There are no data on the presence of carvedilol in human milk, the effects on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. Carvedilol is present in the milk of lactating rats. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for carvedilol and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from carvedilol or from the underlying maternal condition.
Effectiveness of carvedilol in patients younger than 18 years has not been established.
In a double-blind trial, 161 children (mean age: 6 years; range: 2 months to 17 years; 45% younger than 2 years) with chronic heart failure [NYHA class II-IV, left ventricular ejection fraction less than 40% for children with a systemic left ventricle (LV), and moderate-severe ventricular dysfunction qualitatively by echo for those with a systemic ventricle that was not an LV] who were receiving standard background treatment were randomized to placebo or to 2 dose levels of carvedilol. These dose levels produced placebo-corrected heart rate reduction of 4 to 6 heart beats per minute, indicative of β-blockade activity. Exposure appeared to be lower in pediatric subjects than adults. After 8 months of follow-up, there was no significant effect of treatment on clinical outcomes. Adverse reactions in this trial that occurred in greater than 10% of subjects treated with carvedilol and at twice the rate of placebo-treated subjects included chest pain (17% versus 6%), dizziness (13% versus 2%), and dyspnea (11% versus 0%).
Of the 765 subjects with heart failure randomized to carvedilol in U.S. clinical trials, 31% (235) were aged 65 years or older, and 7.3% (56) were aged 75 years or older. Of the 1,156 subjects randomized to carvedilol in a long-term, placebo-controlled trial in severe heart failure, 47% (547) were aged 65 years or older, and 15% (174) were aged 75 years or older. Of 3,025 subjects receiving carvedilol in heart failure trials worldwide, 42% were aged 65 years or older.
Of the 975 subjects with myocardial infarction randomized to carvedilol in the CAPRICORN trial, 48% (468) were aged 65 years or older, and 11% (111) were aged 75 years or older.
Of the 2,065 hypertensive subjects in U.S. clinical trials of efficacy or safety who were treated with carvedilol, 21% (436) were aged 65 years or older. Of 3,722 subjects receiving carvedilol in hypertension clinical trials conducted worldwide, 24% were aged 65 years or older.
With the exception of dizziness in hypertensive subjects (incidence 8.8% in the elderly versus 6% in younger subjects), no overall differences in the safety or effectiveness (see Figures 2 and 4) were observed between the older subjects and younger subjects in each of these populations. Similarly, other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger subjects, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Overdosage may cause severe hypotension, bradycardia, cardiac insufficiency, cardiogenic shock, and cardiac arrest. Respiratory problems, bronchospasms, vomiting, lapses of consciousness, and generalized seizures may also occur.
The patient should be placed in a supine position and, where necessary, kept under observation and treated under intensive-care conditions. The following agents may be administered:
For excessive bradycardia: Atropine, 2 mg IV.
To support cardiovascular function: Glucagon, 5 to 10 mg IV rapidly over 30 seconds, followed by a continuous infusion of 5 mg per hour; sympathomimetics (dobutamine, isoprenaline, adrenaline) at doses according to body weight and effect.
If peripheral vasodilation dominates, it may be necessary to administer adrenaline or noradrenaline with continuous monitoring of circulatory conditions. For therapy-resistant bradycardia, pacemaker therapy should be performed. For bronchospasm, β-sympathomimetics (as aerosol or IV) or aminophylline IV should be given. In the event of seizures, slow IV injection of diazepam or clonazepam is recommended.
NOTE: In the event of severe intoxication where there are symptoms of shock, treatment with antidotes must be continued for a sufficiently long period of time consistent with the 7 to 10 hour half-life of carvedilol.
Cases of overdosage with carvedilol alone or in combination with other drugs have been reported. Quantities ingested in some cases exceeded 1,000 milligrams. Symptoms experienced included low blood pressure and heart rate. Standard supportive treatment was provided and individuals recovered.
Carvedilol, USP is a nonselective β-adrenergic blocking agent with α1 -blocking activity. It is (±)-1-(Carbazol-4-yloxy)-3-[[2-(o-methoxyphenoxy)ethyl]amino]-2-propanol. Carvedilol, USP is a racemic mixture with the following structure:
Carvedilol tablets, USP are film-coated tablets containing 3.125 mg, 6.25 mg, 12.5 mg or 25 mg of carvedilol. The 3.125 mg, 6.25 mg and 25 mg tablets are white film-coated circular shaped tablets. The 12.5 mg tablets are white film-coated capsule shaped tablets. Inactive ingredients consist of colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, povidone and titanium dioxide.
Carvedilol, USP is a white to off-white powder with a molecular weight of 406.5 g/mol and a molecular formula of C24 H26 N2 O4 . It is freely soluble in dimethylsulfoxide; soluble in methylene chloride and methanol; sparingly soluble in 95% ethanol and isopropanol; slightly soluble in ethyl ether; and practically insoluble in water, gastric fluid (simulated, TS, pH 1.1), and intestinal fluid (simulated, TS without pancreatin, pH 7.5).
The product meets USP Dissolution test 2.
Carvedilol is a racemic mixture in which nonselective β-adrenoreceptor blocking activity is present in the S(-) enantiomer and α1-adrenergic blocking activity is present in both R(+) and S(-) enantiomers at equal potency. Carvedilol has no intrinsic sympathomimetic activity.
The basis for the beneficial effects of carvedilol in heart failure is not established.
Two placebo-controlled trials compared the acute hemodynamic effects of carvedilol with baseline measurements in 59 and 49 subjects with NYHA class II-IV heart failure receiving diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and digitalis. There were significant reductions in systemic blood pressure, pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, and heart rate. Initial effects on cardiac output, stroke volume index, and systemic vascular resistance were small and variable.
These trials measured hemodynamic effects again at 12 to 14 weeks. Carvedilol significantly reduced systemic blood pressure, pulmonary artery pressure, right atrial pressure, systemic vascular resistance, and heart rate, while stroke volume index was increased.
Among 839 subjects with NYHA class II-III heart failure treated for 26 to 52 weeks in 4 U.S. placebo-controlled trials, average left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) measured by radionuclide ventriculography increased by 9 EF units (%) in subjects receiving carvedilol and by 2 EF units in placebo subjects at a target dose of 25 to 50 mg twice daily. The effects of carvedilol on ejection fraction were related to dose. Doses of 6.25 mg twice daily, 12.5 mg twice daily, and 25 mg twice daily were associated with placebo-corrected increases in EF of 5 EF units, 6 EF units, and 8 EF units, respectively; each of these effects were nominally statistically significant.
Left Ventricular Dysfunction following Myocardial Infarction
The basis for the beneficial effects of carvedilol in patients with left ventricular dysfunction following an acute myocardial infarction is not established.
The mechanism by which β-blockade produces an antihypertensive effect has not been established.
β-adrenoreceptor blocking activity has been demonstrated in animal and human studies showing that carvedilol (1) reduces cardiac output in normal subjects, (2) reduces exercise and/or isoproterenol-induced tachycardia, and (3) reduces reflex orthostatic tachycardia. Significant β-adrenoreceptor blocking effect is usually seen within 1 hour of drug administration.
α1-adrenoreceptor blocking activity has been demonstrated in human and animal studies, showing that carvedilol (1) attenuates the pressor effects of phenylephrine, (2) causes vasodilation, and (3) reduces peripheral vascular resistance. These effects contribute to the reduction of blood pressure and usually are seen within 30 minutes of drug administration.
Due to the α1-receptor blocking activity of carvedilol, blood pressure is lowered more in the standing than in the supine position, and symptoms of postural hypotension (1.8%), including rare instances of syncope, can occur. Following oral administration, when postural hypotension has occurred, it has been transient and is uncommon when carvedilol is administered with food at the recommended starting dose and titration increments are closely followed [see Dosage and Administration (2)].
In hypertensive patients with normal renal function, therapeutic doses of carvedilol decreased renal vascular resistance with no change in glomerular filtration rate or renal plasma flow. Changes in excretion of sodium, potassium, uric acid, and phosphorus in hypertensive patients with normal renal function were similar after carvedilol and placebo.
Carvedilol has little effect on plasma catecholamines, plasma aldosterone, or electrolyte levels, but it does significantly reduce plasma renin activity when given for at least 4 weeks. It also increases levels of atrial natriuretic peptide.
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