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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Flolan, Veletri

Generic Name: epoprostenol (Pronunciation: EE poe PROST en ol)

What is epoprostenol (Flolan, Veletri)?

Epoprostenol is a prostaglandin (a hormone-like substance that occurs naturally in the body). Prostaglandins help to control functions in the body such as blood pressure and muscle contractions.

Epoprostenol is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It improves your ability to exercise.

Epoprostenol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of epoprostenol (Flolan, Veletri)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, flu symptoms, mouth and throat ulcers, rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, fainting;
  • chest pain, trouble breathing;
  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
  • pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • blood in your urine or stools;
  • coughing up blood;
  • feeling like you might pass out; or
  • numbness or increased sensitivity anywhere in your body.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • headache or jaw pain;
  • joint or muscle pain;
  • dizziness, sweating; or
  • feeling anxious, nervous, or agitated.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about 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.

Before using epoprostenol, tell your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, heart disease, liver or kidney disease, or high blood pressure.

Epoprostenol is injected into a vein using an infusion pump, usually through a permanent central intravenous (IV) catheter placed into a large vein (such as in your chest). You may need to use this medication for many years.

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.

Tell your doctor about all other drugs you use, especially medicines to prevent blood clots.

Do not stop using epoprostenol without first talking to your doctor, even if you feel fine or have no symptoms. Even short breaks in the flow of your medication through the IV can cause the treatment to stop working. Missing doses or stopping suddenly may make your condition worse and you may have symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, or trouble breathing.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using epoprostenol.

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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