Tadalafil is an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), the enzyme responsible for the degradation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Pulmonary arterial hypertension is associated with impaired release of nitric oxide by the vascular endothelium and consequent reduction of cGMP concentrations in the pulmonary vascular smooth muscle. PDE5 is the predominant phosphodiesterase in the pulmonary vasculature. Inhibition of PDE5 by tadalafil increases the concentrations of cGMP resulting in relaxation of pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells and vasodilation of the pulmonary vascular bed.
Studies in vitro have demonstrated that tadalafil is a selective inhibitor of PDE5. PDE5 is found in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle, visceral smooth muscle, corpus cavernosum, skeletal muscle, platelets, kidney, lung, cerebellum, and pancreas.
In vitro studies have shown that the effect of tadalafil is more potent on PDE5 than on other phosphodiesterases. These studies have shown that tadalafil is > 10,000–fold more potent for PDE5 than for PDE1, PDE2, PDE4, and PDE7 enzymes, which are found in the heart, brain, blood vessels, liver, leukocytes, skeletal muscle, and other organs. Tadalafil is > 10,000–fold more potent for PDE5 than for PDE3, an enzyme found in the heart and blood vessels. Additionally, tadalafil is 700–fold more potent for PDE5 than for PDE6, which is found in the retina and is responsible for phototransduction. Tadalafil is > 9,000-fold more potent for PDE5 than for PDE8, PDE9, and PDE10. Tadalafil is 14–fold more potent for PDE5 than for PDE11A1 and 40–fold more potent for PDE5 than for PDE11A4, two of the four known forms of PDE11. PDE11 is an enzyme found in human prostate, testes, skeletal muscle and in other tissues. In vitro , tadalafil inhibits human recombinant PDE11A1 and, to a lesser degree, PDE11A4 activities at concentrations within the therapeutic range. The physiological role and clinical consequence of PDE11 inhibition in humans have not been defined.
Effects on Blood Pressure When Administered with Nitrates
In clinical pharmacology studies, tadalafil (5 to 20 mg) was shown to potentiate the hypotensive effect of nitrates. Do not use ALYQ™ in patients taking any form of nitrates [see Contraindications (4.1)].
A double–blind, placebo–controlled, crossover study in 150 male subjects at least 40 years of age (including subjects with diabetes mellitus and/or controlled hypertension) assessed the interaction between nitroglycerin and tadalafil. Subjects received daily doses of tadalafil 20 mg or matching placebo for 7 days and then were given a single dose of 0.4 mg sublingual nitroglycerin (NTG) at pre–specified timepoints following their last dose of tadalafil (2, 4, 8, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after tadalafil). A significant interaction between tadalafil and NTG was observed at each timepoint up to and including 24 hours. At 48 hours, by most hemodynamic measures, the interaction between tadalafil and NTG was not observed, although a few more tadalafil subjects compared to placebo experienced greater blood–pressure lowering effects at this timepoint. After 48 hours, the interaction was not detectable [See Contraindications (4.1)].
Effects on Blood Pressure.
The effects of tadalafil on blood pressure alone and administered with antihypertensives, alcohol, and alpha-blockers is shown in Figure 1.
a In some subjects, postural dizziness and orthostatic hypotension were observed. When tadalafil was administered with lower doses of alcohol (0.6 g/kg), hypotension was not observed, and dizziness occurred at a similar frequency to alcohol alone.
b In studies of tadalafil co-administration with doxazosin, the number of subjects with potentially clinically significant standing blood pressure decreases was greater for the combination. Some patients had symptoms associated with the decrease in blood pressure including syncope.
Figure 1: Effects of Tadalafil on Blood Pressure
Effects on Cardiac Electrophysiology
The effect of a single 100 mg dose of tadalafil (2.5 times the recommended dose) on the QT interval was evaluated at the time of peak tadalafil concentration in a randomized, double–blinded, placebo, and active–controlled (intravenous ibutilide) crossover study in 90 healthy males aged 18 to 53 years. The mean change in QTc (Fridericia QT correction) for tadalafil, relative to placebo, was 3.5 milliseconds (two–sided 90% CI=1.9, 5.1). The mean change in QTc (Individual QT correction) for tadalafil, relative to placebo, was 2.8 milliseconds (two–sided 90% CI=1.2, 4.4). In this study, the mean increase in heart rate associated with a 100 mg dose of tadalafil compared to placebo was 3.1 beats per minute.
Effects on Exercise Stress Testing
The effects of tadalafil on cardiac function, hemodynamics, and exercise tolerance were investigated in a single clinical pharmacology study. In this blinded crossover trial, 23 subjects with stable coronary artery disease and evidence of exercise–induced cardiac ischemia were enrolled. The primary endpoint was time to cardiac ischemia. The mean difference in total exercise time was 3 seconds (tadalafil 10 mg minus placebo), which represented no clinically meaningful difference. Further statistical analysis demonstrated that tadalafil was similar to placebo with respect to time to ischemia. Of note, in this study, in some subjects who received tadalafil followed by sublingual nitroglycerin in the post–exercise period, clinically significant reductions in blood pressure were observed, consistent with the augmentation by tadalafil of the blood–pressure–lowering effects of nitrates.
Effects on Vision
Single oral doses of PDE inhibitors have demonstrated transient dose-related impairment of color discrimination (blue/green), using the Farnsworth–Munsell 100–hue test, with peak effects near the time of peak plasma levels. This finding is consistent with the inhibition of PDE6, which is involved in phototransduction in the retina. In a study to assess the effects of a single dose of tadalafil 40 mg on vision (N=59), no effects were observed on visual acuity, intraocular pressure, or pupillometry. Across all clinical studies with tadalafil, reports of changes in color vision were rare (<0.1% of patients).
Effects on Sperm Characteristics
Three studies were conducted in men to assess the potential effect on sperm characteristics of tadalafil 10 mg (one 6-month study) and 20 mg (one 6-month and one 9-month study) administered daily. There were no adverse effects on sperm morphology or sperm motility in any of the three studies. In the study of 10 mg tadalafil for 6 months and the study of 20 mg tadalafil for 9 months, results showed a decrease in mean sperm concentrations relative to placebo, although these differences were not clinically meaningful. This effect was not seen in the study of 20 mg tadalafil taken for 6 months. In addition there was no adverse effect on mean concentrations of reproductive hormones, testosterone, luteinizing hormone or follicle stimulating hormone with either 10 or 20 mg of tadalafil compared to placebo.
Dose-response relationships, between 20 mg and 40 mg, were not observed for 6-minute walk distance or pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) in subjects with PAH in the placebo-controlled study. Median change from baseline in 6-minute walk distance was 32 meters and 35 meters at 16 weeks in subjects receiving 20 mg and 40 mg daily, respectively. Mean change from baseline PVR was -254 dynes* sec* cm-5 and -209 dynes* sec* cm-5 at 16 weeks in patients receiving 20 mg and 40 mg daily, respectively.
Over a dose range of 2.5 to 20 mg, tadalafil exposure (AUC) increases proportionally with dose in healthy subjects. In PAH patients administered between 20 and 40 mg of tadalafil, an approximately 1.5-fold greater AUC was observed indicating a less than proportional increase in exposure over the entire dose range of 2.5 to 40 mg. During tadalafil 20 and 40 mg once daily dosing, steady-state plasma concentrations were attained within 5 days, and exposure was approximately 1.3-fold higher than after a single dose.
Absorption — After single oral-dose administration, the maximum observed plasma concentration (Cmax ) of tadalafil is achieved between 2 and 8 hours (median time of 4 hours). Absolute bioavailability of tadalafil following oral dosing has not been determined.
The rate and extent of absorption of tadalafil is not influenced by food; thus ALYQ™ may be taken with or without food.
Distribution — The mean apparent volume of distribution following oral administration is approximately 77 L, indicating that tadalafil is distributed into tissues. At therapeutic concentrations, 94% of tadalafil in plasma is bound to proteins.
Metabolism — Tadalafil is predominantly metabolized by CYP3A to a catechol metabolite. The catechol metabolite undergoes extensive methylation and glucuronidation to form the methylcatechol and methylcatechol glucuronide conjugate, respectively. The major circulating metabolite is the methylcatechol glucuronide. Methylcatechol concentrations are less than 10% of glucuronide concentrations. In vitro data suggests that metabolites are not expected to be pharmacologically active at observed metabolite concentrations.
Elimination — Following 40 mg, the mean oral clearance for tadalafil is 3.4 L/hr and the mean terminal half-life is 15 hours in healthy subjects. In patients with pulmonary hypertension not receiving concomitant bosentan, the mean oral clearance for tadalafil is 1.6 L/hr, and the mean terminal half-life is 35 hours. Tadalafil is excreted predominantly as metabolites, mainly in the feces (approximately 61% of the dose) and to a lesser extent in the urine (approximately 36% of the dose).
Population pharmacokinetics — In patients with pulmonary hypertension not receiving concomitant bosentan, the average tadalafil exposure at steady-state following 40 mg was 26% higher when compared to those of healthy volunteers. The results suggest a lower clearance of tadalafil in patients with pulmonary hypertension compared to healthy volunteers.
In healthy male elderly subjects (65 years or over) after a 10 mg dose, a lower oral clearance of tadalafil, resulting in 25% higher exposure (AUC) with no effect on Cmax was observed relative to that in healthy subjects 19 to 45 years of age.
In clinical pharmacology studies using single-dose tadalafil (5 to 10 mg), tadalafil exposure (AUC) doubled in subjects with mild (creatinine clearance 51 to 80 mL/min) or moderate (creatinine clearance 31 to 50 mL/min) renal impairment. In subjects with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis, there was a two-fold increase in Cmax and 2.7- to 4.1-fold increase in AUC following single-dose administration of 10 or 20 mg tadalafil, respectively. Exposure to total methylcatechol (unconjugated plus glucuronide) was 2- to 4-fold higher in subjects with renal impairment, compared to those with normal renal function. Hemodialysis (performed between 24 and 30 hours post-dose) contributed negligibly to tadalafil or metabolite elimination [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
In clinical pharmacology studies, tadalafil exposure (AUC) in subjects with mild or moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A or B) was comparable to exposure in healthy subjects when a dose of 10 mg was administered. There are no available data for doses higher than 10 mg of tadalafil in patients with hepatic impairment. Insufficient data are available for subjects with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C) [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].
Patients with diabetes mellitus
In male patients with diabetes mellitus after a 10 mg tadalafil dose, exposure (AUC) was reduced approximately 19% and Cmax was 5% lower than that observed in healthy subjects. No dose adjustment is warranted.
Pharmacokinetic studies have included subjects from different ethnic groups, and no differences in the typical exposure to tadalafil have been identified. No dose adjustment is warranted.
In healthy female and male subjects following single and multiple-doses of tadalafil, no clinically relevant differences in exposure (AUC and Cmax ) were observed. No dose adjustment is warranted.
Drug interaction studies
Tadalafil is a substrate of and predominantly metabolized by CYP3A.
Cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors
Ketoconazole increased tadalafil exposure relative to the values for tadalafil alone (Figure 2). Although specific interactions have not been studied, other CYP3A inhibitors, such as erythromycin, itraconazole, and grapefruit juice, would likely increase tadalafil exposure.
Ritonavir increased tadalafil 20–mg single-dose exposure relative to the values for tadalafil alone. Ritonavir inhibits and induces CYP3A, the enzyme involved in the metabolism of tadalafil, in a time-dependent manner. The initial inhibitory effect of ritonavir on CYP3A may be mitigated by a more slowly evolving induction effect so that after about 1 week of ritonavir twice daily, the exposure of tadalafil is similar in the presence of and absence of ritonavir [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) and Drug Interactions (7.5)]. Although specific interactions have not been studied, other HIV protease inhibitors would likely increase tadalafil exposure.
Cytochrome P450 3A4 inducers
Rifampin (600 mg daily), a CYP3A inducer, reduced tadalafil 10 mg single–dose exposure (AUC) by 88% and Cmax by 46%, relative to the values for tadalafil 10 mg alone [see Drug Interactions (7.5)].
Bosentan, a substrate of CYP2C9 and CYP3A and a moderate inducer of CYP3A, CYP2C9 and possibly CYP2C19, reduced tadalafil systemic exposure following multiple-dose co-administration (Figure 2). Although specific interactions have not been studied, other CYP3A inducers, such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, and phenobarbital, would likely decrease tadalafil exposure.
Exposure changes of tadalafil following co-administration with other drugs are shown in Figure 2.
Change relative to Tadalafil alone
a Ritonavir is also a CYP2C9/CYP2C19/CYP2D6 Inhibitor and CYP3A inducer.
b [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) ].
c Bosentan is also a CYP2C9/CYP2C19 inducer.
Figure 2: Impact of Other Drugs on the Pharmacokinetics of Tadalafil
Cytochrome P450 substrates — Tadalafil is not expected to cause clinically significant inhibition or induction of the clearance of drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms.
Exposure changes of drugs following co-administration with tadalafil are shown in Figure 3.
Change relative to coadministered drug alone
a A small augmentation (increase of 3 beats per minute) in heart rate was observed with theophylline.
b Tadalafil (40 mg qd) had no clinically significant effect on exposure (AUC and Cmax ) of bosentan metabolites.
c 95% CI
Figure 3: Impact of Tadalafil on the Pharmacokinetics of Other Drugs
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