"What are calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and how do they work?
Calcium channel blockers are drugs that block the entry of calcium into the muscle cells of the heart and arteries.
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Symptomatic hypotension, particularly with upright posture, may occur with even small doses of BiDil. Hypotension is most likely to occur in patients who have been volume or salt depleted; correct prior to initiation of BiDil [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Worsening Ischemic Heart Disease
Hydralazine hydrochloride has been associated with peripheral neuritis, evidenced by paresthesia, numbness, and tingling, which may be related to an antipyridoxine effect. Pyridoxine should be added to BiDil therapy if such symptoms develop.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Hydralazine hydrochloride: An increased incidence of lung tumors (adenomas and adenocarcinomas) was observed in a lifetime study in Swiss albino mice given hydralazine hydrochloride continuously in their drinking water at a dosage of about 250 mg/kg per day (6 times the MRHD provided by BiDil on a body surface area basis). In a 2-year carcinogenicity study of rats given hydralazine hydrochloride by gavage at dose levels of 15, 30, and 60 mg/kg/day (up to 3 times the MRHD of BiDil on a body surface area basis), microscopic examination of the liver revealed a small, but statistically significant increase in benign neoplastic nodules in males (high-dosage) and females (both high and intermediate dosage groups). Benign interstitial cell tumors of the testes were also significantly increased in the high-dose group.
Hydralazine hydrochloride is mutagenic in bacterial systems, and is positive in rat and rabbit hepatocyte DNA repair studies in vitro. Additional in vivo and in vitro studies using lymphoma cells, germinal cells, fibroblasts from mice, bone marrow cells from Chinese hamsters and fibroblasts from human cell lines did not demonstrate any mutagenic or clastogenic potential for hydralazine hydrochloride.
Isosorbide dinitrate: No long-term animal studies have been performed to evaluate the mutagenic or carcinogenic potential of isosorbide dinitrate. A modified two-litter reproduction study among rats fed isosorbide dinitrate at 25 or 100 mg/kg/day (up to 9 times the Maximum Recommended Human Dose of BiDil on a body surface area basis) revealed no evidence of altered fertility or gestation.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category C
There are no studies using BiDil in pregnant women.
Isosorbide dinitrate has been shown to cause a dose-related increase in embryo-toxicity (excess mummified pups) in rabbits at 70 mg/kg (12 times the MRHD of BiDil on a body surface area basis).
Hydralazine hydrochloride is teratogenic in mice at 66 mg/kg and possibly in rabbits at 33 mg/kg (2 and 3 times the MRHD of BiDil on a body surface area basis). There are no animal studies assessing the teratogenicity of BiDil.
A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing hydralazine hydrochloride with other antihypertensive agents for severe hypertension in pregnancy found that hydralazine hydrochloride was associated with significantly more maternal hypotension, placental abruption, caesarean sections and oliguria, with more adverse effects on fetal heart rate and with lower Apgar scores.
A combination of propranolol and hydralazine hydrochloride was administered to 13 patients with long-standing hypertension during 15 pregnancies. These pregnancies resulted in 14 live births and one unexplained stillbirth. The only neonatal complications were two cases of mild hypoglycemia. Hydralazine hydrochloride and its metabolites have been detected using a non-selective assay in maternal and umbilical plasma in patients treated with the drug during pregnancy.
Isosorbide dinitrate has been used for effective acute and sub-chronic control of hypertension in pregnant women, but there are no studies using it in a chronic regimen and assessing its effects on pregnant women and/or the fetus.
No studies have been performed with BiDil. It is not known if either hydralazine or isosorbide dinitrate is excreted in human milk.
The safety and effectiveness of BiDil in children have not been established.
Clinical studies of BiDil did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in response between elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should start at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic and renal function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapies.
Isosorbide dinitrate, its active metabolites, and hydralazine may be eliminated more slowly in elderly patients.
There are no studies of renal impairment using BiDil. No dose adjustment is required for hydralazine or isosorbide dinitrite [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Dialyzability of hydralazine has not been determined. Dialysis is not an effective method for removing isosorbide dinitrate or its metabolite isosorbide-5-mononitrate from the body.
The effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of hydralazine alone has not been determined. Isosorbide dinitrate concentrations increase in patients with cirrhosis. There are no studies of hepatic impairment using BiDil.
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/21/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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