Flolan

Generic Name: Epoprostenol

  • What is Flolan?

    Flolan is a medicine used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which is high blood pressure in the blood vessels between your heart and lungs, to diminish symptoms associated with exercise. Flolan opens the blood vessels in your lungs and lowers your blood pressure. Flolan is administered as a continuous intravenous infusion via a central venous catheter (a tube that goes into a vein in your chest) using an ambulatory infusion pump.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Flolan?

    Long-term intravenous infusions of Flolan using an indwelling central venous catheter is associated with the risk of sepsis (a bloodstream infection), which can be fatal.

    Flolan can cause strong widening effects on your blood vessels. Flolan will be started in a setting where your doctor can carefully monitor your blood pressure, heartbeat, and condition. Therapy with Flolan can be used for prolonged periods, and your ability to administer Flolan and care for an infusion system should be carefully considered by your doctor.

    Flolan can prevent blood clots from forming and can increase your risk of bleeding. This can occur particularly if you are taking blood thinners (such as warfarin) with Flolan. Tell your doctor if you are taking blood thinners or if you experience bleeding.

    If you suddenly stop treatment with Flolan, even for a brief period, you can develop worsening of PAH symptoms, including shortness of breath, dizziness, or weakness. Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine before speaking to your doctor.

  • Who should not take Flolan?

    Do not use Flolan if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Also, do not administer Flolan for long-term use if you have congestive heart failure (a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body) due to left heart dysfunction, or if you develop a buildup of fluid in your lungs when starting Flolan.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Flolan?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Flolan. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart failure, buildup of fluid in your lungs, bleeding problems, or low blood pressure.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you and will increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take Flolan?

    Use Flolan exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Flolan is infused continously through an infusion pump. Your doctor will instruct you on the proper way to prepare the infusion, as well as how to use the infusion pump.

  • What should I avoid while taking Flolan?

    Do not miss your scheduled follow-up appointments with your doctor.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Flolan?

    If Flolan is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Flolan with the following: blood pressure/heart medications, blood thinners, digoxin, or diuretics (water pills) (such as furosemide).

  • What are the possible side effects of Flolan?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, agitation, anxiety, bleeding, chest pain, diarrhea, dizziness, "flu-like" symptoms, headache, infections, jaw pain, joint or muscle pain, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, nausea, nervousness, pain, rapid or slow heartbeat, rash, reddening of your face and neck, shortness of breath, sweating, swelling, vasodilation (widening of your blood vessels), vomiting

  • Can I receive Flolan if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Flolan during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Flolan?

    Flolan should be administered as a continous infusion. If there is any lapse in time without receiving the medication, contact your doctor for advice.

  • How should I store Flolan?

    Store the vials at room temperature. Do not freeze. Protect from light.