Iloprost

Iloprost treats symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension. It may improve the patient's ability to exercise and slow the worsening of symptoms in people with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Iloprost Overview

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Iloprost is a prescription medication used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. Iloprost belongs to a group of drugs called vasodilators. These work by relaxing blood vessels in the body, including the lungs. 

This medication comes as a solution to be used in a nebulizer and inhaled by mouth. It is usually used 6 to 9 times a day, during the hours you are awake. Iloprost should not be used more often than every 2 hours. 

Common side effects of iloprost include increased cough, headache, flushing (sudden reddening of the face, neck, or upper chest), and flu-like symptoms.

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Iloprost Cautionary Labels

precautions

Uses of Iloprost

Iloprost is a prescription medication used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. It may improve the patient's ability to exercise and slow the worsening of symptoms in people with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Iloprost Brand Names

Iloprost may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Iloprost Drug Class

Iloprost is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Iloprost

Serious side effects have been reported with iloprost. See the “IiloprostPrecautions” section.

Common side effects of iloprost include the following:

  • flushing
  • increased cough
  • headache
  • tightening of jaw muscles that makes it difficult to open your mouth
  • fainting 
  • trouble sleeping
  • nausea or vomiting
  • low blood pressure
  • back pain
  • tongue pain

This is not a complete list of iloprost side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

 

Iloprost Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • medications that lower your blood pressure
  • medications to treat heart problems
  • vasodilators such as doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), clonidine (Catapres), hydralazine (Bidil, Hydra-Zide), or minoxidil
  • antiplatelets (a type of blood thinner)  such as clopidogrel (Plavix), aspirin, prasugrel (Effient), ticagrelor (Brilinta), ticlopidine (Ticlid), abciximab (ReoPro), eptifibatide (Integrilin), tirofiban (Aggrastat), and cilostazol (Pletal)
  • anticoagulant (blood thinner) medications such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), heparin, enoxaparin (Lovenox), fondaparinux (Arixtra), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), and apixaban (Eliquis)

This is not a complete list of iloprost drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Iloprost Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with iloprost including the following:

Risk of Fainting. Iloprost can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Your doctor should monitor your blood pressure and heart rate while taking iloprost. To help avoid this, get up slowly if you are lying down or in bed. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms while taking iloprost. Do not drive a car or operate any tools or machines if dizziness or fainting from low blood pressure is a problem for you.

High pressure in the pulmonary veins: If you develop any of the following signs and symptoms, stop use and tell your doctor immediately. 

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing that worsens when lying down
  • wheezing or gasping for breath
  • coughing up pink, frothy mucus
  • chest pain

Bronchospasm. Iloprost can cause the muscles around your airway to tighten and make it difficult to breathe. Seek emergency help if you have trouble breathing.

Do not take iloprost if you are allergic to iloprost or to any of its ingredients.

Iloprost Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of iloprost, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking iloprost, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to iloprost or to any of its ingredients
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Iloprost and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Iloprost falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies were harmed. There are no well-controlled studies that have been done in pregnant women. Iloprost should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefit outweighs the possible risk to the unborn baby.

Iloprost and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known if iloprost crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using iloprost.

 

Iloprost Usage

Use iloprost exactly as prescribed. Your doctor may change your dose if needed. 

Iloprost comes in solution form to be inhaled by mouth through a nebulizer 6 to 9 times per day (no more than once every 2 hours) during waking hours. The effects of iloprost may not last for 2 hours; you may need to plan your activities around when you take your doses.

Do not drink iloprost or allow the solution to come into contact with your skin or eyes. If it does, rinse your skin or eyes with water immediately.

Follow your healthcare provider's instructions on how to properly open and dispose of iloprost ampules. 

Do not allow other people to be exposed to iloprost while you are breathing it, especially babies and pregnant women.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of iloprost at the same time.

Iloprost Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • how you tolerate this medication.
  • if you have liver problems

The recommended starting dose of Ventavis (iloprost) is 2.5 mcg. If this dose is well-tolerated, further doses are increased to 5.0 mcg per dose. Iloprost is typically taken 6 to 9 times per day (no more than once every 2 hours) during waking hours.

The amount of doses of iloprost you will need to take per day will be determined by your individual need and how you tolerate this medication.

Iloprost Overdose

If you take too much iloprost , call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away. If you take too much iloprost, you may have a headache, red face, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If this happens stop taking Ventavis.

If iloprost is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.

Other Requirements

  • Store iloprost at between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.