IN THIS ARTICLE
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using epoprostenol (Flolan, Veletri)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to epoprostenol, if you have breathing problems when you first start using epoprostenol, or if you have congestive heart failure caused by a decrease in your heart's ability to pump blood back into the body.
To make sure you can safely use epoprostenol, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category B. Epoprostenol is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether epoprostenol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use epoprostenol (Flolan, Veletri)?
Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. You may need to use this medication for many years.
Epoprostenol is injected into a vein using a computerized, portable infusion pump to control the rate of medication you receive. Because epoprostenol must be used long-term, it is usually given through a permanent central intravenous (IV) catheter placed into a large vein (such as in your chest).
You may be shown how to use an infusion pump at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
You will receive your first dose of this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur. Your blood pressure and heart rate may also need to be monitored whenever your dose is changed.
You may be given other medications to prevent blood clots while you are receiving epoprostenol.
Epoprostenol is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. Use only the diluent provided with your medication and do not mix epoprostenol with any other medications or diluents not approved by your doctor.
If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine. These directions are different for the Flolan and Veletri brands of this medication. Be sure you understand all mixing and storage directions for the specific brand of epoprostenol you are using.
After mixing Flolan with the diluent, store in the refrigerator and use within 48 hours. After mixing Veletri with the diluent, store in the refrigerator ans use within 5 days.
The Veletri and diluent mixture may also be stored at room temperature but you must use it within 48 hours after it was mixed.
Protect the mixed medicine from light and do not freeze. Throw away any epoprostenol and diluent mixture that has become frozen, has changed colors, or has any particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription. The epoprostenol and diluent mixture must be protected from light at all times, whether it is in storage or in use.
Do not stop using epoprostenol without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine or have no symptoms. Missing doses or stopping suddenly may make your condition worse and you may have symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, or trouble breathing.
Even short breaks in the flow of your medication through the IV can cause the treatment to stop working. To make sure there is no interruption in your treatment, you may need to have a back-up infusion pump in case your first pump fails to work properly. Also keep replacement batteries and extra IV infusion sets on hand at all times. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using epoprostenol.
Store unopened vials of epoprostenol and its diluent at cool room temperature (below 77 degrees F), away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep in the original carton.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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