Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of intravenous diltiazem in patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.
BACKGROUND Diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker, has been shown to be safe and effective in the treatment of patients in atrial fibrillation and/or atrial flutter. However, there have been no pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies of diltiazem in these patients.
METHODS AND RESULTS The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of intravenous diltiazem were determined in 32 patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter (mean +/- SD age, 66 +/- 7 years; mean baseline heart rate, 131 +/- 10 beats per minute) after 20 mg or 20 mg followed by 25-mg bolus doses and a 10 and 15 mg/hr infusion for 24 hours. After the 10 and 15 mg/hr infusions of diltiazem, mean +/- SD elimination half-life was 6.8 +/- 1.8 and 6.9 +/- 1.5 hours, volume of distribution was 411 +/- 151.8 and 299 +/- 70.8 I, and systemic clearance was 42 +/- 12.4 and 31 +/- 8.3 l/hr, respectively. Percentages of the plasma concentrations of the principal metabolites desacetyldiltiazem and N-desmethyldiltiazem to diltiazem were < 15% and < 10%, respectively. Thirty of 32 patients maintained response throughout the 24-hour infusion of diltiazem. Using a sigmoidal Emax pharmacodynamic model, a strong relation (mean +/- SD r2, 0.78 +/- 0.2) was observed between plasma diltiazem concentration and percent heart rate reduction. Mean +/- SD Emax (maximum percent reduction in heart rate from baseline) and EC50 (plasma diltiazem concentration that achieves half Emax) were 52 +/- 17% and 110 +/- 84 ng/ml, respectively. The model predicts that mean plasma diltiazem concentration of 79, 172, and 294 ng/ml are required to produce a 20%, 30%, and 40% reduction in heart rate, respectively. A relation between plasma diltiazem concentration and percent change in systolic blood pressure (SBP) or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) from baseline was not observed (mean +/- SD r2, SBP/DBP: 0.35 +/- 0.24/0.36 +/- 0.2). There were no untoward side effects observed.
CONCLUSIONS First, the pharmacokinetics of diltiazem in patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter is nonlinear with an apparent dose-dependent decrease in systemic clearance with increasing infusion rate. Second, using a sigmoidal Emax model, there is a strong relation between plasma diltiazem concentration and percent heart rate reduction. Third, the plasma concentrations of the principal metabolites desacetyldiltiazem and N-desmethyldiltiazem are low and are not expected to contribute significantly to the pharmacodynamics of intravenous diltiazem in these patients.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association