Ramipril

RAMIPRIL — ramipril tablet
Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.

WARNING: FETAL TOXICITY

  • When pregnancy is detected, discontinue ramipril as soon as possible.
  • Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus. See Warnings: Fetal Toxicity

DESCRIPTION

Ramipril, USP is a 2-aza-bicyclo [3.3.0]-octane-3-carboxylic acid derivative. It is a white to almost white crystalline powder soluble in polar organic solvents and buffered aqueous solutions. Ramipril melts between 105°C and 112°C.

Ramipril’s chemical name is (2S ,3aS ,6aS)-1[(S)-N -[(S)-1-Carboxy-3-phenylpropyl] alanyl] octa hydrocyclopenta [b ]pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid, 1-ethyl ester; its structural formula is:

Structured product formula for Ramipril

Its molecular formula is C23 H32 N2 O5 , and its molecular weight is 416.5.

Ramiprilat, the diacid metabolite of ramipril, is a non-sulfhydryl angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor. Ramipril is converted to ramiprilat by hepatic cleavage of the ester group.

Each ramipril tablet intended for oral administration contains 1.25 mg, 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg of ramipril. In addition, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch and sodium stearyl fumarate. Additionally each 1.25 mg tablet contains ferric oxide yellow, each 2.5 mg tablet contains ferric oxide red and ferric oxide yellow and each 5 mg tablet contains ferric oxide red.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

Ramipril and ramiprilat inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in human subjects and animals. ACE is a peptidyl dipeptidase that catalyzes the conversion of angiotensin I to the vasoconstrictor substance, angiotensin II. Angiotensin II also stimulates aldosterone secretion by the adrenal cortex. Inhibition of ACE results in decreased plasma angiotensin II, which leads to decreased vasopressor activity and to decreased aldosterone secretion. The latter decrease may result in a small increase of serum potassium. In hypertensive patients with normal renal function treated with ramipril alone for up to 56 weeks, approximately 4% of patients during the trial had an abnormally high serum potassium and an increase from baseline greater than 0.75 mEq/L, and none of the patients had an abnormally low potassium and a decrease from baseline greater than 0.75 mEq/L. In the same study, approximately 2% of patients treated with ramipril and hydrochlorothiazide for up to 56 weeks had abnormally high potassium values and an increase from baseline of 0.75 mEq/L or greater; and approximately 2% had abnormally low values and decreases from baseline of 0.75 mEq/L or greater (see PRECAUTIONS). Removal of angiotensin II negative feedback on renin secretion leads to increased plasma renin activity.

The effect of ramipril on hypertension appears to result at least in part from inhibition of both tissue and circulating ACE activity, thereby reducing angiotensin II formation in tissue and plasma.

ACE is identical to kininase, an enzyme that degrades bradykinin. Whether increased levels of bradykinin, a potent vasodepressor peptide, play a role in the therapeutic effects of ramipril remains to be elucidated.

While the mechanism through which ramipril lowers blood pressure is believed to be primarily suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, ramipril has an antihypertensive effect even in patients with low-renin hypertension. Although ramipril was antihypertensive in all races studied, black hypertensive patients (usually a low-renin hypertensive population) had a smaller average response to monotherapy than non-black patients.

Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism

Following oral administration of ramipril, peak plasma concentrations of ramipril are reached within one hour. The extent of absorption is at least 50 to 60% and is not significantly influenced by the presence of food in the GI tract.

Cleavage of the ester group (primarily in the liver) converts ramipril to its active diacid metabolite, ramiprilat. Peak plasma concentrations of ramiprilat are reached 2 to 4 hours after drug intake. The serum protein binding of ramipril is about 73% and that of ramiprilat about 56%; in vitro, these percentages are independent of concentration over the range of 0.01 to 10 mcg/mL.

Ramipril is almost completely metabolized to ramiprilat, which has about 6 times the ACE inhibitory activity of ramipril, and to the diketopiperazine ester, the diketopiperazine acid, and the glucuronides of ramipril and ramiprilat, all of which are inactive. After oral administration of ramipril, about 60% of the parent drug and its metabolites is eliminated in the urine, and about 40% is found in the feces. Drug recovered in the feces may represent both biliary excretion of metabolites and/or unabsorbed drug, however the proportion of a dose eliminated by the bile has not been determined. Less than 2% of the administered dose is recovered in urine as unchanged ramipril.

Blood concentrations of ramipril and ramiprilat increase with increased dose, but are not strictly dose-proportional. The 24 hour AUC for ramiprilat, however, is dose-proportional over the 2.5 to 20 mg dose range. The absolute bioavailabilities of ramipril and ramiprilat were 28% and 44%, respectively, when 5 mg of oral ramipril was compared with the same dose of ramipril given intravenously.

Plasma concentrations of ramiprilat decline in a triphasic manner (initial rapid decline, apparent elimination phase, terminal elimination phase). The initial rapid decline, which represents distribution of the drug into a large peripheral compartment and subsequent binding to both plasma and tissue ACE, has a half-life of 2 to 4 hours. Because of its potent binding to ACE and slow dissociation from the enzyme, ramiprilat shows two elimination phases. The apparent elimination phase corresponds to the clearance of free ramiprilat and has a half-life of 9 to 18 hours. The terminal elimination phase has a prolonged half-life (>50 hours) and probably represents the binding/dissociation kinetics of the ramiprilat/ACE complex. It does not contribute to the accumulation of the drug. After multiple daily doses of ramipril 5 to 10 mg, the half-life of ramiprilat concentrations within the therapeutic range was 13 to 17 hours.

After once-daily dosing, steady-state plasma concentrations of ramiprilat are reached by the fourth dose. Steady-state concentrations of ramiprilat are somewhat higher than those seen after the first dose of ramipril tablets, especially at low doses (2.5 mg), but the difference is clinically insignificant.

In patients with creatinine clearance less than 40 mL/min/1.73 m2 , peak levels of ramiprilat are approximately doubled, and trough levels may be as much as quintupled. In multiple-dose regimens, the total exposure to ramiprilat (AUC) in these patients is 3 to 4 times as large as it is in patients with normal renal function who receive similar doses.

The urinary excretion of ramipril, ramiprilat, and their metabolites is reduced in patients with impaired renal function. Compared to normal subjects, patients with creatinine clearance less than 40 mL/min/1.73 m2 had higher peak and trough ramiprilat levels and slightly longer times to peak concentrations (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

In patients with impaired liver function, the metabolism of ramipril to ramiprilat appears to be slowed, possibly because of diminished activity of hepatic esterases, and plasma ramipril levels in these patients are increased about 3-fold. Peak concentrations of ramiprilat in these patients, however, are not different from those seen in subjects with normal hepatic function, and the effect of a given dose on plasma ACE activity does not vary with hepatic function.

Pharmacodynamics

Single doses of ramipril of 2.5 to 20 mg produce approximately 60 to 80% inhibition of ACE activity 4 hours after dosing with approximately 40 to 60% inhibition after 24 hours. Multiple oral doses of ramipril of 2.0 mg or more cause plasma ACE activity to fall by more than 90% 4 hours after dosing, with over 80% inhibition of ACE activity remaining 24 hours after dosing. The more prolonged effect of even small multiple doses presumably reflects saturation of ACE binding sites by ramiprilat and relatively slow release from those sites.

Pharmacodynamics and Clinical Effects

Hypertension

Administration of ramipril to patients with mild to moderate hypertension results in a reduction of both supine and standing blood pressure to about the same extent with no compensatory tachycardia. Symptomatic postural hypotension is infrequent, although it can occur in patients who are salt- and/or volume-depleted (see WARNINGS). Use of ramipril in combination with thiazide diuretics gives a blood pressure lowering effect greater than that seen with either agent alone.

In single-dose studies, doses of 5 to 20 mg of ramipril lowered blood pressure within 1 to 2 hours, with peak reductions achieved 3 to 6 hours after dosing. The antihypertensive effect of a single dose persisted for 24 hours. In longer term (4 to 12 weeks) controlled studies, once-daily doses of 2.5 to 10 mg were similar in their effect, lowering supine or standing systolic and diastolic blood pressures 24 hours after dosing by about 6/4 mm Hg more than placebo. In comparisons of peak vs. trough effect, the trough effect represented about 50 to 60% of the peak response. In a titration study comparing divided (bid) vs. qd treatment, the divided regimen was superior, indicating that for some patients the antihypertensive effect with once-daily dosing is not adequately maintained (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

In most trials, the antihypertensive effect of ramipril increased during the first several weeks of repeated measurements. The antihypertensive effect of ramipril has been shown to continue during long-term therapy for at least 2 years. Abrupt withdrawal of ramipril has not resulted in a rapid increase in blood pressure.

Ramipril has been compared with other ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and thiazide diuretics. It was approximately as effective as other ACE inhibitors and as atenolol. In both caucasians and blacks, hydrochlorothiazide (25 or 50 mg) was significantly more effective than ramipril.

Except for thiazides, no formal interaction studies of ramipril with other antihypertensive agents have been carried out. Limited experience in controlled and uncontrolled trials combining ramipril with a calcium channel blocker, a loop diuretic, or triple therapy (beta-blocker, vasodilator; and a diuretic) indicate no unusual drug-drug interactions. Other ACE inhibitors have had less than additive effects with beta adrenergic blockers, presumably, because both drugs lower blood pressure by inhibiting parts of the renin-angiotensin system.

Ramipril was less effective in blacks than in caucasians. The effectiveness of ramipril was not influenced by age, sex, or weight.

In a baseline controlled study of 10 patients with mild essential hypertension, blood pressure reduction was accompanied by a 15% increase in renal blood flow. In healthy volunteers, glomerular filtration rate was unchanged.

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