CARVEDILOL — carvedilol tablet, film coated
RPK Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
1.1 Heart Failure
Carvedilol tablets are indicated for the treatment of mild-to-severe chronic heart failure of ischemic or cardiomyopathic origin, usually in addition to diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and digitalis, to increase survival and, also, to reduce the risk of hospitalization [see Drug Interactions (7.4), Clinical Studies (14.1)].
1.2 Left Ventricular Dysfunction following Myocardial Infarction
Carvedilol tablets 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 less than or equal to 40% (with or without symptomatic heart failure) [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
Carvedilol tablets 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 should be taken with food to slow the rate of absorption and reduce the incidence of orthostatic effects.
2.1 Heart Failure
DOSAGE MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED AND CLOSELY MONITORED BY A PHYSICIAN DURING UP-TITRATION. Prior to initiation of carvedilol tablets, it is recommended that fluid retention be minimized. The recommended starting dose of carvedilol tablets is 3.125 mg twice daily for 2 weeks. If tolerated, patients may have their dose increased to 6.25 mg, 12.5 mg and 25 mg twice daily over successive intervals of at least 2 weeks. Patients should be maintained on lower doses if higher doses are not tolerated. A maximum dose of 50 mg twice daily has been administered to patients with mild-to-moderate heart failure weighing over 85 kg (187 lbs).
Patients should be advised that initiation of treatment and (to a lesser extent) dosage increases may be associated with transient symptoms of dizziness or lightheadedness (and rarely syncope) within the first hour after dosing. During these periods, patients should avoid situations such as driving or hazardous tasks, where symptoms could result in injury. Vasodilatory symptoms often do not require treatment, but it may be useful to separate the time of dosing of carvedilol tablets from that of the ACE inhibitor or to reduce temporarily the dose of the ACE inhibitor. The dose of carvedilol tablets should not be increased until symptoms of worsening heart failure or vasodilation have been stabilized.
Fluid retention (with or without transient worsening heart failure symptoms) should be treated by an increase in the dose of diuretics.
The dose of carvedilol tablets should be reduced if patients experience bradycardia (heart rate less than 55 beats per minute).
Episodes of dizziness or fluid retention during initiation of carvedilol tablets can generally be managed without discontinuation of treatment and do not preclude subsequent successful titration of, or a favorable response to, carvedilol.
2.2 Left Ventricular Dysfunction following Myocardial Infarction
DOSAGE MUST BE INDIVIDUALIZED AND MONITORED DURING UP-TITRATION. Treatment with carvedilol tablets 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 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 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 1 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 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 should not be given to patients with severe hepatic impairment [see Contraindications (4)].
3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
Carvedilol tablets, USP 3.125 mg are white to off-white, oval shaped, film-coated tablets debossed with ‘E’ on one side and ‘01’ on the other side. The 6.25 mg are white to off-white, oval shaped, film-coated tablets debossed with ‘E’ on one side and ‘02’ on the other side. The 12.5 mg are white to off-white, oval shaped, film-coated tablets debossed with ‘E’ on one side and ‘03’ on the other side. The 25 mg are white to off-white, oval shaped, film-coated tablets debossed with ‘E’ on one side and ‘04’ on the other side.
Carvedilol tablets are contraindicated in the following conditions:
- Bronchial asthma or related bronchospastic conditions. Deaths from status asthmaticus have been reported following single doses of carvedilol tablets.
- 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 tablets.
- 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 patients with angina 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 subjects, 9% of subjects with heart failure, and 6.5% of subjects with myocardial infarction and left ventricular dysfunction. If pulse rate drops below 55 beats per minute, the dosage should be reduced.
In clinical trials of primarily mild-to-moderate heart failure, hypotension and postural hypotension occurred in 9.7% and syncope in 3.4% of subjects receiving carvedilol compared with 3.6% and 2.5% of placebo subjects, respectively. The risk for these events was highest during the first 30 days of dosing, corresponding to the up-titration period and was a cause for discontinuation of therapy in 0.7% of subjects receiving carvedilol, compared with 0.4% of placebo subjects. In a long-term, placebo-controlled trial in severe heart failure (COPERNICUS), hypotension and postural hypotension occurred in 15.1% and syncope in 2.9% of heart failure subjects receiving carvedilol compared with 8.7% and 2.3% of placebo subjects, respectively.
These events were a cause for discontinuation of therapy in 1.1% of subjects receiving carvedilol, compared with 0.8% of placebo subjects.
Postural hypotension occurred in 1.8% and syncope in 0.1% of hypertensive subjects, primarily following the initial dose or at the time of dose increase and was a cause for discontinuation of therapy in 1% of subjects.
In the CAPRICORN trial of survivors of an acute myocardial infarction, hypotension or postural hypotension occurred in 20.2% of subjects receiving carvedilol compared with 12.6% of placebo subjects. Syncope was reported in 3.9% and 1.9% of subjects, respectively. These events were a cause for discontinuation of therapy in 2.5% of subjects receiving carvedilol, compared with 0.2% of placebo subjects.
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 (2.1, 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.
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