Archive for Peripheral vasodilators

Epoprostenol Information – Side Effects, Uses and Benefits

Epoprostenol Drug – How does Epoprostenol Works?

Type of Drug:

Peripheral vasodilator.

How the Epoprostenol Product Works:

Epoprostenol relaxes pulmonary and arterial blood vessels, allowing them to dilate (widen). This allows more blood to flow through the vessels and improves heart function in patients with pulmonary hypertension.

Uses of The Epoprostenol:

For the long-term treatment of primary pulmonary hypertension in NYHA Class III and Class IV patients who do not adequately respond to conventional therapy.


Do not use in the following situations:

allergy to the drug or any of its ingredients congestive heart failure due to severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction (chronic use) pulmonary edema during dose initiation.

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and the potential benefits out­weigh the possible risks to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: It is not known if this drug appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before you begin breastfeeding.

Children: Safety and effectiveness have not been established.

Elderly: In general, dose selection should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased liver, kidney, or heart function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Drug Interactions:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or planning to take any over­ the-counter or prescription medications or dietary supplements while taking this drug. Drug doses may need to be modified or a different drug prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with this drug:

  • Antihypertensive agents (eg, ACE inhibitors)
  • Antiplatelet agents (eg, anticogulants)
  • Diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Vasodilators (eg, nitrates)

Side Effects of the Epoprostenol:

Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many patients experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy, and individual susceptibility. Possible side effects include:

Circulatory System: Low blood pressure; chest pain; abnormal heart rhythm; changes in heartbeat; heart failure; fainting; pounding in the chest (palpitations).

Nervous System: Headache; anxiety; nervousness; agitation; dizziness; tremor; confusion; convulsions; depression; sleeplessness; stroke.

Skin: Flushing; sweating; abnormal skin sensations; itching; rash; pallor; bluish skin.

Digestive Tract: Nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; indigestion; diarrhea; appetite loss; constipation; fluid in the abdomen.

Other: Muscle, back, jaw, or bone pain; difficulty breathing; local infection; pain at the injection site; chills; fever; flu-like symptoms; shock; deficiency of oxygen to body tissues (hypoxia); bleeding; swelling (edema); low blood calcium levels; weight changes; increased cough; nosebleed; abnormal vision; weakness; abnormal blood counts

Guidelines for Use:

  • This drug is administered by continuous intravenous (IV; into a vein) infusion via a central venous catheter using an ambulatory infusion pump. Therapy requires commitment to drug reconstitution (mixing), administration, and care of the catheter for a prolonged period, possibly years. Brief interruptions in therapy may result in rapid deterioration.
  • Dosage is individualized. Take exactly as prescribed.
  • Do not stop taking or change the dose, unless instructed by your doctor.
  • Abrupt withdrawal of the drug may result in symptoms associated with pulmonary hypertension, including difficulty breathing, dizziness, and weakness.
  • Store unopened vials at 59° to 77° F. Protect from light.
  • Refrigerate reconstituted solution at 36° to 46°F for not more than 40 hours; discard any solution that has been refrigerated for more than 48 hours. Do not freeze; discard any solution that has been frozen. Protect from light.
  • A single reservoir of reconstituted solution can be administered at room temperature for a duration of 8 hours or it can be used with a cold pouch and administered for 24 hours or less with the use of 2 frozen 6 oz gel packs. Insulate solution from temperatures higher than 70°F. and lower than 32° F. Do not expose to direct sunlight.

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