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Ventavis solution should not be allowed to come into contact with the skin or eyes; oral ingestion of Ventavis solution should be avoided.
Risk of Syncope
Monitor vital signs while initiating Ventavis. Do not initiate Ventavis in patients with systolic blood pressure below 85 mmHg. Syncope can also occur in association with pulmonary arterial hypertension, particularly in association with physical exertion. The occurrence of exertional syncope may reflect a therapeutic gap or insufficient efficacy, and the need to adjust dose or change therapy should be considered.
Pulmonary Venous Hypertension
Should signs of pulmonary edema occur when inhaled Ventavis is administered in patients with pulmonary hypertension, stop treatment immediately, as this may be a sign of pulmonary venous hypertension.
Ventavis inhalation can induce bronchospasm. Bronchospasm may be more severe or frequent in patients with a history of hyperreactive airways. Ventavis has not been evaluated in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe asthma, or with acute pulmonary infections.
Patient Counseling Information
Patients receiving Ventavis should be advised to use the drug only as prescribed with the I-neb® AAD® System, following the manufacturer's instructions. Patients should be trained in proper administration techniques including dosing frequency, ampule dispensing, I-neb® AAD® System operation, and equipment cleaning.
Advise patients that they may have a fall in blood pressure with Ventavis, so they may become dizzy or even faint. They should stand up slowly when they get out of a chair or bed. If fainting gets worse, patients should consult their physicians about dose adjustment.
Advise patients that Ventavis should be inhaled at intervals of not less than 2 hours and that the acute benefits of Ventavis may not last 2 hours. Thus patients may want to adjust times of administration to cover planned activities.
See FDA-approved patient labeling.
Ventavis ampules may be opened with a rubber pad or with an ampule breaker.
When using a rubber pad:
1. With one hand, hold the bottom of the ampule with the blue dot facing away from your body.
2. With the other hand, wrap the included rubber pad around the entire ampule.
3. Using your thumbs, break open the neck of the ampule by snapping the top towards you and then carefully dispose of the top of the ampule into a sharps bin.
When using an ampule breaker:
1. Align the blue dot on the Ventavis ampule with the dot on the ampule breaker, if available, and then insert the top of the ampule into the ampule breaker.
2. Gently break open the neck of the ampule by levering away from the dot on the Ventavis ampule to snap off the ampule lid.
3. Carefully dispose of the top of the ampule into a sharps bin or appropriate storage container.
4. After opening the ampule, use the small tube (pipette) supplied with Ventavis, draw-up the entire amount of one ampule of Ventavis and transfer the entire contents of the ampule into the medication chamber of the I-neb® AAD® System.
5. Safely dispose of the open ampule and pipette as instructed by your healthcare practitioner. Keep ampules and pipettes out of the reach of children.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Iloprost was not mutagenic in bacterial and mammalian cells in the presence or absence of extrinsic metabolic activation. Iloprost did not cause chromosomal aberrations in vitro in human lymphocytes and was not clastogenic in vivo in NMRI/SPF mice. There was no evidence of a tumorigenic effect of iloprost clathrate (13% iloprost by weight) in Sprague-Dawley rats dosed orally for up to 8 months at doses of up to 125 mg/kg/day (Cmax of 45 ng/mL serum), followed by 16 months at 100 mg/kg/day, or in Crl:CD1® (ICR)BR albino mice dosed orally for up to 24 months at doses of up to 125 mg/kg/day (Cmax of 156 ng/mL serum). The recommended clinical dosage regimen for iloprost (5 mcg) affords a serum Cmax of 0.16 ng/mL. Fertility of males or females was not impaired in Han-Wistar rats at intravenous doses up to 1 mg/kg/day.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
Ventavis has been shown to be teratogenic in rats as described below. There are no adequate and well controlled studies in pregnant women. Ventavis should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
In developmental toxicity studies in pregnant Han-Wistar rats, continuous intravenous administration of iloprost at a dosage of 0.01 mg/kg daily (serum levels not available) led to shortened digits of the thoracic extremity in fetuses and pups. In comparable studies in pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats which received iloprost clathrate (13% iloprost by weight) orally at dosages of up to 50 mg/kg/day (Cmax of 90 ng/mL), in pregnant rabbits at intravenous dosages of up to 0.5 mg/kg/day (Cmax of 86 ng/mL), and in pregnant monkeys at dosages of up to 0.04 mg/kg/day (serum levels of 1 ng/mL), no such digital anomalies or other gross-structural abnormalities were observed in the fetuses/pups. However, in gravid Sprague-Dawley rats, iloprost clathrate (13% iloprost) significantly increased the number of non-viable fetuses at a maternally toxic oral dosage of 250 mg/kg/day and in Han-Wistar rats was found to be embryolethal in 15 of 44 litters at an intravenous dosage of 1 mg/kg/day.
It is not known whether Ventavis is excreted in human milk. In studies with Han-Wistar rats, higher mortality was observed in pups of lactating dams receiving iloprost intravenously at 1 mg/kg daily. In Sprague-Dawley rats, higher mortality was also observed in nursing pups at a maternally toxic oral dose of 250 mg/kg/day of iloprost clathrate (13% iloprost by weight). In rats a passage of low levels of iloprost or metabolites in to the milk was observed (less than 1% of iloprost dose given intravenously). No disturbance of post-natal development and reproductive performance was seen in animals exposed during lactation. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from Ventavis, a decision to discontinue nursing should be made, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Safety and efficacy in pediatric patients have not been established.
Clinical studies of Ventavis did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and older to determine whether they respond differently than younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between 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.
Ventavis has not been evaluated in subjects with impaired hepatic function. However, in an intravenous iloprost study in patients with liver cirrhosis, the mean clearance in Child- Pugh Class B subjects (n=5) was approximately 10 mL/min/kg (half that of healthy subjects). Following oral administration, the mean AUC0-8h in Child-Pugh Class B subjects (n=3) was 1725 pg*h/mL compared to 117 pg*h/mL in normal subjects (n=4) receiving the same oral iloprost dose. In Child-Pugh Class A subjects (n=5), the mean AUC0-8h was 639 pg*h/mL. Although exposure increased with hepatic impairment, there was no effect on half-life.
Ventavis has not been evaluated in subjects with impaired renal function. However, in a study with intravenous infusion of iloprost in patients with end-stage renal failure requiring intermittent dialysis treatment (n=7), the mean AUC0-4h was 230 pg*h/mL compared to 54 pg*h/mL in patients with renal failure (n=8) not requiring intermittent dialysis and 48 pg*h/mL in normals. The half-life was similar in both groups. The effect of dialysis on iloprost exposure has not been evaluated.This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/12/2013
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