostacyclin-class therapy. What does that mean?
Prostacyclin is a natural substance found in the body. It helps keep arteries in the lungs open and working properly. If you have PAH, your body may not produce enough prostacyclin. Remodulin is a prostacyclin analogue, meaning that it mimics some of the natural effects of prostacyclin that your body lacks. It helps open pulmonary arteries, making it easier for your heart to pump blood through your lungs.
What is continuous infusion?
Continuous infusion means the drug is delivered steadily to the patient through a small pump outside of the body and a catheter (tube). This may be done 1 of 2 ways
- By SC infusion—through a small catheter under the skin, usually in the abdominal area
Continuous IV infusions of Remodulin are delivered using a tube placed in a central vein within the chest. This type of delivery is associated with the risk of blood stream infections and sepsis, which may be fatal. Therefore, continuous SC infusion delivered just beneath the skin is the preferred type of delivery.
What is subcutaneous Remodulin?
Remodulin can be taken 1 of 2 ways, one of which is called subcutaneous or SC infusion. With SC infusion, a small catheter (very thin tube) is placed just under the skin, generally in the abdominal (stomach) area. A small, cell phone–sized pump worn outside the body delivers medicine continuously.
What is intravenous Remodulin?
With intravenous, or IV, infusion, medication is delivered directly into the blood stream through a flexible, surgically placed catheter (very thin tube). The catheter is usually placed into a vein in the chest. A small pump outside the body delivers medication through the catheter.
Your doctor will work with you to determine which administration option is right for you.
How does my doctor know if I should get subcutaneous Remodulin or intravenous Remodulin?
Remodulin can be delivered continuously as a subcutaneous or intravenous infusion. Continuous intravenous IV infusions of Remodulin are delivered using a tube placed in a central vein within the chest. This type of delivery is associated with the risk of bloodstream infections and sepsis, which may be fatal. Therefore, continuous SC infusion delivered just beneath the skin is the preferred type of delivery.
What is the Remodulin Premix Program?
For patients who have been prescribed IV Remodulin, Specialty Pharmacy Services and United Therapeutics offer the option to have a 7-day supply* of premixed Remodulin for IV use shipped directly to you. If you are on a consistent IV dose of Remodulin and have been premixing your own medicine for at least 3 months, ask your doctor if the Remodulin Premix Program may be right for you.
How long does a patient stay on Remodulin?
Remodulin does not cure pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), rather it helps to treat some of the symptoms of the disease. Therefore, therapy with infused Remodulin will be needed for a prolonged period of time, possibly years. It is important for patients to understand the commitment involved with infused drug delivery, including using and caring for the pump.
Remember that it is important to take Remodulin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you'd like to connect with someone on Remodulin, contact the PEER Network, which enables patients considering or taking Remodulin to speak to a patient or caregiver who has personal experience with Remodulin.
Does Remodulin require ice packs to keep it cool?
No. Remodulin does not require ice packs for administration or refrigeration for storage.
Guidelines for use and storage:
- Patients may administer Remodulin at temperatures up to 104°F regardless of concentration when prepared and used as directed
How often do I have to refill my pump (or cassette)?
Patients can go up to 3 days before refilling an SC infusion cassette and up to 2 days before changing an IV infusion cassette.
What pumps are used for Remodulin?
Remodulin is the only infused PAH medicine that offers a cell phone–sized pump option. This compact, lightweight pump (about the weight of a deck of cards) is available to both those using Remodulin IV and Remodulin SC.
There are some creative ways to hide your pump, if you would like to do so. It's important, however, that you do so in a manner that does not compromise the delivery of Remodulin. Make sure that your extension tubing is not being pinched and that everyday movements do not pull at your catheter and/or infusion site. For example, the pump can be concealed under clothes or placed in pockets or fanny packs. Remodulin IV offers 2 pump options. Consult your doctor to see which pump option would be best for you.
How do I get Remodulin?
What are the side effects of Remodulin?
In clinical studies of SC infusion of Remodulin, most people experienced infusion site pain and infusion site reaction (redness and swelling). These symptoms were often severe and sometimes required treatment with narcotics or discontinuation of Remodulin.
The IV infusion of Remodulin has been associated with the risk of blood stream infections, arm swelling, tingling sensations, bruising, and pain. Other common side effects seen with either Remodulin SC or IV were headache, diarrhea, jaw pain, nausea, vasodilatation (widening of the blood vessels), and edema (swelling).
Can I take Remodulin if I take other medications?
Patients being treated for PAH are likely to be taking a number of medications, and it is possible for some of these medications to interact with each other.
- If you are taking gemfibrozil (for high cholesterol), rifampin (for infection), or other drugs that affect liver enzymes, your doctor may need to adjust your Remodulin dosage
- Remodulin acts by lowering your blood pressure. In some cases your blood pressure may become too low and cause other side effects. If you also take other drugs that lower your blood pressure, the risk is increased. You should discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor, including those associated with low blood pressure
It is important to tell your doctor about all the drugs you take—even those you can buy without a prescription. If you are considering Remodulin or have been prescribed Remodulin, be sure to discuss all medications you take with your doctor. It's also important to consult your doctor if you start or stop taking any other medications while receiving Remodulin.
How can I pay for Remodulin?
Remodulin is covered for medically appropriate patients by most health plans. Additionally, United Therapeutics offers the Remodulin Copay Assistance Program to help eligible commercially insured patients pay for their copays. Learn more and find out how to enroll.
Other financial assistance options may be available if you do not qualify for this program. Contact ASSIST for more information. ASSIST is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM–7 PM ET. Your Access Solutions and Support Team, or ASSIST advisor, will help determine if you qualify for financial assistance.
I'm a new patient. Are there any resources for me?
Once you start Remodulin, you should receive the Remodulin Patient Starter Kit from your SPS provider. The Remodulin Patient Starter Kit includes resources to help you as you begin treatment with Remodulin, including a patient brochure and DVD; the Preparing and Administering Remodulin Flip Chart and DVD; a Prep Tray; and a journal for recording symptoms, side effects, upcoming appointments, and more.
Are there any resources available for existing patients on Remodulin?
The Remodulin Support Program is a series of communications offering information and resources to support you while you take Remodulin. Register for the Remodulin Support Program now.
Can I speak with a Remodulin patient or caregiver?
The PEER Network is a program that enables patients or caregivers to connect with a mentor, whether they are considering, taking, or caring for someone taking Remodulin. Through the PEER Network, they'll communicate one-on-one with a volunteer patient or caregiver who has personal experience with Remodulin and who can share insights, lifestyle tips, and emotional support.
It can be helpful to connect with people who intimately understand the frustrations, challenges, and everyday experiences of PAH. Connect with a Remodulin PEER Mentor today.