A new epoprostenol formulation for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 08/20/2012
Fuentes A et al. – Veletri provides an epoprostenol therapy option that reduces some of the inconveniences of the other formulation. Drug stability is dependent on cassette concentrations, which may be limited by sterility concerns with outpatient preparation. Use of this new agent within the health system requires an evaluation of practices to ensure patient safety.
- Epoprostenol is a direct vasodilator of the pulmonary and systemic vasculature indicated for improving exercise capacity in patients with PAH.
- Veletri, a recently approved formulation of epoprostenol for continuous i.v. infusion, offers increased stability relative to other available epoprostenol products.
- Therefore, the use of Veletri can lessen the therapy burden associated with the other available formulation of the drug by allowing for the advance preparation of infusion pump cassettes (at certain concentrations) and administration at room temperature without the need for cooling with ice packs.
- Sterility, however, is of concern with outpatient preparation of epoprostenol–containing cassettes stored for the maximum duration according to stability guidelines.
- All epoprostenol infusions are classified as high–risk therapies due to complex dosing, the drug’s short half–life, and the potential for life–threatening rebound PAH with abrupt discontinuation.
- Adverse effects reported in ≥10% of participants in clinical trials of Veletri included flushing (58%), headache (49%), nausea or vomiting (32%), hypotension (16%), chest pain (11%), and anxiety, nervousness, or agitation (11%).
- As with other epoprostenol formulations, the use of Veletri requires an evaluation of health–system medication–use practices to ensure patient safety.