When should I call my doctor about pulmonary hypertension (PH)?

Call your doctor if you are having problems with:

  • Weight gain — 2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week
  • Swelling in your ankles, legs, or abdomen that has become worse
  • Shortness of breath that has become worse, especially if you wake up short of breath
  • Extreme fatigue or decreased tolerance for activity
  • A respiratory infection or a cough that has become worse
  • Fast heart rate (around 120 beats per minute)
  • Episodes of chest pain or discomfort with exertion that are not relieved with rest
  • Difficulty breathing with regular activities or at rest
  • Restlessness, confusion
  • Constant dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea or poor appetite

When should I go to the emergency department?

Go to the emergency department or call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing:

  • Hickman catheter complications with intravenous prostacyclins, such as infection, catheter displacement/leakage of solution or blood, IV pump malfunction
  • New chest pain or discomfort that is severe, unexpected, and is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, or weakness
  • Fast, sustained heart rate (more than 120 to 150 beats per minute) — especially if you are short of breath
  • Shortness of breath that is NOT relieved by rest
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis in your arms or legs
  • Sudden onset of severe headache
  • Fainting spells with loss of consciousness

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/21/2019.

References

  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is pulmonary hypertension? Accessed 11/8/2018.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pulmonary Hypertension Fact Sheet. Accessed 11/8/2018.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. Pulmonary Hypertension. Accessed 11/8/2018.
  • Ghofrani HA, D'armini AM, Grimminger F, et al. Riociguat for the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. N Engl J Med. 2013;369(4):319-29.
  • Sitbon O, Channick R, Chin KM, et al. Selexipag for the Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. N Engl J Med. 2015;373(26):2522-33.

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