Clinical studies of amiodarone did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. Carefully consider dose selection in an elderly patient. In general, start at the low end of the dosing range in the elderly to reflect the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
There have been cases, some fatal, of amiodarone overdose. Effects of an inadvertent overdose of intravenous amiodarone include hypotension, cardiogenic shock, bradycardia, AV block, and hepatotoxicity. Treat hypotension and cardiogenic shock by slowing the infusion rate or with standard therapy: vasopressor drugs, positive inotropic agents, and volume expansion. Bradycardia and AV block may require temporary pacing. Monitor hepatic enzyme concentrations closely. Neither amiodarone nor DEA is dialyzable.
Amiodarone injection contains amiodarone HCl (C25 H29 I2 NO3 •HCl), a class III antiarrhythmic drug. Amiodarone HCl is (2-butyl-3-benzo-furanyl)[4-[2- (diethylamino)ethoxy]-3,5-diiodophenyl]methanone hydrochloride.
Amiodarone HCl has the following structural formula:
Amiodarone HCl is a white to slightly yellow crystalline powder, and is very slightly soluble in water. It has a molecular weight of 681.78 and contains 37.3% iodine by weight. Amiodarone injection is a sterile clear, pale-yellow micellar solution visually free from particulates. Each milliliter of the amiodarone formulation contains 50 mg of amiodarone HCl USP, 20.2 mg of benzyl alcohol, 100 mg of polysorbate 80, and water for injection.
Amiodarone injection contains polysorbate 80, which is known to leach di-(2- ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) from polyvinylchloride (PVC) [(see Dosage and Administration (2)].
Amiodarone is generally considered a class III antiarrhythmic drug, but it possesses electrophysiologic characteristics of all four Vaughan Williams classes. Like class I drugs, amiodarone blocks sodium channels at rapid pacing frequencies, and like class II drugs, amiodarone exerts a noncompetitive antisympathetic action. One of its main effects, with prolonged administration, is to lengthen the cardiac action potential, a class III effect. The negative chronotropic effect of amiodarone in nodal tissues is similar to the effect of class IV drugs. In addition to blocking sodium channels, amiodarone blocks myocardial potassium channels, which contributes to slowing of conduction and prolongation of refractoriness. The antisympathetic action and the block of calcium and potassium channels are responsible for the negative dromotropic effects on the sinus node and for the slowing of conduction and prolongation of refractoriness in the atrioventricular (AV) node. Its vasodilatory action can decrease cardiac workload and consequently myocardial oxygen consumption.
Intravenous amiodarone administration prolongs intranodal conduction (Atrial-His, AH) and refractoriness of the atrioventricular node (ERP AVN), but has little or no effect on sinus cycle length (SCL), refractoriness of the right atrium and right ventricle (ERP RA and ERP RV), repolarization (QTc), intraventricular conduction (QRS), and infra-nodal conduction (His-ventricular, HV). A comparison of the electrophysiologic effects of intravenous amiodarone and oral amiodarone is shown in the table below.
↔ No change
|Formulation||SCL||QRS||QTc||AH||HV||ERP RA||ERP RV||ERP AVN|
At higher doses (>10 mg/kg) of intravenous amiodarone, prolongation of the ERP RV and modest prolongation of the QRS have been seen. These differences between oral and IV administration suggest that the initial acute effects of intravenous amiodarone may be predominately focused on the AV node, causing an intranodal conduction delay and increased nodal refractoriness due to slow channel blockade (class IV activity) and noncompetitive adrenergic antagonism (class II activity).
Intravenous amiodarone has been reported to produce negative inotropic and vasodilatory effects in animals and humans. In clinical studies of patients with refractory VF or hemodynamically unstable VT, treatment-emergent, drug-related hypotension occurred in 288 of 1836 patients (16%) treated with intravenous amiodarone. No correlations were seen between the baseline ejection fraction and the occurrence of clinically significant hypotension during infusion of intravenous amiodarone.
No data are available on the activity of DEA in humans, but in animals, it has significant electrophysiologic and antiarrhythmic effects generally similar to amiodarone itself. DEA’s precise role and contribution to the antiarrhythmic activity of oral amiodarone are not certain. The development of maximal ventricular class III effects after oral amiodarone administration in humans correlates more closely with DEA accumulation over time than with amiodarone accumulation. On the other hand, after intravenous amiodarone administration, there is evidence of activity well before significant concentrations of DEA are attained [see Clinical Trials (14)].
Amiodarone exhibits complex disposition characteristics after intravenous administration. Peak serum concentrations after single 5 mg/kg 15-minute intravenous infusions in healthy subjects range between 5 and 41 mg/L. Peak concentrations after 10-minute infusions of 150 mg intravenous amiodarone in patients with ventricular fibrillation (VF) or hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia (VT) range between 7 and 26 mg/L. Due to rapid distribution, serum concentrations decline to 10% of peak values within 30 to 45 minutes after the end of the infusion. In clinical trials, after 48 hours of continued infusions (125, 500 or 1000 mg/day) plus supplemental (150 mg) infusions (for recurrent arrhythmias), amiodarone mean serum concentrations between 0.7 to 1.4 mg/L were observed (n=260).
N-desethylamiodarone (DEA) is the major active metabolite of amiodarone in humans. DEA serum concentrations above 0.05 mg/L are not usually seen until after several days of continuous infusion but with prolonged therapy reach approximately the same concentration as amiodarone. Amiodarone is metabolized to DEA by the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) enzyme group, specifically cytochrome CYP3A and CYP2C8. The CYP3A isoenzyme is present in both the liver and intestines. The highly variable systemic availability of oral amiodarone may be attributed to large interindividual variability in CYP3A activity.
From in vitro studies, the protein binding of amiodarone is >96%. Amiodarone and DEA cross the placenta and both appear in breast milk. Neither amiodarone nor DEA is dialyzable.
Amiodarone is eliminated primarily by hepatic metabolism and biliary excretion and there is negligible excretion of amiodarone or DEA in urine. In studies in healthy subjects following single intravenous administration (5 mg/kg of amiodarone over 15 min), the plasma concentration vs. time profile could be characterized by linear sum of four exponential terms with terminal elimination half-lives (t½) of 9 to 36 days for amiodarone and 9 to 30 days for DEA. The clearance of amiodarone and DEA ranged between 63 to 231 mL/hr/kg and 140 to 400 ml/h/kg, respectively. In clinical studies of 2 to 7 days, clearance of amiodarone after intravenous administration in patients with VT and VF ranged between 220 and 440 mL/hr/kg.
Effect of Age: The pharmacokinetics of amiodarone and DEA are affected by age. Normal subjects over 65 years of age show lower clearances (about 100 mL/hr/kg) than younger subjects (about 150 mL/hr/kg) and an increase in t½ from about 20 to 47 days.
Effect of Gender: Pharmacokinetics of amiodarone and DEA are similar in males and females.
Renal Impairment: Renal disease does not influence the pharmacokinetics of amiodarone or DEA.
Hepatic Impairment: After a single dose of intravenous amiodarone to cirrhotic patients, significantly lower Cmax and average concentration values are seen for DEA, but mean amiodarone levels are unchanged.
Cardiac Disease: In patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction, the pharmacokinetics of amiodarone are not significantly altered but the terminal elimination t½ of DEA is prolonged.
Although no dosage adjustment for patients with renal, hepatic, or cardiac abnormalities has been defined during chronic treatment with oral amiodarone, close clinical monitoring is prudent for elderly patients and those with severe left ventricular dysfunction.
Exposure-Response: There is no established relationship between drug concentration and therapeutic response for short-term intravenous use.
Effect of other drugs on amiodarone:
Cimetidine inhibits CYP3A and can increase serum amiodarone levels.
Grapefruit juice given to healthy volunteers increased amiodarone AUC by 50% and Cmax by 84%, resulting in increased plasma levels of amiodarone.
Cholestyramine reduces enterohepatic circulation of amiodarone thereby increasing its elimination. This results in reduced amiodarone serum levels and half-life.
Effect of amiodarone on other drugs:
Amiodarone taken concomitantly with quinidine increases the quinidine serum concentration by 33% after two days. Amiodarone taken concomitantly with procainamide for less than seven days increases plasma concentrations of procainamide and n-acetyl procainamide by 55% and 33%, respectively.
Loratadine , a non-sedating antihistaminic, is metabolized primarily by CYP3A and its metabolism can be inhibited by amiodarone.
Metabolism of lidocaine can be inhibited by amiodarone. Sinus bradycardia has been reported with oral amiodarone in combination with lidocaine (CYP3A substrate) given for local anesthesia. Seizure, associated with increased lidocaine concentrations, has been reported with concomitant administration of intravenous amiodarone.
Amiodarone can inhibit the metabolismof macrolide/ketolide antibiotics (except for azithromycin) and systemic azole antifungal drugs.
Amiodarone taken concomitantly with digoxin increases the serum digoxin concentration by 70% after one day.
Dextromethorphan is a substrate for both CYP2D6 and CYP3A. Amiodarone inhibits CYP2D6. Chronic (> 2 weeks) oral amiodarone administration impairs metabolism of dextromethorphan can lead to increased serum concentrations.
Dabigatran etexilate when taken concomitantly with oral amiodarone can result in elevated serum concentration of dabigatran.
Cyclophosphamide is a prodrug , metabolized by CYP450 including CYP3A to an active metabolite. The metabolism of cyclophosphamide may be inhibited by amiodarone.
Clopidogrel , an inactive thienopyridine prodrug, is metabolized in the liver by CYP3A to an active metabolite. A potential interaction between clopidogrel and amiodarone resulting in ineffective inhibition of platelet aggregation has been reported.
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