Riociguat is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (high blood pressure in the blood vessels leading to the lungs) and pulmonary thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (blood clots in the lungs leading to high blood pressure).
Take Riociguat exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor. You may take Riociguat with or without food. If you are unable to swallow whole tablets, you may crush it and mix it with water or soft foods (e.g. applesauce) before taking it.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
Riociguat must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances. If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
If you miss a dose, do not take the missed dose in between meals. Take only at your next scheduled dose and meal. DO NOT double a dose to make up for a missed dose.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- pulmonary hypertension with idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (complication of lung diseases that inflame or scar the lungs)
- severe liver disease
as Riociguat may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Riociguat if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Riociguat may cause harm to your unborn child. You must use proven birth control methods while taking Riociguat.
Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
Do not take Riociguat with medicines for impotence, medicines for heart disease, blood-thinning medicines and medicines for asthma. Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (blockage of blood vessels that carry blood from the lungs to the heart)
- low blood pressure
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you smoke. Smokers may require a larger dose of this medicine.
For as long as you are taking this medicine, you may need to have regular monitoring of your blood pressure to check your body’s response to the medicine. Pregnancy test may be done prior to initiation, throughout treatment duration, and after discontinuation of treatment.
Riociguat may make you drowsy or dizzy. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects may include any of the following: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, constipation, stomach pain, burning sensation in your chest after eating, palpitations, and swelling of the ankles, feet or hands.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or coffee like grounds
- coughing up blood
- blood in the urine or stools
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take this medicine with the following medicines:
- medicines used to treat impotence e.g. sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil
- medicines for heart disease e.g. nitroglycerin, amyl nitrate
- dipyridamole (blood-thinning medicine)
- theophylline (medicine for asthma)
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, itraconazole
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital
- medicine for tuberculosis or TB e.g. rifampicin
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir
- herbal medicines e.g. St John’s wort
Riociguat should not be taken with antacids as antacids could reduce the effectiveness of this medicine. If you must take antacids, take between meals at least 2 hours after you have taken Riociguat.
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Riociguat.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.