Iloprost (By breathing)
Treats pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This is a condition where your blood pressure is too high in the blood vessels between your heart and lungs.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to iloprost.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You will use this medicine with an inhaler device called a nebulizer. The nebulizer turns the medicine into a fine mist that you breathe in through your mouth and to your lungs. Your caregiver will show you how to use your nebulizer.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. The nebulizer will also have patient instructions. Make sure you understand how to use the nebulizer.
- The liquid is used when you wake up and before any physical activity. Do not use more than one dose every 2 hours.
- The iloprost liquid (Ventavis®) is used with a nebulizer that is connected to an air compressor. Ventavis® liquid should only be used with the I-neb® ADD® System or the Prodose® AAD® System.
- Do not mix the Ventavis® liquid with other medicines in the nebulizer.
- To avoid missing a dose, always keep an extra nebulizer on hand in case there are problems with the machine.
- Do not drink this medicine and do not allow the liquid to come in contact with your skin or eyes. If it does, rinse it off with water right away.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, Inderal®, Lopressor®, Toprol®, or Tenormin®), a diuretic or water pill (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], or Lasix®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, or Jantoven®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease or breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], or lung infections), low blood pressure, or bleeding problems.
- This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or lightheaded, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help, but if the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or lightheaded.
- Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have chest pain; difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing; blue lips and fingernails; pale skin; increased sweating; coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum; shortness of breath; or swelling in the legs and ankles. These may be signs of pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs).
- This medicine may cause your blood pressure to go down. Your doctor will check your blood pressure before you start the medicine and may check it during your regular office visits. You may also need to monitor your blood pressure at home. If you notice any changes to your recommended blood pressure, call your doctor right away.
- Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Chest pain or trouble with breathing.
- Decrease in how much or how often you urinate.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
- Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Back pain.
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
- Increased cough.
- Mild fever and body pains.
- Mild headache and nausea.
- Muscle cramps.
- Pain in your tongue.
- Runny nose.
- Trouble with sleeping.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013