Flolan is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve exercise capacity in cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Flolan may be referred to by its drug name, Epoprostenol.
Flolan is a prostaglandin. Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds made by the body. In cases of PAH, lower levels of prostaglandins are associated with narrowing of blood vessels in the lungs. Prostaglandins are believed to work in two ways. First, prostaglandins dilate the blood vessels of the lungs, increasing the blood flow and the amount of oxygen the cells receive. Second, prostaglandins help slow scarring in the blood vessels of the lungs, delaying the progress of the disease.
How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that Flolan is taken as a continuous intravenous infusion through a thin, flexible tube called a Hickman or Groshong line. The line is permanently implanted into the chest and attached to a pump worn on the belt or as a backpack.
Flolan comes in the form of single-use vials that must be reconstituted before administration.
The FDA-approved label for Flolan lists common side effects including headache, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, jaw pain, musculoskeletal pain, flushed skin, tachycardia (fast heartbeat), nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Flolan include hypotension (low blood pressure), pulmonary edema (swelling and fluid in the lungs), and bleeding. Intravenous infusion through a permanent line carries the additional risk for serious infection, including life-threatening sepsis.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Flolan – RxList
Prostaglandins – Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK