Effect of Fluoxetine on Carvedilol Pharmacokinetics, CYP2D6 Activity, and Autonomic Balance in Heart Failure Patients

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The objective of this study was to examine the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic consequences of concomitant administration of fluoxetine and carvedilol in heart failure patients. Fluoxetine (20 mg) or matching placebo was administered in a randomized, double-blind, two-period crossover study to 10 patients previously identified as extensive metabolizers of CYP2D6 substrates. Patients were maintained on a carvedilol dose of 25 or 50 mg bid and given fluoxetine/placebo for a minimum of 28 days. Plasma was collected over the 12-hour carvedilol dosing interval, and the concentrations of the R(+) and S(−) enantiomers of carvedilol were measured. CYP2D6 phenotype was assessed during each study period using dextromethorphan (30 mg). Changes in autonomic modulation between study periods were measured by heart rate variability in the time and frequency domains using ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring. Compared to placebo, fluoxetine coadministration resulted in a 77% increase in mean (SD) R(+) enantiomer AUC0–12 (522 ± 413 vs. 927 ± 506 ng·h/mL, p = 0.01) and a nonsignificant increase in S(−) enantiomer AUC (244 ± 185 vs. 330±179 ng·h/mL, p = 0.17). Mean apparent oral clearance for both enantiomers decreased significantly with fluoxetine administration (R(+): 10.3 ± 7.2 vs. 4.5 ± 2.2 mL/min/kg; S(−): 22.5 ± 12.3 vs. 12.6 ± 7.4 mL/min/kg; p = 0.004 and 0.03, respectively). No differences in adverse effects, blood pressure, or heart rate were noted between treatment groups, and there were no consistent changes in heart rate variability parameters. In conclusion, fluoxetine administration resulted in a stereospecific inhibition of carvedilol metabolism, with the R(+) enantiomer increasing to a greater extent than the S(−) enantiomer. However, this interaction was of little clinical significance in our sample population.

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