HomeTraining and EducationParent Education

Parent Education

Why is my baby having trouble breathing?

Hypoxic respiratory failure
When some babies are born, they have trouble adapting to breathing on their own, which causes less oxygen to be absorbed and distributed through the body. This can result in a condition called hypoxic respiratory failure, also known as HRF, where the cells do not receive enough oxygen.1
What causes HRF?
HRF can be caused by many things, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS), pneumonia, and sepsis.1
What is INOMAX and how does it work?
INOMAX (nitric oxide) gas, for inhalation is an inhaled drug that is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating hypoxic respiratory failure (HRF) in newborns. It is a medicine given as a gas that helps increase oxygen levels in the blood when a newborn does not have enough oxygen.2
INOMAX is mixed with oxygen in a breathing device called a ventilator. The drug relaxes the blood vessels so blood flow improves. This allows more oxygen to be picked up by the bloodstream and improves oxygen levels in your newborn’s blood.2
Are there other benefits?
The use of INOMAX in newborns with hypoxic respiratory failure may also reduce the need for a procedure called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).2 ECMO requires surgery to remove blood from the baby’s body and flow it through a machine that adds oxygen back into the blood and then returns it to the body.
Are there risks and side effects?
As with any treatment, the use of INOMAX has some risks. These include, but are not limited to2:
  • Methemoglobinemia (reduced capacity of the blood to carry oxygen)
  • Increased levels of nitrogen dioxide (nitric oxide byproduct) leading to lung damage
  • Lowered blood oxygen after abrupt discontinuation
  • Pulmonary edema (wet lungs) in patients with existing heart failure
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
To find out more about hypoxic respiratory failure associated with pulmonary hypertension and treatment with INOMAX, download Helping My Baby Breathe. Available in English and Spanish.
You may also read our Full Prescribing Information.
If you have additional questions about INOMAX, please ask your healthcare professional.