DRUGS & SUPPLEMENTS

Epoprostenol

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Epoprostenol uses


1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Epoprostenol® is indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) (WHO Group I) to improve exercise capacity. Trials establishing effectiveness included predominantly (97%) patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional Class III-IV symptoms and etiologies of idiopathic or heritable PAH (49%) or PAH associated with connective tissue diseases (51%).

Epoprostenol is a prostacyclin vasodilator indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) (WHO Group I) to improve exercise capacity. Studies establishing effectiveness included predominantly (97%) patients with NYHA Functional Class III-IV symptoms and etiologies of idiopathic or heritable PAH (49%) or PAH associated with connective tissue diseases (51%). (1)

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

  • Initiate intravenous infusion through a central venous catheter at 2 ng/kg/min.
  • Change dose in 1-to 2-ng/kg/min increments at intervals of at least 15 minutes based on clinical response. (2.2)
  • Avoid sudden large dose reductions. (2.2, 5.2)

2.1 Reconstitution

Each vial is for single use only; discard any unused diluent or unused reconstituted solution.

Select a concentration for the solution of Epoprostenol that is compatible with the infusion pump being used with respect to minimum and maximum flow rates, reservoir capacity, and the infusion pump criteria listed below .

Using aseptic technique, reconstitute Epoprostenol only with STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol or pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol. Table 1 gives directions for preparing several different concentrations of Epoprostenol. See Table 2 for storage and administration time limits for the reconstituted Epoprostenol.


To make 100 mL of solution with final concentration of:


Directions:


3,000 ng/mL


Dissolve contents of one 0.5mg vial with 5 mL of sterile diluent. Withdraw 3 mL and add to sufficient sterile diluent to make a total of 100 mL.


5,000 ng/mL


Dissolve contents of one 0.5mg vial with 5 mL of sterile diluent. Withdraw entire vial contents and add sufficient sterile diluent to make a total of 100 mL.


10,000 ng/mL


Dissolve contents of two 0.5mg vials each with 5 mL of sterile diluent. Withdraw entire vial contents and add sufficient sterile diluent to make a total of 100 mL.


15,000 ng/mLa


Dissolve contents of one 1.5mg vial with 5 mL of sterile diluent. Withdraw entire vial contents and add sufficient sterile diluent to make a total of 100 mL.

  • a Higher concentrations may be prepared for patients who receive Epoprostenol long‑ term.

When Using

STERILE DILUENT

for Epoprostenol


When Using

pH 12 STERILE DILUENT

for Epoprostenol


Stability


When used at room temperature, (15°C to 25°C; 59°F to 77°F) reconstituted solutions:

  • are stable for up to 8 hours following reconstitution or removal from refrigerated storage.
  • may be stored for up to 40 hours refrigerated at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) before use.

When used with a cold pack, reconstituted solutions:

  • are stable for up to 24 hours use.
  • may be stored refrigerated at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) before use as long as the total time of refrigerated storage and infusion does not exceed 48 hours.
  • Change cold packs every 12 hours.

Freshly prepared reconstituted solutions or reconstituted solutions that have been stored at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) for no longer than 8 days can be administered up to:

  • 72 hours at up to 25°C (77°F).
  • 48 hours at up to 30°C (86°F).
  • 24 hours at up to 35°C (95°F).
  • 12 hours at up to 40°C (104°F).
  • Reconstituted solutions can be used immediately. Refrigerate at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) if not used immediately.
  • Protect from light.
  • Do not freeze reconstituted solutions.

2.2 Dosage

Initiate intravenous infusions of Epoprostenol at 2 ng/kg/min. Alter the infusion by 1- to 2-ng/kg/min increments at intervals sufficient to allow assessment of clinical response. These intervals should be at least 15 minutes.

During dose initiation, asymptomatic increases in pulmonary artery pressure coincident with increases in cardiac output may occur. In such cases, consider dose reduction, but such an increase does not imply that chronic treatment is contraindicated.

Base changes in the chronic infusion rate on persistence, recurrence, or worsening of the patient's symptoms of pulmonary hypertension and the occurrence of adverse vasodilatory reactions. In general, expect progressive increases in dose.

If dose-related adverse reactions occur, make dose decreases gradually in 2-ng/kg/min decrements every 15 minutes or longer until the dose-limiting effects resolve . Avoid abrupt withdrawal of Epoprostenol or sudden large reductions in infusion rates .

Following establishment of a new chronic infusion rate, measure standing and supine blood pressure for several hours.

Taper doses of Epoprostenol after initiation of cardiopulmonary bypass in patients receiving lung transplants.

2.3 Administration

Initiate Epoprostenol in a setting with adequate personnel and equipment for physiologic monitoring and emergency care.

Inspect parenteral drug products for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. If either particulate matter or discoloration is noted, do not use.

Administer continuous chronic infusion of Epoprostenol through a central venous catheter. Temporary peripheral intravenous infusion may be used until central access is established. Do not administer bolus injections of Epoprostenol.

The ambulatory infusion pump used to administer Epoprostenol should: (1) be small and lightweight, (2) be able to adjust infusion rates in 2‑ng/kg/min increments, (3) have occlusion, end-of-infusion, and low-battery alarms, (4) be accurate to ±6% of the programmed rate, and (5) be positive-pressure‑driven (continuous or pulsatile) with intervals between pulses not exceeding 3 minutes at infusion rates used to deliver Epoprostenol. The reservoir should be made of polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, or glass. Use a 60-inch microbore non-di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) extension set with proximal antisyphon valve, low priming volume (0.9 mL), and in-line 0.22-micron filter.

To avoid interruptions in drug delivery, the patient should have access to a backup infusion pump and intravenous infusion sets.

Do not administer or dilute reconstituted solutions of Epoprostenol with other parenteral solutions or medications. Consider a multi‑lumen catheter if other intravenous therapies are routinely administered.

Select a concentration for the solution of Epoprostenol that is compatible with the infusion pump being used with respect to minimum and maximum flow rates, reservoir capacity, and the infusion pump criteria listed above. When administered chronically, prepare Epoprostenol in a drug delivery reservoir appropriate for the infusion pump with a total reservoir volume of at least 100 mL, using 2 vials of Sterile Diluent for Epoprostenol or 2 vials of pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol.

Generally, 3,000 ng/mL and 10,000 ng/mL are satisfactory concentrations to deliver between 2 to 16 ng/kg/min in adults. Higher infusion rates, and therefore, more concentrated solutions may be necessary with long‑term administration of Epoprostenol.

Infusion rates may be calculated using the following formula:

Epoprostenol infusion rate formula

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3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

For injection: 0.5 mg or 1.5 mg of epoprostenol, freeze-dried powder in a single-dose vial for reconstitution with the supplied diluent.

For injection: 0.5 mg or 1.5 mg epoprostenol freeze-dried powder in a single use vial for reconstitution with the supplied diluent. (3)

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Epoprostenol is contraindicated in patients with heart failure caused by reduced left ventricular ejection fraction .

Epoprostenol is contraindicated in patients with a hypersensitivity to the drug or any of its ingredients.

  • Heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. (4)
  • Hypersensitivity to Epoprostenol or any of its ingredients. (4)

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

  • Pulmonary edema: Discontinue therapy if pulmonary edema occurs.
  • Rebound pulmonary hypertension: Do not abruptly discontinue or decrease the dose. (5.2)
  • Vasodilation reactions: Monitor blood pressure and symptoms regularly during initiation and after dose change. (5.3)
  • Increased risk for bleeding: Increased risk for hemorrhagic complications, particularly for patients with other risk factors for bleeding. (5.4)

5.1 Pulmonary Edema

If the patient develops pulmonary edema during initiation with Epoprostenol, discontinue therapy and do not readminister. Consider the possibility of associated pulmonary veno-occlusive disease in such patients.

5.2 Rebound Pulmonary Hypertension following Abrupt Withdrawal

Avoid abrupt withdrawal or sudden large reductions in dosage of Epoprostenol because symptoms associated with rebound pulmonary hypertension (e.g., dyspnea, dizziness, and asthenia) may occur. In clinical trials, one Class III patient's death was judged attributable to the interruption of Epoprostenol.

5.3 Vasodilation

Epoprostenol is a potent pulmonary and systemic vasodilator and can cause hypotension and other reactions such as flushing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache. Monitor blood pressure and symptoms regularly during initiation and after dose change .

5.4 Increased Risk for Bleeding

Epoprostenol is a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation. Therefore, expect an increased risk for hemorrhagic complications, particularly for patients with other risk factors for bleeding .

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6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The most common adverse reactions are dizziness, jaw pain, headache, musculoskeletal pain, and nausea/vomiting, and are generally associated with vasodilation.

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact GlaxoSmithKline at 1-888-825-5249 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adverse reactions are shown in Table 3 and are generally related to vasodilatory effects.


Adverse Reaction


Idiopathic or Heritable

PAH


PAH/SSD


Epoprostenol


Conventional Therapy


Epoprostenol


Conventional Therapy


(n = 52)


(n = 54)


(n = 56)


(n = 55)


Body as a whole


Jaw pain


54%


0%


75%


0%


Nonspecific musculoskeletal pain


35%


15%


84%


65%


Headache


83%


33%


46%


5%


Chills/fever/sepsis/flu-like symptoms


25%


11%


13%


11%


Cardiovascular system


Flushing


42%


2%


23%


0%


Hypotension


27%


31%


13%


0%


Tachycardia


35%


24%


43%


42%


Digestive system


Anorexia


25%


30%


66%


47%


Nausea/Vomiting


67%


48%


41%


16%


Diarrhea


37%


6%


50%


5%


Skin and Appendages


Skin ulcer


-


-


39%


24%


Eczema/rash/urticaria


10%


13%


25%


4%


Musculoskeletal System


Myalgia


44%


31%


-


-


Nervous system


Anxiety/hyperkinesias/nervousness/tremor


21%


9%


7%


5%


Hyperesthesia/hypesthesia/paresthesia


12%


2%


5%


0%


Dizziness


83%


70%


59%


76%


Adverse Events Attributable to the Drug Delivery System

Chronic infusions of Epoprostenol are delivered using a small, portable infusion pump through an indwelling central venous catheter. During controlled PAH trials of up to 12 weeks’ duration, the local infection rate was about 18%, and the rate for pain was about 11%. During long‑term follow‑up, sepsis was reported at a rate of 0.3 infections/patient per year in patients treated with Epoprostenol.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following events have been identified during postapproval use of Epoprostenol. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to estimate reliably their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Blood and Lymphatic

Anemia, hypersplenism, pancytopenia, splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia.

Endocrine and Metabolic

Hyperthyroidism.

Gastrointestinal

Hepatic failure.

Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal

Pulmonary embolism.

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8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS

8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category B. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, Epoprostenol should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Animal Data

Reproductive studies have been performed in pregnant rats and rabbits at doses up to 100 mcg/kg/day and have revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to Epoprostenol.

8.3 Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Epoprostenol, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical trials of Epoprostenol in pulmonary hypertension did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

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10 OVERDOSAGE

Signs and Symptoms

Hypoxemia, hypotension, and respiratory arrest leading to death have been reported in clinical practice following overdosage of Epoprostenol.

Excessive doses of Epoprostenol were associated with flushing, headache, hypotension, tachycardia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea during clinical trials.

One patient with PAH/SSD accidentally received 50 mL of an unspecified concentration of Epoprostenol. The patient vomited and became unconscious with an initially unrecordable blood pressure. Epoprostenol was discontinued and the patient regained consciousness within seconds.

Single intravenous doses of Epoprostenol at 10 and 50 mg/kg (2,703 and 27,027 times the recommended acute phase human dose based on body surface area) were lethal to mice and rats, respectively. Symptoms of acute toxicity were hypoactivity, ataxia, loss of righting reflex, deep slow breathing, and hypothermia.

Treatment

Discontinue or reduce dose of Epoprostenol.

11 DESCRIPTION

Epoprostenol (epoprostenol sodium) for injection is sterile sodium salt that is a white or off-white powder formulated for intravenous (IV) administration. Each vial of Epoprostenol contains Epoprostenol equivalent to either 0.5 mg (500,000 ng) or 1.5 mg (1,500,000 ng) epoprostenol, 3.76 mg glycine, 50 mg mannitol, and 2.93 mg sodium chloride. Sodium hydroxide may have been added to adjust pH.

Epoprostenol (PGI2, PGX, prostacyclin), a metabolite of arachidonic acid, is a naturally occurring prostaglandin with potent vasodilatory activity and inhibitory activity of platelet aggregation. The chemical name of epoprostenol is (5Z,9α,11α,13E,15S)-6,9-epoxy-11,15-dihydroxyprosta-5,13-dien-1-oic acid. Epoprostenol has a molecular weight of 374.45 and a molecular formula of C20H31NaO5. The structural formula is:

Epoprostenol must be reconstituted with either STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol or pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol.

STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol is supplied in glass vials and pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol is supplied in plastic vials each containing 50 mL of 94 mg glycine, 73.3 mg sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide (added to adjust pH), and Water for Injection. The stability of reconstituted solutions of Epoprostenol is pH-dependent, and is greater at higher pH.

  • STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol has sodium hydroxide added to adjust the pH to 10.2 to 10.8.
  • pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol has sodium hydroxide added to adjust the pH to 11.7 to 12.3.
Epoprostenol chemical structure

12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

12.1 Mechanism of Action

Epoprostenol has 2 major pharmacological actions:  direct vasodilation of pulmonary and systemic arterial vascular beds, and (2) inhibition of platelet aggregation.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Acute Hemodynamic Effects

Acute intravenous infusions of Epoprostenol for up to 15 minutes in patients with idiopathic or heritable PAH or PAH/SSD produce dose‑related increases in cardiac index (CI) and stroke volume (SV) and dose‑related decreases in pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), total pulmonary resistance (TPR), and mean systemic arterial pressure (SAPm). The effects of Epoprostenol on mean pulmonary artery pressure (PAPm) were variable and minor.

In humans, hemodynamic changes due to epoprostenol (e.g., increased heart rate, facial flushing) returned to baseline within 10 minutes of termination of 60-minute infusions of 1 to 16 ng/kg/min. This pharmacodynamic behavior is consistent with a short in vivo half-life and rapid clearance in man, as suggested by the results of animal and in vitro studies.

In animals, the vasodilatory effects reduce right- and left-ventricular afterload and increase cardiac output and stroke volume. The effect of epoprostenol on heart rate in animals varies with dose. At low doses, there is vagally-mediated bradycardia, but at higher doses, epoprostenol causes reflex tachycardia in response to direct vasodilation and hypotension. No major effects on cardiac conduction have been observed. Additional pharmacologic effects of epoprostenol in animals include bronchodilation, inhibition of gastric acid secretion, and decreased gastric emptying.

Drug Interactions

Additional reductions in blood pressure may occur when Epoprostenol is administered with diuretics, antihypertensive agents, or other vasodilators.

When other antiplatelet agents or anticoagulants are used concomitantly, there is a potential for Epoprostenol to increase the risk of bleeding. However, patients receiving infusions of Epoprostenol in clinical trials were maintained on anticoagulants without evidence of increased bleeding.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Absorption/Distribution

Epoprostenol is rapidly hydrolyzed at neutral pH in blood and is also subject to enzymatic degradation. No available chemical assay is sufficiently sensitive and specific to assess the in vivo human pharmacokinetics of epoprostenol. Animal studies using tritium‑labeled epoprostenol have indicated a high clearance (93 mL/kg/min), small volume of distribution (357 mL/kg), and a short half‑life (2.7 minutes). During infusions in animals, steady‑state plasma concentrations of tritium‑labeled epoprostenol were reached within 15 minutes and were proportional to infusion rates.

Metabolism

Tritium‑labeled epoprostenol has been administered to humans in order to identify the metabolic products of epoprostenol. Epoprostenol is metabolized to 2 primary metabolites: 6‑keto-PGF (formed by spontaneous degradation) and 6,15-diketo-13,14-dihydro-PGF (enzymatically formed), both of which have pharmacological activity orders of magnitude less than epoprostenol in animal test systems. The recovery of radioactivity in urine and feces over a 1‑week period was 82% and 4% of the administered dose, respectively. Fourteen additional minor metabolites have been isolated from urine, indicating that epoprostenol is extensively metabolized in humans.

Elimination

The in vitro half‑life of epoprostenol in human blood at 37°C and pH 7.4 is approximately 6 minutes; therefore, the in vivo half‑life of epoprostenol in humans is expected to be no greater than 6 minutes.

Drug Interactions

In a pharmacokinetic substudy in patients with congestive heart failure receiving furosemide in whom therapy with Epoprostenol was initiated, apparent oral clearance values for furosemide (n = 23) were decreased by 13% on the second day of therapy and returned to baseline values by Day 87. The change in furosemide clearance value is not likely to be clinically significant.

In a pharmacokinetic substudy in patients with congestive heart failure receiving digoxin in whom therapy with Epoprostenol was initiated, apparent oral clearance values for digoxin (n = 30) were decreased by 15% on the second day of therapy and returned to baseline values by Day 87. Clinical significance of this interaction is not known.

13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY

13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long‑term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential. A micronucleus test in rats revealed no evidence of mutagenicity. The Ames test and DNA elution tests were also negative, although the instability of epoprostenol makes the significance of these tests uncertain. Fertility was not impaired in rats given Epoprostenol by subcutaneous injection at doses up to 100 mcg/kg/day (600 mcg/m2/day, 2.5 times the recommended human dose [4.6 ng/kg/min or 245.1 mcg/m2/day, IV] based on body surface area).

14 CLINICAL STUDIES

14.1 Chronic Infusion in Idiopathic or Heritable PAH

Hemodynamic Effects

Chronic continuous infusions of Epoprostenol in patients with idiopathic or heritable PAH were studied in 2 prospective, open, randomized trials of 8 and 12 weeks’ duration comparing Epoprostenol plus conventional therapy with conventional therapy alone. Dosage of Epoprostenol was determined as described in Dosage and Administration and averaged 9.2 ng/kg/min at trials’ end. Conventional therapy varied among patients and included some or all of the following: anticoagulants in essentially all patients; oral vasodilators, diuretics, and digoxin in one-half to two-thirds of patients; and supplemental oxygen in about half the patients. Except for 2 NYHA Functional Class II patients, all patients were either functional Class III or Class IV. As results were similar in the 2 trials, the pooled results are described.

Chronic hemodynamic effects were generally similar to acute effects. Increases in CI, SV, and arterial oxygen saturation and decreases in PAPm, mean right atrial pressure (RAPm), TPR, and systemic vascular resistance (SVR) were observed in patients who received Epoprostenol chronically compared with those who did not. Table 4 illustrates the treatment‑related hemodynamic changes in these patients after 8 or 12 weeks of treatment.


Baseline


Mean Change from Baseline at End of Treatment Perioda


Hemodynamic

Parameter


Epoprostenol

(n = 52)


Standard Therapy

(n = 54)


Epoprostenol

(n = 48)


Standard Therapy

(n = 41)


CI

(L/min/m2)


2.0


2.0


0.3b


-0.1


PAPm

(mm Hg)


60


60


-5b


1


PVR

(Wood U)


16


17


-4b


1


SAPm

(mm Hg)


89


91


-4


-3


SV

(mL/beat)


44


43


6b


-1


TPR

(Wood U)


20


21


-5b


1


aAt 8 weeks: Epoprostenol n = 10, conventional therapy n = 11 (n is the number of patients with hemodynamic data).

At 12 weeks: Epoprostenol n = 38, conventional therapy n = 30 (n is the number of patients with hemodynamic data).

bDenotes statistically significant difference between group receiving Epoprostenol and group receiving conventional therapy.

CI = Cardiac index, PAPm = Mean pulmonary arterial pressure, PVR = Pulmonary vascular resistance, SAPm = Mean systemic arterial pressure, SV = Stroke volume, TPR = Total pulmonary resistance.

These hemodynamic improvements appeared to persist when Epoprostenol was administered for at least 36 months in an open, nonrandomized trial.

The acute hemodynamic response to Epoprostenol did not correlate well with improvement in exercise tolerance or survival during chronic use of Epoprostenol.

Clinical Effects

A statistically significant improvement was observed in exercise capacity, as measured by the 6‑minute walk test in patients receiving continuous intravenous Epoprostenol plus conventional therapy (n = 52) for 8 or 12 weeks compared with those receiving conventional therapy alone (n = 54). Improvements were apparent as early as the first week of therapy. Increases in exercise capacity were accompanied by statistically significant improvement in dyspnea and fatigue, as measured by the Chronic Heart Failure Questionnaire and the Dyspnea Fatigue Index, respectively.

Survival was improved in NYHA Functional Class III and Class IV patients with idiopathic or heritable PAH treated with Epoprostenol for 12 weeks in a multicenter, open, randomized, parallel trial. At the end of the treatment period, 8 of 40 (20%) patients receiving conventional therapy alone died, whereas none of the 41 patients receiving Epoprostenol died (= 0.003).

14.2 Chronic Infusion in PAH/SSD

Hemodynamic Effects

Chronic continuous infusions of Epoprostenol in patients with PAH/SSD were studied in a prospective, open, randomized trial of 12 weeks’ duration comparing Epoprostenol plus conventional therapy (n = 56) with conventional therapy alone (n = 55). Except for 5 NYHA Functional Class II patients, all patients were either functional Class III or Class IV. In the controlled 12-week trial in PAH/SSD, for example, the dose increased from a mean starting dose of 2.2 ng/kg/min. During the first 7 days of treatment, the dose was increased daily to a mean dose of 4.1 ng/kg/min on Day 7 of treatment. At the end of Week 12, the mean dose was 11.2 ng/kg/min. The mean incremental increase was 2 to 3 ng/kg/min every 3 weeks.

Conventional therapy varied among patients and included some or all of the following: anticoagulants in essentially all patients, supplemental oxygen and diuretics in two-thirds of the patients, oral vasodilators in 40% of the patients, and digoxin in a third of the patients. A statistically significant increase in CI and statistically significant decreases in PAPm, RAPm, PVR, and SAPm after 12 weeks of treatment were observed in patients who received Epoprostenol chronically compared with those who did not. Table 5 illustrates the treatment-related hemodynamic changes in these patients after 12 weeks of treatment.


Baseline


Mean Change from Baseline at 12 Weeks


Hemodynamic

Parameter


Epoprostenol

(n = 56)


Conventional Therapy

(n = 55)


Epoprostenol

(n = 50)


Conventional Therapy

(n = 48)


CI

(L/min/m2)


1.9


2.2


0.5a


-0.1


PAPm

(mm Hg)


51


49


-5a


1


RAPm

(mm Hg)


13


11


-1a


1


PVR

(Wood U)


14


11


-5a


1


SAPm

(mm Hg)


93


89


-8a


-1


aDenotes statistically significant difference between group receiving Epoprostenol and group receiving conventional therapy (n is the number of patients with hemodynamic data).

CI = Cardiac index, PAPm = Mean pulmonary arterial pressure, RAPm = Mean right arterial pressure, PVR = Pulmonary vascular resistance, SAPm = Mean systemic arterial pressure.

Clinical Effects

Statistically significant improvement was observed in exercise capacity, as measured by the 6‑minute walk, in patients receiving continuous intravenous Epoprostenol plus conventional therapy for 12 weeks compared with those receiving conventional therapy alone. Improvements were apparent in some patients at the end of the first week of therapy. Increases in exercise capacity were accompanied by statistically significant improvements in dyspnea and fatigue, as measured by the Borg Dyspnea Index and Dyspnea Fatigue Index. At Week 12, NYHA functional class improved in 21 of 51 (41%) patients treated with Epoprostenol compared with none of the 48 patients treated with conventional therapy alone. However, more patients in both treatment groups (28/51 [55%] with Epoprostenol and 35/48 [73%] with conventional therapy alone) showed no change in functional class, and 2/51 (4%) with Epoprostenol and 13/48 (27%) with conventional therapy alone worsened.

No statistical difference in survival over 12 weeks was observed in patients with PAH/SSD treated with Epoprostenol as compared with those receiving conventional therapy alone. At the end of the treatment period, 4 of 56 (7%) patients receiving Epoprostenol died, whereas 5 of 55 (9%) patients receiving conventional therapy alone died.

14.3 Increased Mortality in Patients with Heart Failure Caused by Severe Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction

A large trial evaluating the effect of Epoprostenol on survival in NYHA Class III and IV patients with congestive heart failure due to severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction was terminated after an interim analysis of 471 patients revealed a higher mortality in patients receiving Epoprostenol plus conventional therapy than in those receiving conventional therapy alone. The chronic use of Epoprostenol in patients with heart failure due to severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction is therefore contraindicated.

16 HOW SUPPLIED/STORAGE AND HANDLING

16.1 How Supplied

Epoprostenol for injection is supplied as a sterile freeze‑dried powder in 17‑mL flint glass vials with gray butyl rubber closures.

STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol is supplied in flint glass vials containing 50‑mL diluent with fluororesin‑faced butyl rubber closures with aluminum overseal and yellow plastic flip-off cap.

pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol is supplied in plastic vials containing 50‑mL diluent with fluororesin‑faced butyl rubber closures with aluminum overseal and lavender plastic flip-off cap.


Epoprostenol for injection


0.5-mg per vial, carton of 1


NDC 0173-0517-00


1.5-mg (1,500,000 ng) per vial, carton of 1


NDC 0173-0519-00


STERILE DILUENT

for Epoprostenol


50 mL per vial, carton of 2


NDC 0173-0518-01


pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol


50 mL per vial, carton of 2


NDC 0173-0857-02

16.2 Storage and Handling

Proper storage and handling are essential to maintain the potency of Epoprostenol for injection.

Unopened vials of Epoprostenol powder are stable until the date indicated on the package when stored at room temperature, 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F) and protected from light in the carton.

Unopened vials of STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol and pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol are stable until the date indicated on the package when stored at room temperature, 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). DO NOT FREEZE.

17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION

Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Patient Information).

Advise patients:

  • Epoprostenol must be reconstituted only with STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol or pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol.
  • Reconstituted solution prepared with STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol must be used with a cold pouch if not administered within 8 hours.
  • Reconstituted solutions prepared with pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol do NOT require use with a cold pouch.
  • Epoprostenol is infused continuously through a permanent indwelling central venous catheter via a small, portable infusion pump. Thus, therapy with Epoprostenol requires commitment by the patient to drug reconstitution, drug administration, and care of the permanent central venous catheter. Patients must adhere to sterile technique in preparing the drug and in the care of the catheter, and even brief interruptions in the delivery of Epoprostenol may result in rapid symptomatic deterioration. A patient’s decision to receive Epoprostenol should be based upon the understanding that there is a high likelihood that therapy with Epoprostenol will be needed for prolonged periods, possibly years. Consider the patient's ability to accept and care for a permanent intravenous catheter and infusion pump.
  • To adjust infusion rates of Epoprostenol only under the direction of a physician.
  • To avoid interruptions in drug delivery, the patient should have access to a backup infusion pump and intravenous infusion sets.
  • To contact their healthcare providers if any unusual bruising or bleeding develops.

Epoprostenol is a registered trademark of the GSK group of companies.

GlaxoSmithKline

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

©2016 the GSK group of companies. All rights reserved.

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PHARMACIST‑DETACH HERE AND GIVE INSTRUCTIONS TO PATIENT

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PATIENT INFORMATION

Epoprostenol® (flow-lan)

(epoprostenol sodium)

for injection

Read this Patient Information before you start taking Epoprostenol and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking to your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.

What is Epoprostenol?

Epoprostenol is a prescription medicine used to treat people with certain types of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. Epoprostenol can improve your ability to be physically active.

It is not known if Epoprostenol is safe and effective in children.

Who should not use Epoprostenol?

Do not use Epoprostenol if you:

  • have certain types of heart failure. Talk to your healthcare provider before using Epoprostenol if you have heart failure.
  • are allergic to Epoprostenol or any of the ingredients in Epoprostenol. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in Epoprostenol.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before using Epoprostenol?

Before you use Epoprostenol, tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • are allergic to any medicine.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Epoprostenol will harm your unborn baby. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will use Epoprostenol.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Epoprostenol passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will take Epoprostenol or breastfeed. You should not do both.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take:

  • a “water pill” (diuretic)
  • a medicine for high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • a blood thinner medicine (antiplatelet or anticoagulant medicine)

Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for a list of these medicines, if you are not sure.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them with you to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I use Epoprostenol?

  • Epoprostenol should only be given by infusion through a catheter placed in a vein (intravenous infusion) using an infusion pump.
  • Your first treatment will be given to you by your healthcare provider or nurse. This is so your healthcare provider can monitor you and find the best dose for you.
  • If your healthcare provider decides that you or your caregiver can give infusions of Epoprostenol at home, you or your caregiver will receive training on the right way to mix and infuse Epoprostenol. Do not try to infuse Epoprostenol until you have been shown the right way to infuse Epoprostenol by your healthcare provider.
  • Treatment will be needed for a long period of time, possibly years. You must be able to accept and care for a catheter and infusion pump in order to be treated with Epoprostenol.
  • Use Epoprostenol exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • Do not change your dose or stop your infusion without talking to your healthcare provider. Stopping Epoprostenol suddenly can cause serious side effects.
  • You should have a backup infusion pump and extra supplies needed for your infusion of Epoprostenol.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for taking blood thinner medicines, if prescribed for you.
  • Before you use Epoprostenol, you must mix (reconstitute) Epoprostenol powder with a diluent. There are 2 different types of diluents:
    • STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol (comes in a glass bottle)
    • pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol (comes in a plastic bottle)
  • Do not mix Epoprostenol with any other diluent. You must use STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol or pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol.
  • See “How should I store and use Epoprostenol?” for more information about how to use and store Epoprostenol the right way.
  • A mixed solution of Epoprostenol is clear and colorless. Do not use Epoprostenol if the mixed solution looks discolored or cloudy, or if the solution has flakes or particles in it.

Using more than the prescribed dose of Epoprostenol can lead to death. If you use more than the prescribed dose of Epoprostenol, call your healthcare provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What are the possible side effects of Epoprostenol?

Epoprostenol can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema). If you develop pulmonary edema after starting Epoprostenol, your healthcare provider will stop your treatment and you should not receive Epoprostenol again.
  • Worsening symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with a sudden decrease in the dose of Epoprostenol. Do not change your dose of Epoprostenol or stop your infusion without talking to your healthcare provider. If you suddenly stop or decrease your dose of Epoprostenol you may develop worsening symptoms of your PAH, including shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, or loss of strength.
  • Widening of your blood vessels (vasodilation). Vasodilation reactions can happen after you start Epoprostenol. These reactions are common and may cause low blood pressure (hypotension), flushing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache. Your healthcare provider should check your blood pressure regularly during treatment with Epoprostenol, especially when you start Epoprostenol and after your dose is changed.
  • Increased risk for bleeding. Epoprostenol affects how well your blood clots, so your risk for bleeding is increased. This is especially true if you have other risk factors for bleeding. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any unusual bruising or bleeding.

The most common side effects of Epoprostenol include:

  • dizziness
  • jaw pain
  • headache
  • muscle or bone pain
  • nausea or vomiting

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Epoprostenol. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How should I store and use Epoprostenol?

  • Store Epoprostenol powder at room temperature between 59°F to 77°F (15°C to 25°C).
  • Protect Epoprostenol powder from light. Keep unopened vial of Epoprostenol in the carton until you are ready to mix.
  • Store the STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol and the pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol at room temperature, 59°F to 77°F (15°C to 25°C). Do not freeze.
  • Vials of STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol, and pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol are for one-time use only. Throw away any unused diluent.
  • Throw away any vials of Epoprostenol powder, STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol, and pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol that are out of date or that you no longer need.

How to store mixed solutions of Epoprostenol:

  • Once Epoprostenol and the diluent are mixed together, you may use right away or store in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).
  • Protect the mixed solution of Epoprostenol from light until you are ready to use it.
  • Do not freeze mixed solutions. Throw away any mixed solution that has been frozen.
  • If you are using STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol (comes in a glass bottle) for mixing:
    • If the mixed solution will be used at room temperature:
    • Use the mixed solution over a period of no longer than 8 hours after mixing if not stored in the refrigerator.
    • If the mixed solution has been stored in the refrigerator, infuse it over a period of no longer than 8 hours after removing it from the refrigerator.
    • You may store the mixed solution for up to 40 hours in the refrigerator.
    • Throw away any mixed solution if it has been refrigerated for more than 40 hours.
  • If the mixed solution will be used with a cold pouch:
    • You may store the mixed solution in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
    • Take the mixed solution out of the refrigerator and use it with the cold pouch over a period of no longer than 24 hours. Change the cold pouch every 12 hours.
  • The mixed solution may be kept either in the refrigerator or in the cold pouch, or a combination of the two, for no more than 48 hours. After 48 hours, throw away any mixed solution.
  • If you are using pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol (comes in a plastic bottle) for mixing:
  • Freshly prepared mixed solutions may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 8 days.
  • Mixed solutions (freshly prepared or taken out of the refrigerator) are stable for up to 3 days at 77°F (25°C), up to 2 days at 86°F (30°C), up to 1 day at 95°F (35°C) or up to 12 hours at 104°F (40°C).
  • Epoprostenol mixed with pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol does not require use with a cold pouch.
  • Throw away any mixed solution if it has been refrigerated for more than 8 days.

Keep Epoprostenol and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about the safe and effective use of Epoprostenol

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Patient Information leaflet. Do not use Epoprostenol for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Epoprostenol to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.

This leaflet summarizes the most important information about Epoprostenol. If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider. You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for information about Epoprostenol that is written for health professionals.

For more information, go to www. FLOLAN.com or call 1-888-825-5249.

What are the ingredients in Epoprostenol?

Active ingredient: Epoprostenol.

Inactive ingredients: glycine, mannitol, sodium chloride. Sodium hydroxide may have been added.

The STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol and the pH 12 STERILE DILUENT for Epoprostenol contain: glycine, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, and Water for Injection.

This Patient Information has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

GlaxoSmithKline

Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Epoprostenol is a registered trademark of the GSK group of companies.

©2016 the GSK group of companies. All rights reserved.

Revised: June/2016

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PRINCIPAL DISPLAY PANEL

NDC 0173-0518-00

Epoprostenol pharmaceutical active ingredients containing related brand and generic drugs:

infoActive ingredient is the part of the drug or medicine which is biologically active. This portion of the drug is responsible for the main action of the drug which is intended to cure or reduce the symptom or disease. The other portions of the drug which are inactive are called excipients; there role is to act as vehicle or binder. In contrast to active ingredient, the inactive ingredient's role is not significant in the cure or treatment of the disease. There can be one or more active ingredients in a drug.


Epoprostenol available forms, composition, doses:

infoForm of the medicine is the form in which the medicine is marketed in the market, for example, a medicine X can be in the form of capsule or the form of chewable tablet or the form of tablet. Sometimes same medicine can be available as injection form. Each medicine cannot be in all forms but can be marketed in 1, 2, or 3 forms which the pharmaceutical company decided based on various background research results.
Composition is the list of ingredients which combinedly form a medicine. Both active ingredients and inactive ingredients form the composition. The active ingredient gives the desired therapeutic effect whereas the inactive ingredient helps in making the medicine stable.
Doses are various strengths of the medicine like 10mg, 20mg, 30mg and so on. Each medicine comes in various doses which is decided by the manufacturer, that is, pharmaceutical company. The dose is decided on the severity of the symptom or disease.

Price
Epoprostenol sodium 0.5 mg vial13.88 USD
Epoprostenol sodium 1.5 mg vial33.53 USD
Flolan 0.5 mg vial21.36 USD
Flolan 1.5 mg vial51.59 USD
Injectable; Injection; Epoprostenol Sodium 0.5 mg
Injectable; Injection; Epoprostenol Sodium 1.5 mg

Epoprostenol destination | category:

infoDestination is defined as the organism to which the drug or medicine is targeted. For most of the drugs what we discuss, human is the drug destination.
Drug category can be defined as major classification of the drug. For example, an antihistaminic or an antipyretic or anti anginal or pain killer, anti-inflammatory or so.


Epoprostenol Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical codes:

infoA medicine is classified depending on the organ or system it acts [Anatomical], based on what result it gives on what disease, symptom [Therapeutical], based on chemical composition [Chemical]. It is called as ATC code. The code is based on Active ingredients of the medicine. A medicine can have different codes as sometimes it acts on different organs for different indications. Same way, different brands with same active ingredients and same indications can have same ATC code.


Epoprostenol pharmaceutical companies:

infoPharmaceutical companies are drug manufacturing companies that help in complete development of the drug from the background research to formation, clinical trials, release of the drug into the market and marketing of the drug.
Researchers are the persons who are responsible for the scientific research and is responsible for all the background clinical trials that resulted in the development of the drug.


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References

  1. Dailymed."VELETRI (EPOPROSTENOL) INJECTION, POWDER, LYOPHILIZED, FOR SOLUTION [ACTELION PHARMACEUTICALS US, INC.]". https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailym... (accessed August 28, 2018).
  2. Dailymed."FLOLAN (EPOPROSTENOL SODIUM) INJECTION, POWDER, LYOPHILIZED, FOR SOLUTION DILUENT (WATER) SOLUTION [GLAXOSMITHKLINE LLC]". https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailym... (accessed August 28, 2018).
  3. "epoprostenol". https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/co... (accessed August 28, 2018).

Frequently asked Questions

Can i drive or operate heavy machine after consuming Epoprostenol?

Depending on the reaction of the Epoprostenol after taken, if you are feeling dizziness, drowsiness or any weakness as a reaction on your body, Then consider Epoprostenol not safe to drive or operate heavy machine after consumption. Meaning that, do not drive or operate heavy duty machines after taking the capsule if the capsule has a strange reaction on your body like dizziness, drowsiness. As prescribed by a pharmacist, it is dangerous to take alcohol while taking medicines as it exposed patients to drowsiness and health risk. Please take note of such effect most especially when taking Primosa capsule. It's advisable to consult your doctor on time for a proper recommendation and medical consultations.

Is Epoprostenol addictive or habit forming?

Medicines are not designed with the mind of creating an addiction or abuse on the health of the users. Addictive Medicine is categorically called Controlled substances by the government. For instance, Schedule H or X in India and schedule II-V in the US are controlled substances.

Please consult the medicine instruction manual on how to use and ensure it is not a controlled substance.In conclusion, self medication is a killer to your health. Consult your doctor for a proper prescription, recommendation, and guidiance.

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Review

sDrugs.com conducted a study on Epoprostenol, and the result of the survey is set out below. It is noteworthy that the product of the survey is based on the perception and impressions of the visitors of the website as well as the views of Epoprostenol consumers. We, as a result of this, advice that you do not base your therapeutic or medical decisions on this result, but rather consult your certified medical experts for their recommendations.

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The information was verified by Dr. Arunabha Ray, MD Pharmacology

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