Riociguat is used to treat high blood pressure in the lungs, known as pulmonary hypertension. More specifically, it can help treat a subgroup of pulmonary hypertension patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension or chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH).
Riociguat is a type of medication called a soluble guanylate cyclase stimulator. It works by widening the pulmonary arteries (the blood vessels that send blood from the heart to the lungs to receive oxygen), making it easier for the heart to pump blood through the lungs. This should improve symptoms such as breathlessness and increase your ability to exercise.
Common side effects include:
These side effects may be minimized by starting with a lower dose and may improve or go away with time. Inform your healthcare professional if it becomes bothersome or does not go away.
Rare side effects include:
Very rarely, riociguat may cause abnormal bleeding. These symptoms may include one or more of the following:
Rarely, riociguat may cause low haemoglobin (a type of protein in red blood cells) levels. These symptoms may include one or more of the following:
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.
Inform your healthcare professional if:
Avoid taking grapefruit or its juice when you are taking this medication as grapefruit may interact with your medication and increase the risk of side-effects.
If you are taking riociguat, you should avoid certain medications. Some examples are: nitrates (e.g. glyceryl trinitrate, isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate), phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (e.g. sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil), non-specific phosphodiesterase inhibitors (e.g. theophylline, dipyridamole).
Some medications may interact with riociguat and affect its effectiveness or increase the risk of side-effects. However, these medications may also be important for your treatment. Inform your healthcare professional of the other medications you are currently taking. Examples include:
Riociguat should be taken one hour apart from antacids (A type of medication used for reducing gastric acid).
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.
Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.
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