Ventavis is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve symptoms and exercise capacity and to avoid deterioration in cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Ventavis may be referred to by its drug name, iloprost.
Ventavis 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 Ventavis is inhaled via nebulizer between six and nine times a day. Ventavis can also be administered by intravenous infusion.
Ventavis comes in the form of ampules designed to be taken via a specialized, portable nebulizer system.
The FDA-approved label for Ventavis lists common side effects including headache, cough, flu-like symptoms, pneumonia, flushed skin, insomnia, hypotension (low blood pressure), tongue or back pain, jaw spasms, muscle cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Ventavis include syncope (fainting), pulmonary venous hypertension (inability of the heart to carry blood away from the lungs), and bronchospasm (tightening of muscles in the airways causing difficulty in breathing).
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Ventavis — Actelion