There is no well-established relationship between plasma concentration and effectiveness, but it does appear that concentrations much below 1 mg/L are often ineffective and that levels above 2.5 mg/L are generally not needed. Plasma-concentration measurements can be used to identify patients whose levels are unusually low, and who might benefit from a dose increase, or unusually high, and who might have dosage reduction in the hope of minimizing side effects.
Effects on abnormal rhythms are not seen before 2 to 3 days and usually require 1 to 3 weeks, even when a loading dose is used. There may be a continued increase in effect for longer periods still. There is evidence that the time to effect is shorter when a loading-dose regimen is used.
Consistent with the slow rate of elimination, antiarrhythmic effects persist for weeks or months after amiodarone hydrochloride tablets is discontinued, but the time of recurrence is variable and unpredictable. In general, when the drug is resumed after recurrence of the arrhythmia, control is established relatively rapidly compared to the initial response, presumably because tissue stores were not wholly depleted.
Following oral administration in humans, amiodarone hydrochloride tablet is slowly and variably absorbed. The bioavailability of amiodarone hydrochloride tablet is approximately 50%. Maximum plasma concentrations are attained 3 to 7 hours after a single dose. Plasma concentrations with chronic dosing at 100 to 600 mg/day are approximately dose proportional, with a mean 0.5 mg/L increase for each 100 mg/day. These means, however, include considerable individual variability.
Food increases the rate and extent of absorption of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets. The effects of food upon the bioavailability of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets have been studied in 30 healthy subjects who received a single 600-mg dose immediately after consuming a high-fat meal and following an overnight fast. The area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) and the peak plasma concentration (Cmax ) of amiodarone increased by 2.3 (range 1.7 to 3.6) and 3.8 (range 2.7 to 4.4) times, respectively, in the presence of food. Food also increased the rate of absorption of amiodarone, decreasing the time to peak plasma concentration (Tmax ) by 37%. The mean AUC and mean Cmax of the major metabolite of amiodarone, DEA increased by 55% (range 58 to 101%) and 32% (range 4 to 84%), respectively, but there was no change in the Tmax in the presence of food.
Amiodarone hydrochloride tablet is highly protein-bound (approximately 96%). Amiodarone hydrochloride tablets has a very large but variable volume of distribution, averaging about 60 L/kg, because of extensive accumulation in various sites, especially adipose tissue and highly perfused organs, such as the liver, lung, and spleen.
One major metabolite of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets, DEA, have been identified in man; it accumulates to an even greater extent in almost all tissues. 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 hydrochloride tablets administration in humans correlates more closely with DEA accumulation over time than with amiodarone accumulation.
Following single dose administration in 12 healthy subjects, amiodarone hydrochloride tablets exhibited multi-compartmental pharmacokinetics with a mean apparent plasma terminal elimination half-life of 58 days (range 15 to 142 days) for amiodarone and 36 days (range 14 to 75 days) for the active metabolite (DEA). In patients, following discontinuation of chronic oral therapy, amiodarone hydrochloride tablets have been shown to have a biphasic elimination with an initial 50% reduction of plasma levels after 2.5 to 10 days. A much slower terminal plasma- elimination phase shows a half-life of the parent compound ranging from 26 to 107 days, with a mean of approximately 53 days and most patients in the 40- to 55-day range. In the absence of a loading-dose period, steady-state plasma concentrations, at constant oral dosing, would therefore be reached between 130 and 535 days, with an average of 265 days. For the metabolite, the mean plasma-elimination half-life was approximately 61 days. These data probably reflect an initial elimination of drug from well-perfused tissue (the 2.5- to 10-day half-life phase), followed by a terminal phase representing extremely slow elimination from poorly perfused tissue compartments such as fat.
The considerable inter-subject variation in both phases of elimination, as well as uncertainty as to what compartment is critical to drug effect, requires attention to individual responses once arrhythmia control is achieved with loading doses because the correct maintenance dose is determined, in part, by the elimination rates. Individualize maintenance doses of amiodarone hydrochloride tablets [see Dosage and Administration (2)].
Amiodarone is metabolized to DEA by the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme group, specifically CYP3A and CYP2C8. The CYP3A isoenzyme is present in both the liver and intestines. In vitro, amiodarone and DEA exhibit a potential to inhibit CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP3A, CYP2A6, CYP2B6 and CYP2C8. Amiodarone and DEA have also a potential to inhibit some transporters such as P-glycoprotein and organic cation transporter (OCT2).
Amiodarone is eliminated primarily by hepatic metabolism and biliary excretion and there is negligible excretion of amiodarone or DEA in urine. Neither amiodarone nor DEA is dialyzable.
Effect of 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.
Renal Impairment: Renal impairment 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.
Effects of other agents on amiodarone
Grapefruit juice:Grapefruit juice given to healthy volunteers increased amiodarone AUC by 50% and C max by 84%, and decreased DEA to unquantifiable concentrations.
Cimetidineinhibits CYP3A and can increase serum amiodarone levels.
Cholestyraminereduces enterohepatic circulation of amiodarone thereby increasing its elimination. This results in reduced amiodarone serum levels and half-life.
Effects of amiodarone on agents:
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.
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.
Amiodarone can inhibit the metabolism of 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.
Dabigatran etexilatewhen taken concomitantly with oral amiodarone can result in elevated serum concentration of dabigatran.
Dextromethorphanis 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.
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