Iloprost

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|Iloprost

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ILOPROST (Inhalation)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Ventavis

Not commercially available in Canada.

Category

  • Antihypertensive (pulmonary)

Description

Iloprost (EYE-loe-prost) is used to treat the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension. This is the high blood pressure that occurs in the main artery that carries blood from the right side of the heart (the ventricle) to the lungs. When the smaller blood vessels in the lungs become more resistant to blood flow, the right ventricle must work harder to pump enough blood through the lungs. Iloprost works by blocking a hormone (a naturally occurring substance), that is found in the blood and lungs in large quantities of the people with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Iloprost helps by increasing the supply of blood to the lungs and reducing the workload of the heart.

This medicine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage forms:

  • Inhalation
  • Inhalation solution (U.S.)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For iloprost, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to iloprost. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—Iloprost has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that iloprost causes unwanted effects. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding—It is not known whether iloprost passes into breast milk. However, iloprost is not recommended during breast-feeding, because it may cause unwanted effects in nursing babies.

Children—Studies on this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of iloprost in children with use in other age groups.

Older adults—Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of iloprost in the elderly with use in other age groups, elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of iloprost. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Asthma or
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or
  • Lung infection—Caution, iloprost has not been studied in patients these conditions
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—May increase the amount of iloprost in your blood
  • Low blood pressure—Iloprost therapy should not be started in patients with low blood pressure

Proper Use of This Medicine

The importance of proper administration techniques including dosing frequency, ampule dispensing, Prodose AAD System operation, and equipment cleaning.

The importance of proper dosing intervals of not less than 2 hours apart

The importance of a back-up Prodose AAD System, to avoid potential interruptions in drug delivery due to equipment malfunctions.

Discarding any remaining solution in the medication chamber after each inhalation session

Dosing—The dose of iloprost will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor"s orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of iloprost. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For inhalation dosage form (solutions):
    • For pulmonary arterial hypertension:
      • Adults—2.5 micrograms (mcg) for the first dose; if well tolerated, dosing may be increased to 5 mcg and maintained at that dose, taken 6 to 9 times per day (no more that every 2 hours) during waking hours.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Do not store in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Regular visits: If you will be taking this medicine for a long time, it is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits .

Patients may have a drop in blood pressure, and may become dizzy or faint. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Frequency unknown

Chest pain; decreased urine output; difficult or labored breathing; dilated neck veins; extreme fatigue; fainting; fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse; irregular breathing; irregular heartbeat; kidney failure; palpitations; shortness of breath; swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs; tightness in chest; troubled breathing; tingling of hands or feet; unusual weight gain or loss; weight gain; wheezing

Symptoms of overdose

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur

Blurred vision; confusion; diarrhea; dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly; feeling of warmth; headache; nausea; redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest; sweating; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome.

More common

Abnormal lab test; back pain; blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly; chills; cough increased; coughing or spitting up blood; diarrhea; difficulty opening the mouth; feeling of warmth; fever; general feeling of discomfort or illness; headache; joint pain; lockjaw; loss of appetite; muscle aches and pains; muscle cramps; muscle spasms, especially of neck and back; nausea; redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest; runny nose; shivering; sore throat; sweating; trouble sleeping; sleeplessness; unable to sleep; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting

Less common

Sneezing; tongue pain; troubled breathing

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Developed: 06/09/2005

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Typical mistypes for Iloprost
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