CARVEDILOL — carvedilol tablet
H.J. Harkins Company, Inc.
1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
1.2 Left Ventricular Dysfunction Following Myocardial Infarction
Carvedilol Tablets, USP are indicated to reduce cardiovascular mortality in clinically stable patients who have survived the acute phase of a myocardial infarction and have a left ventricular ejection fraction of ≤ 40% (with or without symptomatic heart failure) [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
Carvedilol Tablets, USP are indicated for the management of essential hypertension [see Clinical Studies (14.3, 14.4) ]. It can be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents, especially thiazide-type diuretics [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Carvedilol tablets, USP should be taken with food to slow the rate of absorption and reduce the incidence of orthostatic effects.
2.2 Left Ventricular Dysfunction Following Myocardial Infarction
DOSAGE MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED AND MONITORED DURING UP-TITRATION. Treatment with carvedilol tablets, USP may be started as an inpatient or outpatient and should be started after the patient is hemodynamically stable and fluid retention has been minimized. It is recommended that carvedilol tablets, USP be started at 6.25 mg twice daily and increased after 3 to 10 days, based on tolerability, to 12.5 mg twice daily, then again to the target dose of 25 mg twice daily. A lower starting dose may be used (3.125 mg twice daily) and/or the rate of up-titration may be slowed if clinically indicated (e.g., due to low blood pressure or heart rate, or fluid retention). Patients should be maintained on lower doses if higher doses are not tolerated. The recommended dosing regimen need not be altered in patients who received treatment with an IV or oral β-blocker during the acute phase of the myocardial infarction.
DOSAGE MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED. The recommended starting dose of carvedilol tablets, USP is 6.25 mg twice daily. If this dose is tolerated, using standing systolic pressure measured about 1 hour after dosing as a guide, the dose should be maintained for 7 to 14 days, and then increased to 12.5 mg twice daily if needed, based on trough blood pressure, again using standing systolic pressure one hour after dosing as a guide for tolerance. This dose should also be maintained for 7 to 14 days and can then be adjusted upward to 25 mg twice daily if tolerated and needed. The full antihypertensive effect of carvedilol tablets, USP is seen within 7 to 14 days. Total daily dose should not exceed 50 mg.
Concomitant administration with a diuretic can be expected to produce additive effects and exaggerate the orthostatic component of carvedilol action.
2.4 Hepatic Impairment
Carvedilol tablets, USP should not be given to patients with severe hepatic impairment [see Contraindications (4)].
3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
The tablets are available in the following strengths:
3.125 mg — White, film coated circular shaped tablets with ‘G’ engraved on one side and plain on the other side,
6.25 mg — White, film coated circular shaped tablets with ‘G’ engraved on one side and ‘41’ on the other side,
12.5 mg — White, film coated capsule shaped tablets with ‘G’ engraved on one side and ‘164’ on the other side,
25 mg – White, film coated circular shaped tablets with ‘G41’ engraved on one side and ‘25’ on the other side.
Carvedilol is contraindicated in the following conditions:
- Bronchial asthma or related bronchospastic conditions. Deaths from status asthmaticus have been reported following single doses of carvedilol.
- Second or third degree AV block
- Sick sinus syndrome
- Severe bradycardia (unless a permanent pacemaker is in place)
- Patients with cardiogenic shock or who have decompensated heart failure requiring the use of intravenous inotropic therapy. Such patients should first be weaned from intravenous therapy before initiating carvedilol.
- Patients with severe hepatic impairment
- Patients with a history of a serious hypersensitivity reaction (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome, anaphylactic reaction, angioedema) to any component of this medication or other medications containing carvedilol.
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
5.1 Cessation of Therapy
Patients with coronary artery disease, who are being treated with carvedilol, should be advised against abrupt discontinuation of therapy. Severe exacerbation of angina and the occurrence of myocardial infarction and ventricular arrhythmias have been reported in angina patients following the abrupt discontinuation of therapy with β-blockers. The last 2 complications may occur with or without preceding exacerbation of the angina pectoris. As with other β-blockers, when discontinuation of carvedilol is planned, the patients should be carefully observed and advised to limit physical activity to a minimum. Carvedilol should be discontinued over 1 to 2 weeks whenever possible. If the angina worsens or acute coronary insufficiency develops, it is recommended that carvedilol be promptly reinstituted, at least temporarily. Because coronary artery disease is common and may be unrecognized, it may be prudent not to discontinue therapy with carvedilol abruptly even in patients treated only for hypertension or heart failure.
In clinical trials, carvedilol caused bradycardia in about 2% of hypertensive patients and 6.5% of myocardial infarction patients with left ventricular dysfunction. If pulse rate drops below 55 beats/minute, the dosage should be reduced.
Postural hypotension occurred in 1.8% and syncope in 0.1% of hypertensive patients, primarily following the initial dose or at the time of dose increase and was a cause for discontinuation of therapy in 1% of patients.
In the CAPRICORN study of survivors of an acute myocardial infarction, hypotension or postural hypotension occurred in 20.2% of patients receiving carvedilol compared to 12.6% of placebo patients. Syncope was reported in 3.9% and 1.9% of patients, respectively. These events were a cause for discontinuation of therapy in 2.5% of patients receiving carvedilol, compared to 0.2% of placebo patients.
Starting with a low dose, administration with food, and gradual up-titration should decrease the likelihood of syncope or excessive hypotension [see Dosage and Administration (2.2, 2.3)]. During initiation of therapy, the patient should be cautioned to avoid situations such as driving or hazardous tasks, where injury could result should syncope occur.
5.4 Heart Failure/Fluid Retention
Worsening heart failure or fluid retention may occur during up-titration of carvedilol. If such symptoms occur, diuretics should be increased and the carvedilol dose should not be advanced until clinical stability resumes [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. Occasionally it is necessary to lower the carvedilol dose or temporarily discontinue it. Such episodes do not preclude subsequent successful titration of, or a favorable response to, carvedilol. .
5.5 Non-allergic Bronchospasm
Patients with bronchospastic disease (e.g., chronic bronchitis and emphysema) should, in general, not receive β-blockers. Carvedilol may be used with caution, however, in patients who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate, other antihypertensive agents. It is prudent, if carvedilol is used, to use the smallest effective dose, so that inhibition of endogenous or exogenous β-agonists is minimized.
In clinical trials, patients with bronchospastic disease were enrolled if they did not require oral or inhaled medication to treat their bronchospastic disease. In such patients, it is recommended that carvedilol be used with caution. The dosing recommendations should be followed closely and the dose should be lowered if any evidence of bronchospasm is observed during up-titration.
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