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Serious adverse reactions associated with the administration of intravenous dipyridamole have included cardiac death, fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction, ventricular fibrillation, symptomatic ventricular tachycardia, stroke, transient cerebral ischemia, seizures, anaphylactoid reaction and bronchospasm. There have been reported cases of asystole, sinus node arrest, sinus node depression and conduction block. Patients with abnormalities of cardiac impulse formation/conduction or severe coronary artery disease may be at increased risk for these events.
In a study of 3911 patients given intravenous dipyridamole as an adjunct to thallium myocardial perfusion imaging, two types of serious adverse events were reported: 1) four cases of myocardial infarction (0.1%), two fatal (0.05%); and two non-fatal (0.05%); and 2) six cases of severe bronchospasm (0.2%). Although the incidence of these serious adverse events was small (0.3%, 10 of 3911), the potential clinical information to be gained through use of intravenous dipyridamole thallium imaging (see INDICATIONS noting the rate of false positive and false negative results) must be weighed against the risk to the patient. Patients with a history of unstable angina may be at a greater risk for severe myocardial ischemia. Patients with a history of asthma may be at a greater risk for bronchospasm during dipyridamole use.
When thallium myocardial perfusion imaging is performed with intravenous dipyridamole, parenteral aminophylline should be readily available for relieving adverse events such as bronchospasm or chest pain. Vital signs should be monitored during, and for 10 to15 minutes following, the intravenous infusion of dipyridamole and an electrocardiographic tracing should be obtained using at least one chest lead. Should severe chest pain or bronchospasm occur, parenteral aminophylline may be administered by slow intravenous injection (50 to 100 mg over 30 to 60 seconds) in doses ranging from 50 to 250 mg. In the case of severe hypotension, the patient should be placed in a supine position with the head tilted down if necessary, before administration of parenteral aminophylline. If 250 mg of aminophylline does not relieve chest pain symptoms within a few minutes, sublingual nitroglycerin may be administered. If chest pain continues despite use of aminophylline and nitroglycerin, the possibility of myocardial infarction should be considered. If the clinical condition of a patient with an adverse event permits a one minute delay in the administration of parenteral aminophylline, thallium-201 may be injected and allowed to circulate for one minute before the injection of aminophylline. This will allow initial thallium perfusion imaging to be performed before reversal of the pharmacologic effects of dipyridamole on the coronary circulation.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In studies in which dipyridamole was administered in the feed at doses of up to 75 mg/kg/day (9.4 times* the maximum recommended daily human oral dose) in mice (up to 128 weeks in males and up to 142 weeks in females) and rats (up to 111 weeks in males and females), there was no evidence of drug related carcinogenesis. Mutagenicity tests of dipyridamole with bacterial and mammalian cell systems were negative. There was no evidence of impaired fertility when dipyridamole was administered to male and female rats at oral doses up to 500 mg/kg/day (63 times* the maximum recommended daily human oral dose). A significant reduction in number of corpora lutea with consequent reduction in implantations and live fetuses was, however, observed at 1250 mg/kg/day.
*Calculation based on assumed body weight of 50 kg.
Teratogenic Effects, Pregnancy Category B
Reproduction studies performed in mice and rats at daily oral doses of up to 125 mg/kg (15.6 times* the maximum recommended daily human oral dose) and in rabbits at daily oral doses of up to 20 mg/kg (2.5 times* the maximum recommended daily human oral dose) have revealed no evidence of impaired embryonic development due to dipyridamole. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human responses, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
* Calculation based on assumed body weight of 50 kg.
Dipyridamole is excreted in human milk.
Safety and effectiveness in the pediatric population have not been established.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/4/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Dipyridamole Injection Information
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