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What can it do?

Welcome to the beta Arthritis Virtual Assistant. At the moment it can give you general information about your condition and medication, and provide you with useful exercises to help manage your arthritis.

Why do we need your help?

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant has been built to learn and improve with every use. That way, whenever you use it, you’re indirectly helping another person get the answers that they need for their arthritis.

What can you ask?

You'll get the best response if your question relates to a single type of arthritis, and is expressed as clearly and simply as possible. For example, "What are the best exercises for osteoarthritis?" or "What are the side effects of methotrexate?"


Are you sure you want to close your conversation?

Your conversation will not be visible the next time you visit the Arthritis Virtual Assistant. If you want to keep a copy of the advice you've been given, you can print it using the button at the top of the chat window.

How would you rate your experience so far?


Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant is being developed into a brand new type of tool which will help you to get the answers you need for your type of arthritis.

This automated chat service is designed to provide general information about your condition and ways you can manage it. It’s been developed from over 80 years of our research work and also learns from the experiences of its users. It’s a ‘beta’ version which means it’s still learning from you, and others. It uses artificial intelligence to decide which are the best responses to give you and it will improve each time it’s used. The better the information we can provide then the more people we can help to manage their condition too.

The advice in this service isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice so we’d always recommend speaking to your doctor about your treatment. When you use the Arthritis Virtual Assistant, you’ll be asked for your first name and the type of arthritis you have, there’s no need to tell us anything more personal than that.

By using the Arthritis Virtual Assistant you confirm that you understand and accept the terms of use and consent to how we will use the information you provide.

Helpline 0800 5200 520 More information

Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.
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> > > > What is iloprost and why is it prescribed?

What is iloprost and why is it prescribed?

Iloprost is a man-made form of a substance called prostacyclin which is produced naturally in the body. Iloprost is used to improve blood flow in people with severe circulatory problems.

Epoprostenol is another form of prostacyclin, used by some doctors for the same reasons and in the same way. The information in these pages refers to both iloprost and epoprostenol.

Iloprost or epoprostenol may be prescribed if you have ulcers of the fingers resulting from systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) or related conditions. They may also be used for severe Raynaud's phenomenon or when there is gangrene due to very poor circulation.

Iloprost improves the circulation of the blood by:

  • opening up the blood vessels, which helps them to carry more blood to all areas of the body
  • reducing clumping of the red cells in the blood, which reduces the tendency of the blood to clot
  • helping to prevent or repair damage to blood vessels.

Iloprost usually starts to work immediately, although it can sometimes take up to six weeks.

If you've been suffering with very cold hands or feet they may feel warmer straight away. Ulcers may begin to improve within a few days.

Iloprost's beneficial effects may carry on for weeks and sometimes even months after the infusion.

Usually, iloprost is prescribed if other drugs such as nifedipine haven't worked for you. Your doctor will discuss other treatment options with you if need be.


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.