How do I take iloprost and how long does it take to work?
Iloprost is given through a drip (infusion) into your arm, usually continuously for about six hours a day for 3–5 days in a row in hospital or a clinic. It can sometimes be given continuously over 24 hours.
In some hospitals you stay on the ward for the three to five days and in others you attend the day-case unit during the day and go home in the evenings.
The infusion will be started at a low dose and then increased gradually to make sure you can tolerate the higher doses. If you develop side-effects, your dose will generally be reduced again.
The rate at which iloprost is given depends on your weight, but can also be adjusted if you have side-effects.
Sometimes longer-term or continuous prostacyclin is prescribed, for example in people with pulmonary hypertension (a condition sometimes associated with scleroderma that leads to raised pressure in the arteries supplying the lungs).
Iloprost usually starts to work immediately, although it can sometimes take up to six weeks.