HF 6716

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Medicines - Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors: Sildenafil (Revatio®), Tadalafil (Acirca®)


Your medicine is called ________________ .

Sildenafil (Revatio®), and/or tadalafil (Adcirca®) are used to treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). They help your blood vessels in the body to open. This may help to lower the overall pressure in your blood vessels and decrease how hard your heart has to work. Both men and women with PAH can use this type of medicine as long as they have no other medical reasons that would prevent its use.  

If you have concerns or you want more information about your medicine and its use, check with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.  

Please keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children. Do not share your medicines with other people.  

Before You Use This Medicine

Tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you:

  • Are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter)

  • Take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicine (especially nitrates)

  • *Do not eat or drink anything that has grapefruit or Seville oranges while you take this medicine

  • Have any other medical problems, such as:

    • Heart disease

    • Chest pain 

    • Irregular heartbeats 

    • Stomach ulcers 

    • Bleeding disorders 

    • Eye disease

    • Sickle cell anemia 

    • Multiple myeloma 

    • Leukemia 

    • Liver disease 

    • High or low blood pressure

    • A stroke or heart attack in the past 3 to 6 months

How to Use 

Take these medicines by mouth and as told by your doctor. 

What You Need to Know

There are many causes for an increase in pulmonary artery pressure. Your doctor should do a full medical exam and history before you take this medicine. 

The combination of sildenafil and nitrate medicines (often used to treat chest pain) can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure. You should not take these together or in the same day unless you are under the direct supervision of a doctor.

If you have to seek medical help, make sure that you or someone else tells those caring for you that you take daily sildenafil or tadalafil for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Common Dosing

  1. Revatio® - 20 mg three times per day up to 80 mg three times per day

  2. Adcirca® – 40 mg once a day

These now come in generic form as well. Ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Call your doctor if you have:

  • An allergic reaction such as:

    • Itching or hives

    • Swelling in your face, hands, or mouth

    • Tingling in your mouth or throat

    • Chest tightness

    • Trouble breathing that was not present before therapy began

  • An erection lasting for more than 4 hours

  • Vision changes

  • Hearing changes

  • Chest pain

  • Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

  • Dizziness or fainting

  • Shortness of breath that you did not have before starting this medicine 

  • Numbness or weakness 

  • Sudden or severe headache 

  • Problems talking or walking 

It is possible to have side effects that do not need to be treated. These may go away over time, but if they persist or bother you, check with your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before you stop the medicine:

  • Headache

  • Flushing (warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms or upper chest)

  • Stuffy or runny nose, dry mouth

  • Heartburn

  • Diarrhea

  • Anxiety

If you have any other effects not listed, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse.  

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.