You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to epoprostenol, if you have severe heart failure, or if you develop pulmonary edema (a build-up of fluid in the lungs that causes severe shortness of breath and a heavy feeling in the chest).
This medicine is usually given directly into your body through a vein in your chest (near your collarbone). This is called intravenous (in-tra-VEEN-us), or IV infusion. The tube that goes into your chest is called a central venous catheter (KATH-eh-ter). A small pump keeps the medicine going into your body. The pump is portable, so you can move or walk while getting the medicine.
You will be taught how to take care of the catheter and how to use the medicine and pump. It is important that you understand how to use the medicine and equipment correctly. If you have any questions, ask your doctor, nurse, or other health care provider.
You may also want a friend or someone in your family to learn how to give your medicine.
The medicine is a powder that needs to be mixed with a sterile (germ-free) liquid before it is given. You should not use any other liquid with the powder or mix epoprostenol with other medicines.
Look at the medicine bag or bottle before your treatment. If you see any solid pieces or specks in the liquid or if it has changed color, you should not use it for your treatment.
If you have your treatments at home, you should use a special container for used needles or tubes. Keep it where children or pets cannot reach it.
During your infusion, keep the medicine out of direct sunlight. Do not expose the medicine to temperatures over 77 degrees F. You may be told to use a cold pouch and frozen packs to keep the medicine cool during your treatment.
If a dose is missed:
This medicine is given continuously. Do not stop your treatment unless your doctor tells you to. Stopping the medicine, even for a short time, can cause breathing problems, dizziness, and weakness to come back or get worse.
Store the powder and sterile liquid at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
You may receive the medicine already mixed with the liquid. If so, you can keep it in the refrigerator, but for no longer than 48 hours. If the medicine has been in the refrigerator for more than 48 hours, it should not be used. Do not freeze the mixed medicine.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using this medicine.
You may need to be treated with this medicine for a long time (possibly for years). It is important that you keep using the medicine as your doctor ordered. Do not change your dose or suddenly stop using the medicine, unless you have talked with your doctor.
To prevent infection, you must keep the area around the catheter clean. If you have a fever or chills, or if the skin area around the catheter smells bad or is red, hot, or draining pus, tell your doctor or home health care provider.
Your health caregiver will tell you how to take care of emergencies such as air getting into your bloodstream through your catheter or if your catheter gets torn or damaged. Make sure you know what to do if these problems occur.