COREG CR is contraindicated in the following conditions:
- Bronchial asthma or related bronchospastic conditions. Deaths from status asthmaticus have been reported following single doses of immediate-release 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 COREG CR.
- Patients with severe hepatic impairment.
- Patients with a history of a serious hypersensitivity reaction (e.g., Stevens-Johnson syndrome, anaphylactic reaction, angioedema) to carvedilol or any of the components of COREG CR.
In clinical trials of COREG CR in subjects with hypertension (338 subjects) and in subjects with left ventricular dysfunction following a myocardial infarction or heart failure (187 subjects), the profile of adverse events observed with carvedilol phosphate was generally similar to that observed with the administration of immediate‑release carvedilol. Therefore, the information included within this section is based on data from controlled clinical trials with COREG CR as well as immediate‑release carvedilol.
Patients with coronary artery disease, who are being treated with COREG CR, 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 COREG CR is planned, the patients should be carefully observed and advised to limit physical activity to a minimum. COREG CR should be discontinued over 1 to 2 weeks whenever possible. If the angina worsens or acute coronary insufficiency develops, it is recommended that COREG CR 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 COREG CR abruptly even in patients treated only for hypertension or heart failure.
In clinical trials with immediate‑release carvedilol, bradycardia was reported in about 2% of hypertensive subjects, 9% of heart failure subjects, and 6.5% of myocardial infarction subjects with left ventricular dysfunction. Bradycardia was reported in 0.5% of subjects receiving COREG CR in a trial of heart failure subjects and myocardial infarction subjects with left ventricular dysfunction. There were no reports of bradycardia in the clinical trial of COREG CR in hypertension. However, if pulse rate drops below 55 beats per minute, the dosage of COREG CR should be reduced.
In clinical trials of primarily mild‑to‑moderate heart failure with immediate‑release carvedilol, 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 carvedilol subjects, 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 subjects with heart failure 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 carvedilol subjects, compared with 0.8% of placebo subjects.
In a trial comparing subjects with heart failure switched to COREG CR or maintained on immediate-release carvedilol, there was a 2-fold increase in the combined incidence of hypotension, syncope, or dizziness in elderly subjects (older than 65 years) switched from the highest dose of carvedilol (25 mg twice daily) to COREG CR 80 mg once daily [see Dosage and Administration (2), Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
In the clinical trial of COREG CR in hypertensive subjects, syncope was reported in 0.3% of subjects receiving COREG CR compared with 0% of subjects receiving placebo. There were no reports of postural hypotension in this trial. Postural hypotension occurred in 1.8% and syncope in 0.1% of hypertensive subjects receiving immediate‑release carvedilol, 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 with left ventricular dysfunction, 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.
Worsening heart failure or fluid retention may occur during up‑titration of carvedilol. If such symptoms occur, diuretics should be increased and the dose of COREG CR should not be advanced until clinical stability resumes [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. Occasionally it is necessary to lower the dose of COREG CR or temporarily discontinue it. Such episodes do not preclude subsequent successful titration of, or a favorable response to, COREG CR. In a placebo‑controlled trial of subjects with severe heart failure, worsening heart failure during the first 3 months was reported to a similar degree with immediate-release carvedilol and with placebo. When treatment was maintained beyond 3 months, worsening heart failure was reported less frequently in subjects treated with carvedilol than with placebo. Worsening heart failure observed during long‑term therapy is more likely to be related to the patients’ underlying disease than to treatment with carvedilol.
Patients with bronchospastic disease (e.g., chronic bronchitis and emphysema) should, in general, not receive β‑blockers. COREG CR may be used with caution, however, in patients who do not respond to, or cannot tolerate, other antihypertensive agents. It is prudent, if COREG CR is used, to use the smallest effective dose, so that inhibition of endogenous or exogenous β‑agonists is minimized.
In clinical trials of subjects with heart failure, subjects 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 COREG CR 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.
In general, β‑blockers may mask some of the manifestations of hypoglycemia, particularly tachycardia. Nonselective β‑blockers may potentiate insulin‑induced hypoglycemia and delay recovery of serum glucose levels. Patients subject to spontaneous hypoglycemia, or diabetic patients receiving insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents, should be cautioned about these possibilities.
In heart failure patients with diabetes, carvedilol therapy may lead to worsening hyperglycemia, which responds to intensification of hypoglycemic therapy. It is recommended that blood glucose be monitored when dosing with COREG CR is initiated, adjusted, or discontinued. Trials designed to examine the effects of carvedilol on glycemic control in patients with diabetes and heart failure have not been conducted.
In a trial designed to examine the effects of immediate‑release carvedilol on glycemic control in a population with mild‑to‑moderate hypertension and well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus, carvedilol had no adverse effect on glycemic control, based on HbA1c measurements [see Clinical Studies (14.4)].
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