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Brand names: Flolan and Veletri
Form of dosage: intravenous powder for injection (0.5 mg, 1.5 mg).
Drug class: agents to treat pulmonary hypertension

What is Epoprostenol?

Epoprostenol (a prostaglandin, a substance similar to hormones that is naturally produced in the body) is a prostaglandin. Prostaglandins are substances that regulate functions within the body, such as blood pressure or muscle contractions.Epoprostenol can be used to treat pulmonary hypertension (PAH) and improve your exercise ability.This medication guide does not list all possible uses of epoprostenol.

Side effects of Epoprostenol

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your lips, face, tongue, or throat.

Epoprostenol can cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Feeling short of breath, dizziness, and weakness
  • A feeling of lightheadedness, as if you could pass out.
  • Easy bruising and unusual bleeding
  • Anxiety, sweating, and pale skin are symptoms of pulmonary swelling. Other symptoms include severe shortness of breath, wheezing or gasping, a foamy cough, chest pains, and an uneven heartbeat.

Epoprostenol can cause a variety of side effects.

  • Flushing (warmth, redness, or tingling feeling);
  • Dizziness;
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain;
  • Trouble breathing
  • Jaw pain;
  • Fast or slow heartbeats
  • Joint or muscular pain
  • Flu-like symptoms;
  • Feeling anxious or nervous?

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. The FDA can be contacted at 1-800-FDA-1088 to report side effects.


If you have fluid in the lungs or heart disease, which is caused by a reduction in the heart's ability to pump blood back into your body, then epoprostenol should be avoided.

Prior to using this drug

If you are allergic or have any of the following:

  • Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema);
  • Congestive heart failure is caused by a reduction in the heart's capacity to pump blood into your body.

Tell your doctor if breathing problems occurred while you were using epoprostenol.This medicine is not known to harm an unborn child. Inform your physician immediately if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.Breastfeeding may not be possible while taking this medication. You should consult your doctor if you are concerned about any risks.

How do I take Epoprostenol?

Read all instructions or guides that come with your medication and follow all directions. Follow the instructions on the medication. Epoprostenol may be needed for many years.Your first dose may be given in a hospital or clinic to treat any serious side effects. You may need to monitor your blood pressure and heartbeat whenever you change the dose.Epoprostenol can be injected using an infusion system, typically through a central intravenous catheter (IV), usually placed in a large vein in the chest. Your healthcare provider may give you your first dose and teach you how to use the medication properly.

Please read and carefully follow the instructions for use that may come with your medicine. These instructions can vary depending on which brand of epoprostenol you have. If you do not understand the instructions, don't use epoprostenol.If you have any queries, be sure to ask either your pharmacist or physician.Only prepare your injection when you're ready to administer it. If the color of your medicine has changed or if it contains particles, do not use it. For new medication, call your pharmacist.Even if you are feeling fine, it is important not to suddenly stop taking epoprostenol. Your condition may worsen if you stop suddenly.If your symptoms don't improve or worsen, call your doctor.You may need a backup infusion pump, batteries, and IV infusion sets to ensure that your treatment is not interrupted. Refill your prescription before you run completely out.Store the epoprostenol in its original packaging at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light.

You will have to use your medicine within a few hours or days after mixing it. The time depends on the concentration, the diluent, and whether the mixture is stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Follow the instructions for mixing and storing your medicine. If you have any questions, ask your pharmacist.When storing or using the medicine, it's important to keep the mixture away from any light.Only use a needle or syringe once, and then store them in a "sharps container" that is puncture-proof. Be sure to follow local or state laws on how to properly dispose of the container. Keep the container out of reach of pets and children.

Info on dosage

Adult dose for pulmonary hypertension:

Initial dose: 2 ng/kg/min by continuous IV infusion. Titrate up to a maximum of 4 ng/kg/min in increments every 15 minutes until the tolerance limit has been established or if further infusion rates are not clinically justified.
If the initial rate of infusion is not tolerated by the patient, a lower dosage may be used.
If dose-limiting effects are observed, reduce the rate of infusion until this drug can be tolerated.
Use: To improve exercise capacity in patients with PAH (WHO Group 1); studies that established efficacy included primarily patients with New York Heart Association Class III-IV symptoms and etiologies associated with idiopathic, hereditary PAH, or PAH-related connective tissue disorders.

What happens if I miss the dose?

You should never miss a dose of epoprostenol if you take it properly. If your epoprostenol treatment is interrupted, call your doctor immediately.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for poison help or seek immediate medical attention.

Avoid this

Use only infusion pumps that have been prescribed by your doctor.

Interaction with other drug

Tell your doctor about your other medications, including:

  • A diuretic, or "water pill".
  • Blood pressure medication
  • A blood thinner: warfarin Coumadin Jantoven

This list is incomplete. Epoprostenol may be affected by other drugs, such as vitamins and herbs. This list does not include all drug interactions.