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Systematic (IUPAC) name
hexahydrocyclopenta[d]furan-2-ylidene]pentanoic acid
CAS number 35121-78-9
ATC code B01AC09
PubChem 114805
DrugBank APRD00949
Chemical data
Formula C20H32O5 
Mol. mass 352.465 g/mol
SMILES search in eMolecules, PubChem
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability Not applicable (IV only)
Metabolism To 6-keto-PGF and 6,15-diketo-13,14-dihydro-PGF
Half life 6 minutes (in vitro)
Excretion Renal
Therapeutic considerations
Licence data


Pregnancy cat.


Legal status

Prescription only

Routes Intravenous

Epoprostenol is a synthetic form of prostacyclin, and is used to treat pulmonary hypertension. It is sold under the trade name Flolan.


Clinical pharmacology

As an analogue of prostacyclin PGI2, epoprostenol effects vasodilation, which in turn lowers the blood pressure. Epoprotstenol also inhibits platelet aggregation, though the role this phenomenon may play in relation to pulmonary hypertension has yet to be determined.


Epoprostenol is given via continuous infusion that requires a semi-permanent central venous catheter. This means that the patient must be attached to an infusion pump at all times. This delivery system can cause sepsis and thrombosis. Because epoprostenol is unstable, it must be kept cold, even during administration. Since it has a half-life of 3 to 5 minutes, the infusion has to be continuous (24/7), and an interruption can lead to a potentially fatal rebound of symptoms.


Epoprostenol was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and approved in the USA as a medicine in 1995.


It was licensed to Myogen, which was subsequently acquired by Gilead Sciences. Flolan is marketed in the United States by Gilead Sciences and elsewhere by GlaxoSmithKline.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Epoprostenol". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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