Generic Name: epoprostenol (E-poe-PROS-te-nol)
Brand Name: Examples include Flolan and Veletri
Epoprostenol is used for:
Treating high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs (pulmonary arterial hypertension [PAH]) to improve exercise capacity.
Epoprostenol is a prostaglandin. It works by relaxing the blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the lungs.
Do NOT use epoprostenol if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in epoprostenol or to a similar medicine (eg, treprostinil)
- you have congestive heart failure caused by severe left-sided heart problems
- you have previously taken epoprostenol and developed fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using epoprostenol:
Some medical conditions may interact with epoprostenol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with epoprostenol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Diuretics (eg, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide), medicines for high blood pressure, or other vasodilators (eg, minoxidil) because the risk of low blood pressure may be increased
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) or antiplatelet medicines (eg, aspirin, clopidogrel) because the risk of bleeding may be increased by epoprostenol
- Digoxin because the risk of its side effects may be increased by epoprostenol
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if epoprostenol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use epoprostenol:
Use epoprostenol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Epoprostenol is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion. If you will be using epoprostenol at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use epoprostenol. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Epoprostenol must be mixed with a certain type of solution. Do not use any other type of solution to mix epoprostenol. After epoprostenol has been mixed, do not combine or mix it with any other solutions or medicines. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure which type of solution to mix epoprostenol with.
- Do not use epoprostenol if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- If you miss a dose of epoprostenol, contact your doctor right away.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use epoprostenol.
Important safety information:
- Epoprostenol may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use epoprostenol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Do not suddenly stop using epoprostenol. You may experience a recurrence of PAH symptoms (eg, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness). Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- If your symptoms do not get better or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
- Epoprostenol may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take epoprostenol before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Epoprostenol should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using epoprostenol while you are pregnant. It is not known if epoprostenol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use epoprostenol, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of epoprostenol:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Abnormal skin sensations (eg, burning, numbness, tingling); agitation; anxiety; back pain; diarrhea; dizziness; flu-like symptoms (eg, mild fever, mild chills, muscle aches); flushing; headache; loss of appetite; mild pain or redness at the injection site; muscle, bone, joint, or jaw pain; nausea; nervousness; stomach pain; sweating; tiredness; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody or dark urine; chest pain; dark, tarry, or bloody stools; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; light-headedness; new or worsening shortness of breath; pale skin; severe or persistent dizziness; skin ulcers; swelling of the hands, arms, ankles, or feet; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, persistent sore throat, cough); tremor; unusual or increased bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; fainting; flushing; headache; light-headedness; nausea; rapid heart rate; severe or persistent dizziness; vomiting.Proper storage of epoprostenol:
Epoprostenol is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using epoprostenol at home, store epoprostenol as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep epoprostenol out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about epoprostenol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Epoprostenol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take epoprostenol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about epoprostenol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to epoprostenol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using epoprostenol.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.