HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

Helpful Hints
Beginning treatment with VELETRI starts with a trip to your healthcare professional to discuss what to expect with VELETRI.

Helpful Tips for Treating PAH With VELETRI® (epoprostenol) for Injection

Although living with and treating pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) isn't easy, VELETRI.com is designed to provide you with helpful information about PAH treatment. Here are some tips that can help you get familiar with how to prepare, store, and take VELETRI.

1. Mixing your medicine

  • If you ever have any questions after you have been trained in mixing VELETRI, ask your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider.

  • Be sure to involve a family member or caregiver so that they will also know how to prepare your medicine.

  • VELETRI should be used only with Sterile Water for Injection, USP, or Sodium Chloride 0.9% Injection, USP. Do not mix VELETRI with other intravenous medications. Do not expose VELETRI to direct sunlight.

2. Storing your medicine1

When you start VELETRI I.V. therapy, you have the option to prepare and use your medicine immediately, or to prepare your medicine and store it in the refrigerator (36°F to 46°F/2°C to 8°C) for up to 8 days. Each vial is for single use only; discard any unused solution.

In both cases, your healthcare professional will work closely with you and give you specific directions for preparing, storing, and using your medicine.

Remember, never change the way you prepare or store VELETRI unless instructed to do so by your healthcare professional.

For more information about storing VELETRI, please click here or refer to the full Prescribing Information.

3. Wearing your pump

  • A portable, battery-operated pump administers VELETRI.

  • To wear this pump, you may attach it to a belt around the waist or carry it in a purse or shoulder bag.

4. Developing an emergency plan

  • VELETRI must be infused continuously via a central venous catheter using an ambulatory infusion pump. If there is a disruption of delivery of VELETRI, call 9-1-1 immediately.

    • If the catheter to the pump suddenly disconnects, immediately reconnect and call your healthcare professional. Tell your doctor that your dosage has been interrupted and he or she will provide instructions on what to do next.

  • Ask your nurse about talking with your local emergency medical services (EMS).

  • Prepare an emergency supply kit and take it with you whenever you leave home. Put all of your supplies and medication in a bag you can carry with you, so it cannot get lost. Many hospitals do not normally stock the medication or special supplies needed to administer your therapy. Being prepared can help you avoid many problems.

    Your list may vary. Consult your healthcare professional to determine exactly what you need to create an emergency supply kit.

    • Suggested items:
      • Backup ambulatory infusion pump (such as CADD-Legacy® 1 pump)
      • Extra AA batteries (new)
      • Prepared/mixed VELETRI cassette*
      • Alcohol pads or skin prep pads
      • Tape
      • Syringes
      • 18-gauge needle or vial adaptors
      • Extra ambulatory infusion pump cassette (such as CADD-Legacy 1 cassette)
      • 48-hour supply of VELETRI (unmixed powder) and either Sterile Water for Injection, USP, or Sodium Chloride 0.9% Injection, USP
      • Extra extension tubing
      • Injection cap (if needed)
      • Central line dressing change supplies
      • Sodium chloride (if flushing catheter)
      • Plastic clamps (hemostats)

*You can prepare and store fully diluted cassettes in the refrigerator (36°F to 46°F/2°C to 8°C) for up to 8 days and then administer them at room temperature (77°F/25°C) for up to 24 hours without ice packs. Do not expose VELETRI to direct sunlight. Talk to your healthcare professional about the storage conditions for the VELETRI backup cassette.

5. Involving others in your care and treatment

  • Build a support network that includes family members, caregivers, other people with PAH, and members of your healthcare team (doctors, nurses, specialty pharmacies).

  • Reach out to these individuals for education and support.

  • Always talk to your doctor or healthcare team about issues or questions you may have about your condition or treatment, particularly:

    • If you are about to start on any new medicines
    • If you become pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
    • If you have not used your medicine exactly as prescribed
    • If you experience any side effects or allergic reactions while taking VELETRI

Frequently asked questions about VELETRI and treating PAH


Who should not take VELETRI?

VELETRI should not be used if you have heart failure due to severe left heart disease, if you develop fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) when starting therapy, or if you are allergic to epoprostenol.

Some medications may interact with VELETRI. Please talk to your doctor about all of your medications.

What is the most important information I should know about VELETRI?

It is important to use VELETRI as directed by your doctor. VELETRI should be used only with Sterile Water for Injection, USP, or Sodium Chloride 0.9% Injection, USP. Do not mix VELETRI with other intravenous medications. Each vial is for single use only; discard any unused medication. Use at room temperature (77°F/25°C). Do not expose VELETRI to direct sunlight.

When you take epoprostenol for the first time, you must be in a setting (hospital or clinic) where you can be monitored for any serious side effects or in case of emergency. Your blood pressure and heart rate should also be monitored with any dose changes. If you are taking VELETRI, your doctor may prescribe another kind of medicine used to prevent blood clots. It is the use of these medications concomitantly (in combination) with VELETRI that may potentially cause an increase in the risk of bleeding.

What is VELETRI?

VELETRI is a prescription medicine that is given intravenously (in a vein). It is used to treat adults with certain kinds of severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) (WHO Group 1), a condition in which blood pressure is too high in the blood vessels between the heart and the lungs. VELETRI may improve your ability to exercise as measured by how far you can walk in 6 minutes (6-minute walk test).

Studies showing VELETRI is effective included mainly patients with NYHA Functional Class III-IV PAH. In these patients, PAH was caused by unidentified or hereditary factors or connective tissue disease.

Who should not take VELETRI?

VELETRI should not be used if you have heart failure due to severe left heart disease, if you develop fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) when starting therapy, or if you are allergic to epoprostenol.

Some medications may interact with VELETRI. Please talk to your doctor about all of your medications.

What is the most important information I should know about VELETRI?

It is important to use VELETRI as directed by your doctor. VELETRI should be used only with Sterile Water for Injection, USP, or Sodium Chloride 0.9% Injection, USP. Do not mix VELETRI with other intravenous medications. Each vial is for single use only; discard any unused medication. Use at room temperature (77°F/25°C). Do not expose VELETRI to direct sunlight.

When you take epoprostenol for the first time, you must be in a setting (hospital or clinic) where you can be monitored for any serious side effects or in case of emergency. Your blood pressure and heart rate should also be monitored with any dose changes. If you are taking VELETRI, your doctor may prescribe another kind of medicine used to prevent blood clots. It is the use of these medications concomitantly (in combination) with VELETRI that may potentially cause an increase in the risk of bleeding.

Sudden and dramatic changes in dose may lead to unstable blood pressure, a return of pulmonary hypertension symptoms, or fatal low blood pressure (hypotension). Do not stop using VELETRI without first talking to your doctor.

To reduce the risk of infection in the bloodstream, it is important to know how to properly care for the catheter and infusion pump.

What is VELETRI?

VELETRI is a prescription medicine that is given intravenously (in a vein). It is used to treat adults with certain kinds of severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) (WHO Group 1), a condition in which blood pressure is too high in the blood vessels between the heart and the lungs. VELETRI may improve your ability to exercise as measured by how far you can walk in 6 minutes (6-minute walk test).

Studies showing VELETRI is effective included mainly patients with NYHA Functional Class III-IV PAH. In these patients, PAH was caused by unidentified or hereditary factors or connective tissue disease.

What are the possible side effects of VELETRI?

You may have side effects at the start of treatment or with dose increases. The most common side effects seen in at least 1% of patients were flushing, headache, nausea/vomiting, low blood pressure, anxiety/nervousness, chest pain, dizziness, slow heartbeat, abdominal pain, pain in the muscles and/or ligaments and bones, shortness of breath, back pain, sweating, upset stomach, numbness/increased sensitivity, and fast heartbeat.

The most common side effects in patients with PAH due to unidentified or hereditary factors with at least 10% difference between the group that received epoprostenol and the group that received conventional therapy alone were flu-like symptoms, fast heartbeat, flushing, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, jaw pain, pain in the muscles and/or ligaments and bones, anxiety/nervousness, dizziness, headache, and numbness/increased sensitivity/tingling.

The most common side effects in patients with PAH due to connective tissue disease with at least 10% difference between the group that received epoprostenol and the group that received conventional therapy alone were flushing, low blood pressure, lack of appetite, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, jaw pain, neck/joint pain, headache, skin ulcer, and rash.

Talk to your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of VELETRI. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

1. VELETRI® (epoprostenol) for Injection Full Prescribing Information. Actelion Pharmaceuticals US, Inc. July 2016.