Infusion of iloprost without a peristaltic pump: Safety and tolerability

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Paola Faggioli
Leopoldo Giani
Antonino Mazzone *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Antonino Mazzone | paola.granata@pagepress.org

Abstract

Introduction: Iloprost is a potent prostacyclin (PGI2) analogue that is effective in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease, vasculitis, pulmonary hypertension, and secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon. Intravenous infusions are generally administered with the aid of a peristaltic pump to reduce the risk of adverse reactions caused by unintentional increases in the infusion rate. This increases the cost of care in terms of equipment and personnel and may limit the use of this drug.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed 18,432 iloprost infusions administered between 1999 and 2009 to 272 patients with systemic sclerosis (n = 253) and 19 with peripheral arterial disease (n = 19). All infusions were administered in the day hospital over 6 h with a normal IV set-up with a roller flow regulator. Flow rates were set to deliver iloprost at 1-2 ng/kg/min. Rates were verified by direct drop counts during the first 15-20 minutes of the infusion and at each subsequent check.
Results: There were no adverse events that were fatal, life-threatening, or associated with prolongation of hospitalization and very few events requiring intensive care or continuous monitoring. The latter included 4 cases of tachycardia/arrhythmia (extrasystoles in most cases), 3 cases of hypotension (systolic pressure < 80 mmHg), and 2 cases of hypertension (BP > 170/100 mmHg). All other adverse reactions were mild, reversible, and similar to those seen with iloprost infusion with peristaltic pump. Only one patient had to be switched to another prostanoid (due to intolerance).
Discussion: Iloprost infusion administered with a normal IV flow regulator appears to be as safe, well tolerated, and effective as traditional infusion with a peristaltic pump.

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