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iloprost

Generic Name: iloprost inhalation (ill O prost)
Brand Name: Ventavis

Medically reviewed on December 4, 2017.

What is iloprost inhalation?

Iloprost inhalation is an synthetic prostacyclin. It works by opening blood vessels in the lungs.

Iloprost inhalation is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It decreases symptoms of this condition and improves your ability to exercise.

Iloprost inhalation may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about iloprost inhalation?

Before using iloprost inhalation, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, heart disease, low blood pressure, asthma or COPD, or a chest cold with cough.

Iloprost inhalation is usually given 6 to 9 times per day. Your doses should not be spaced less than 2 hours apart, even if you feel like the effects of the medicine have worn off in less than 2 hours.

Iloprost should be used only with the I-neb ADD System, or the Prodose AAD System. Do not use iloprost inhalation with any other type of nebulizers. You will be shown how to use your nebulizer at home.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking iloprost inhalation?

To make sure you can safely use iloprost, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • liver disease;

  • heart disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • low blood pressure;

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);

  • asthma; or

  • a chest cold or cough.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether iloprost will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether iloprost passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using iloprost.

How should I use iloprost inhalation?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Iloprost inhalation is usually given 6 to 9 times per day. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doses should not be spaced less than 2 hours apart, even if you feel like the effects of the medicine have worn off in less than 2 hours.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose or daily dosing schedule to make sure you get the best results.

Iloprost is an inhaled medicine that should be used only with the I-neb ADD System, or the Prodose AAD System. Do not use iloprost inhalation with any other type of nebulizers.

You will be shown how to use your nebulizer at home. Your nebulizer system comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use, and for cleaning and care. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Each single-use ampule (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after emptying the entire contents into your nebulizer.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while using iloprost inhalation?

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid getting this medication in your eyes or mouth, or on your skin. If this does happen, rinse with water.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Avoid allowing anyone else to breathe in this medication while you are inhaling your dose, especially children or pregnant women.

Iloprost inhalation side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • coughing up blood;

  • unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);

  • fever, chills, cough with yellow or green mucus;

  • chest tightness, stabbing chest pain, wheezing, feeling short of breath; or

  • anxiety, sweating, pale skin, severe shortness of breath, wheezing, gasping for breath, cough with foamy mucus, chest pain, fast or uneven heart rate.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);

  • increased cough;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;

  • headache, dizziness;

  • muscle cramps, back pain;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • tongue pain, jaw tightness or pain, trouble chewing or speaking; or

  • altered sense of taste.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Iloprost dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Pulmonary Hypertension:

Iloprost is intended for inhalation administration via either of two pulmonary drug delivery devices: the Prodose AAD System or the I-neb AAD System. It has not been studied with any other nebulizers. The first inhaled dose should be 2.5 mcg. If this dose is well tolerated, dosing should be increased to 5 mcg and maintained at that dose. Iloprost should be taken 6 to 9 times per day (no more than every 2 hours) during walking hours, according to individual need and tolerability. The maximum daily dose evaluated in clinical studies was 45 mcg (5 mcg 9 times per day).

The 20 mcg/mL concentration is intended for patients who are maintained at the 5 mcg dose and who have repeatedly experienced extended treatment times which could result in incomplete dosing. Transitioning patients to the 20 mcg/mL concentration using the I-neb AAD System will decrease treatment times to help maintain patient compliance.

What other drugs will affect iloprost inhalation?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • blood pressure medication;

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or

  • medication used to prevent blood clots, such as abciximab (ReoPro), anagrelide (Agrylin), cilostazol (Pletal), clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine, Aggrenox), eptifibatide (Integrilin), prasugrel (Effient), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), ticlopidine (Ticlid), or tirofiban (Aggrastat).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with iloprost inhalation. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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