|Type of medicine
||Vasodilator antihypertensive medicine
||Nebuliser solution for inhalation
Primary pulmonary hypertension is a rare condition where there is too high a blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply your lungs from your heart.
Iloprost works by mimicking the action of a natural substance in your body called prostacyclin. Prostacyclin relaxes the muscles in the walls of some blood vessels allowing them to become wider (dilated). This reduces the pressure in the blood vessels and allows blood to flow more easily through them. In turn, this increases the supply of blood to your lungs and reduces the strain on your heart.
Before using iloprost
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start using iloprost it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver problems.
- If you have heart problems such as angina pain or a heart valve defect, or if you have had a heart attack in the past.
- If you have a lung condition such as asthma, or think you may have a chest infection.
- If you have recently had a stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (sometimes called a 'mini-stroke').
- If you think you may be at risk of bleeding, such as if you have recently had an injury or if you have an ulcer.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
How to use iloprost
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack, along with any information you have been given by your hospital. The leaflet will give you more information about iloprost, and a full list of possible side-effects from using it.
- Iloprost will be started for you in hospital and you will be shown what to do. You will be shown how to inhale the solution using a nebuliser, which is a machine that turns the solution into a fine mist so that you can breathe it into your lungs.
- Once you are home, continue to use the solution in the nebuliser exactly as you have been shown. Your doctor will tell you how much solution to use and how many times a day to use it. You will also be told how long each inhalation session should last.
- You will be shown how to use a mouthpiece to inhale the mist, as this will help prevent any solution coming into contact with your face. Try not to let iloprost solution come into contact with other areas of your skin or your eyes. However, if this does happen, wash the area with water as soon as possible.
- Whenever you are using the nebuliser, please make sure that there are no young children or pregnant women in the same room with you who could inhale any of the vapour. Iloprost could be harmful to young children or unborn babies.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- Treatment with iloprost is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to use iloprost unless you are advised otherwise.
- Women should avoid getting pregnant while using iloprost. If this affects you, make sure you have discussed with your doctor which types of contraception are suitable for you.
Can iloprost cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common iloprost side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who take this medicine
||What can I do if I experience this?
|Fainting, or feeling light-headed or dizzy
||This could be a symptom of your condition or a side-effect of using iloprost. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit or lie down for a few minutes so you do not faint, and then get up more slowly
||Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
|Feeling or being sick
||Eat simple foods - avoid rich or spicy foods
|Flushing or reddening of your face, chest discomfort, jaw pain or tightness, feeling short of breath, throat irritation, cough, diarrhoea, rash, increased tendency to bleed
||If any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor for advice
How to store iloprost
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
- Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
- This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
- Never keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
- If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.