SOTYLIZE (Page 4 of 7)


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Sotalol has both beta-adrenoreceptor blocking (Vaughan Williams Class II) and cardiac action potential duration prolongation (Vaughan Williams Class III) antiarrhythmic properties. Sotalol hydrochloride is a racemic mixture of two isomers, both of which have similar Class III antiarrhythmic effects, while the l-isomer is responsible for virtually all of the beta-blocking activity. The beta-blocking effect of sotalol is non-cardioselective, half maximal at an oral dose of about 80 mg/day and maximal at doses between 320 and 640 mg/day. Sotalol does not have partial agonist or membrane stabilizing activity. Although significant beta-blockade occurs at oral doses as low as 25 mg, significant Class III effects are seen only at daily doses of 160 mg and above.

In children, a Class III electrophysiological effect can be seen at daily doses of 210 mg/m2 body surface area (BSA). A reduction of the resting heart rate due to the beta-blocking effect of sotalol is observed at daily doses ≥90 mg/m2 in children.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics


Sotalol prolongs the plateau phase of the cardiac action potential in the isolated myocyte, as well as in isolated tissue preparations of ventricular or atrial muscle (Class III activity). In intact animals it slows heart rate, decreases AV nodal conduction and increases the refractory periods of atrial and ventricular muscle and conduction tissue.

In man, the Class II (beta-blockade) electrophysiological effects of sotalol are manifested by increased sinus cycle length (slowed heart rate), decreased AV nodal conduction and increased AV nodal refractoriness. The Class III electrophysiological effects in man include prolongation of the atrial and ventricular monophasic action potentials, and effective refractory period prolongation of atrial muscle, ventricular muscle, and atrio-ventricular accessory pathways (where present) in both the anterograde and retrograde directions. With oral doses of 160 to 640 mg/day, the surface ECG shows dose-related mean increases of 40-100 msec in QT and 10-40 msec in QTc . In a study of patients with atrial fibrillation/flutter (AFIB/AFL) receiving three different oral doses of sotalol given q12h (or q24h in patients with a reduced creatinine clearance), mean increases in QT intervals measured from 12-lead ECGs of 25 msec, 40 msec and 54 msec were found in the 80 mg, 120 mg, and 160 mg dose groups, respectively [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. No significant alteration in QRS interval was observed.

In a small study (n=25) of patients with implanted defibrillators treated concurrently with sotalol, the average defibrillatory threshold was 6 joules (range 2-15 joules) compared to a mean of 16 joules for a non-randomized comparative group primarily receiving amiodarone.

In a dose-response trial comparing three dose levels of sotalol, 80 mg, 120 mg, and 160 mg with placebo given every 12 hours (or every 24 hours in patients with a reduced renal creatinine clearance) for the prevention of recurrence of symptomatic atrial fibrillation (AFIB)/flutter (AFL), the mean ventricular rate during recurrence of AFIB/AFL was 125, 107, 110 and 99 beats/min in the placebo, 80 mg, 120 mg and 160 mg dose groups, respectively (p<0.017 for each sotalol dose group versus placebo). In another placebo- controlled trial in which sotalol was titrated to a dose between 160 and 320 mg/day in patients with chronic AFIB, the mean ventricular rate during recurrence of AFIB was 107 and 84 beats/min in the placebo and sotalol groups, respectively (p<0.001).

Twenty-five children in an unblinded, multicenter trial with supraventricular (SVT) and/or ventricular (VT) tachyarrhythmias, aged between 3 days and 12 years (mostly neonates and infants), received an ascending titration regimen with daily doses of 30, 90 and 210 mg/m2 with dosing every 8 hours for a total of 9 doses. During steady-state, the respective average increases above baseline of the QTc interval, in msec (%), were 2(+1%), 14(+4%) and 29(+7%) msec at the 3 dose levels. The respective mean maximum increases above baseline of the QTc interval, in msec (%), were 23(+6%), 36(+9%) and 55(+14%) msec at the 3 dose levels. The steady-state percent increases in the RR interval were 3, 9 and 12%. The smallest children (BSA<0.33m2) showed a tendency for larger Class III effects (∆QTc ) and an increased frequency of prolongations of the QTc interval as compared with the larger children (BSA≥0.33m2). The beta-blocking effects also tended to be greater in the smaller children (BSA<0.33m2). Both the Class III and beta-blocking effects of sotalol were linearly related with the plasma concentrations.


In a study of systemic hemodynamic function measured invasively in 12 patients with a mean LV ejection fraction of 37% and ventricular tachycardia (9 sustained and 3 non-sustained), a median dose of 160 mg twice daily of sotalol produced a 28% reduction in heart rate and a 24% decrease in cardiac index at 2 hours post-dosing at steady-state. Concurrently, systemic vascular resistance and stroke volume showed non-significant increases of 25% and 8%, respectively. Pulmonary capillary wedge pressure increased significantly from 6.4 mmHg to 11.8 mmHg in the 11 patients who completed the study. One patient was discontinued because of worsening congestive heart failure. Mean arterial pressure, mean pulmonary artery pressure and stroke work index did not significantly change. Exercise and isoproterenol induced tachycardia are antagonized by sotalol, and total peripheral resistance increases by a small amount.

In hypertensive patients, sotalol produces significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Although sotalol is usually well-tolerated hemodynamically, in patients with marginal cardiac compensation, deterioration in cardiac performance may occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

In healthy subjects, the oral bioavailability of sotalol is 90-100%. After oral administration, peak plasma concentrations are reached in 2.5 to 4 hours, and steady-state plasma concentrations are attained within 2-3 days (i.e., after 5-6 doses when administered twice daily). Over the oral dosage range 160-640 mg/day sotalol displays dose proportionality with respect to plasma concentrations. Distribution occurs to a central (plasma) and to a peripheral compartment, with a mean elimination half-life of 12 hours. Dosing every 12 hours results in trough plasma concentrations, which are approximately one-half of those at peak.

Sotalol does not bind to plasma proteins and is not metabolized. Sotalol shows very little intersubject variability in plasma levels. The pharmacokinetics of the d and l enantiomers of sotalol are essentially identical. Sotalol crosses the blood brain barrier poorly. Excretion is predominantly via the kidney in the unchanged form, and therefore lower doses are necessary in conditions of renal impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)]. Age per se does not significantly alter the pharmacokinetics of sotalol, but impaired renal function in geriatric patients can increase the terminal elimination half-life, resulting in increased drug accumulation. The absorption of sotalol was reduced by approximately 20% compared to fasting when it was administered with a standard meal. Since sotalol is not subject to first-pass metabolism, patients with hepatic impairment show no alteration in clearance of sotalol.

The combined analysis of two unblinded, multicenter trials (a single dose and a multiple dose study) with 59 children, aged between 3 days and 12 years, showed the pharmacokinetics of sotalol to be first order. A daily dose of 30 mg/m2 of sotalol was administered in the single dose study and daily doses of 30, 90 and 210 mg/m2 were administered every 8 hours in the multi-dose study. After rapid absorption with peak levels occurring on average between 2-3 hours following administration, sotalol was eliminated with a mean half-life of 9.5 hours. Steady-state was reached after 1-2 days. The average peak to trough concentration ratio was 2. BSA was the most important covariate and more relevant than age for the pharmacokinetics of sotalol. The smallest children (BSA <0.33m2) exhibited a greater drug exposure (+59%) than the larger children who showed a uniform drug concentration profile. The intersubject variation for oral clearance was 22%.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed in rats during a 24-month study at 137-275 mg/kg/day (approximately 30 times the maximum recommended human oral dose (MRHD) as mg/kg or 5 times the MRHD as mg/m2) or in mice, during a 24-month study at 4141-7122 mg/kg/day (approximately 450-750 times the MRHD as mg/kg or 36-63 times the MRHD as mg/m2).

Sotalol has not been evaluated in any specific assay of mutagenicity or clastogenicity.

No significant reduction in fertility occurred in rats at oral doses of 1000 mg/kg/day (approximately 100 times the MRHD as mg/kg or 9 times the MRHD as mg/m2) prior to mating, except for a small reduction in the number of offspring per litter.

Reproduction studies in rats and rabbits during organogenesis at 100 and 22 times the MRHD as mg/kg (9 and 7 times the MRHD as mg/m2), respectively, did not reveal any teratogenic potential associated with sotalol HCl. In rabbits, a high dose of sotalol HCl (160 mg/kg/day) at 16 times the MRHD as mg/kg (6 times the MRHD as mg/m2) produced a slight increase in fetal death likely due to maternal toxicity. Eight times the maximum dose (80 mg/kg/day or 3 times the MRHD as mg/m2) did not result in an increased incidence of fetal deaths. In rats, 1000 mg/kg/day sotalol HCl, 100 times the MRHD (18 times the MRHD as mg/m2), increased the number of early resorptions, while at 14 times the maximum dose (2.5 times the MRHD as mg/m2), no increase in early resorptions was noted. However, animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response.

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