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Why is this medication prescribed?

The injection of epoprostenol is used to treat specific types of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; high blood pressure in the blood vessels supplying the lungs, which results in shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and exhaustion). In patients with PAH, epoprostenol may increase exercise tolerance and lessen symptom progression. Vasodilators and platelet-aggregation inhibitors are a class of drugs that includes epoprostenol. It increases blood flow and relaxes blood vessels, especially those in the lungs, to produce its effects.

How should this medicine be used?

Epoprostenol is available as a powder in a vial that must be combined with a liquid before being administered intravenously (into a vein). Epoprostenol is typically administered as a slow-injected continuous intravenous infusion. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Epoprostenol injection should only be used as prescribed. Never inject more of it, take less of it, or take it more frequently than your doctor has instructed.

When you begin treatment and when your dose is modified, epoprostenol injection is often administered under medical supervision. Your doctor or nurse will demonstrate how to use the infusion pump to provide your medication before you administer epoprostenol injection for the first time at home. Read the written instructions that are included with the drug and the pump. Make sure you comprehend these instructions. If you have any concerns regarding how to administer an epoprostenol injection, consult your doctor.

Epoprostenol will likely be administered to you by your doctor at first at a low dose and then gradually increased. If you encounter specific adverse effects, your doctor may need to reduce the rate of your infusion or stop your therapy. During your epoprostenol injectable therapy, it’s critical that you communicate with your doctor about how you are feeling.

A dose of epoprostenol may lower blood pressure. When you receive the infusion for the first time and whenever your dosage is changed, your doctor will check your blood pressure. Tell your doctor right away if you suffer any of the following symptoms after taking the medication: flushing, dizziness, feeling faint, headache, or racing heart.

Although it does not treat PAH, epoprostenol may be able to manage its symptoms. Without consulting your doctor, never stop using epoprostenol injectable. Your symptoms can get worse if you abruptly stop using epoprostenol. Your dose will likely be gradually reduced by your doctor.

If for some reason your device does not function, make sure you have a backup infusion pump you can use straight away. Make sure to find out what to do if your infusion pump stops functioning properly from your healthcare practitioner.

Pharmacy stock of epoprostenol injectable is nonexistent. Epoprostenol is only available from a specialized pharmacy. If you have any concerns about receiving your medication, speak with your doctor.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a condition in which fluid accumulates in the lungs following a significant injury or sickness, is another condition for which epoprostenol is occasionally used. The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using epoprostenol injection,

  • If you have an allergy to epoprostenol, any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in epoprostenol injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal items, nutritional supplements, and any drugs you are now taking or intend to take. Mention any of the following: diuretics (‘water pills’); medications for high blood pressure; and platelet inhibitors like clopidogrel (Plavix), dipyridamole (Persantine, in Aggrenox), prasugrel (Effient), and ticlopidine (Ticlid). Your doctor might need to adjust your medication doses or keep a close eye out for any negative side effects.
  • In case you develop heart failure, let your doctor know. Your physician could advise against using epoprostenol injection.
  • Inform your physician if you currently or ever had liver issues, pulmonary edema (extra fluid in the lungs), or bleeding issues.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking epoprostenol injection.
  • Inform the surgeon or dentist that you are using epoprostenol injection if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
  • You should be aware that epoprostenol injection use over an extended period of time may result in the formation of blood clots in your body. To assist avoid blood clots while you are receiving treatment with epoprostenol injection, your doctor may advise you to take an anticoagulant drug. Immediately contact your physician if you experience any of the following signs: shortness of breath, chest pain, blood in the cough, or pain, edema, warmth, or redness in the lower leg.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

The best way to preserve your medication will be advised by your doctor. Just as prescribed, only store your prescription. Be sure to know the right way to store your medications.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Epoprostenol could have unwanted effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Dizziness
  • Jaw ache
  • Bone and muscle discomfort
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Flushing
  • Fear, trepidation, or agitation
  • Rash

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you encounter any of these symptoms, or seek emergency care:

  • Breathing issues, wheezing, breathlessness, or blood in the cough
  • Uncommon bruising or bleeding
  • Fever, chills, or other infection-related symptoms
  • Nausea or fainting

A dose of epoprostenol may result in additional negative effects. If you experience any strange issues while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you have a serious side event.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

The best way to preserve your medication will be advised by your doctor. Just as prescribed, only store your prescription. Be sure to know the right way to store your medications.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

To make sure that pets, kids, and other people cannot take leftover pharmaceuticals, they should be disposed of in a specific manner. You shouldn’t flush this medication down the toilet, though. The best option to get rid of your medication is instead through a medication take-back program. To find out about take-back initiatives in your neighborhood, speak with your pharmacist or get in touch with your city’s waste/recycling department. If you do not have access to a take-back program, you can find more information at the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Quick heartbeat
  • Nausea or fainting

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Flolan®
  • Veletri®
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