Epoprostenol is available as a stable freeze-dried sodium salt for intravenous administration in humans. Because of its short elimination half-life of 2 to 3 min, it must be infused continuously, thus permitting precise titration and controllability. Epoprostenol is diluted in a glycine buffer of pH 10 to 11. Therefore it must be infused through a separate line to avoid inactivation by acid drugs (e.g. catecholamines) ( .S.C,h.e.e.r.e.D..,^ The stable analog iloprost may also be orally administered and has minor side-effects (yaneand O.,.Grady...1i9i93).

PGE series

The naturally occurring prostanoids PGE 1 and PGE2 (dinoprostone) are also available for intravenous application ( yane...and..MO1GIa.d,y.,!993). PGE1 and PGE2 are rapidly metabolized (half-life < 1 min). However, the active metabolite accounts for part of the vasodilatory activity. The recommended dose for the longer-acting stable analog misoprostol is 100 to 200 g four times daily ( yaD.e...and..,O'.G.rady 1993).

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