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Mechanism of Action
Enalapril, after hydrolysis to enalaprilat, inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in human subjects and animals. ACE is a peptidyl dipeptidase that catalyzes the conversion of angiotensin I to the vasoconstrictor substance, angiotensin II. Angiotensin II also stimulates aldosterone secretion by the adrenal cortex. The beneficial effects of enalapril in hypertension and heart failure appear to result primarily from suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Inhibition of ACE results in decreased plasma angiotensin II, which leads to decreased vasopressor activity and to decreased aldosterone secretion. Although the latter decrease is small, it results in small increases of serum potassium. In hypertensive patients treated with enalapril maleate tablets alone for up to 48 weeks, mean increases in serum potassium of approximately 0.2 mEq/L were observed. In patients treated with enalapril maleate tablets plus a thiazide diuretic, there was essentially no change in serum potassium [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Removal of angiotensin II negative feedback on renin secretion leads to increased plasma renin activity.
ACE is identical to kininase, an enzyme that degrades bradykinin. Whether increased levels of bradykinin, a potent vasodepressor peptide, play a role in the therapeutic effects of EPANED remains to be elucidated.
While the mechanism through which EPANED lowers blood pressure is believed to be primarily suppression of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, enalapril is antihypertensive even in patients with low-renin hypertension. Although enalapril maleate tablets was antihypertensive in all races studied, black hypertensive patients (usually a low-renin hypertensive population) had a smaller average response to enalapril monotherapy than non-black patients.
Administration of enalapril maleate tablets to patients with hypertension of severity ranging from mild to severe results in a reduction of both supine and standing blood pressure, usually with no orthostatic component. Symptomatic postural hypotension is therefore infrequent, although it might be anticipated in volume-depleted patients [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
In most patients studied, after oral administration of a single dose of enalapril, onset of antihypertensive activity was seen at one hour with peak reduction of blood pressure achieved by four to six hours.
At recommended doses, antihypertensive effects have been maintained for at least 24 hours. In some patients the effects may diminish toward the end of the dosing interval [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
In some patients achievement of optimal blood pressure reduction may require several weeks of therapy.
The antihypertensive effects of enalapril have continued during long-term therapy. Abrupt withdrawal of enalapril has not been associated with a rapid increase in blood pressure.
In hemodynamic studies in patients with essential hypertension, blood pressure reduction was accompanied by a reduction in peripheral arterial resistance with an increase in cardiac output and little or no change in heart rate. Following administration of enalapril, there is an increase in renal blood flow; glomerular filtration rate is usually unchanged. The effects appear to be similar in patients with renovascular hypertension.
When given together with thiazide-type diuretics, the blood pressure lowering effects of enalapril maleate are approximately additive.
In a clinical pharmacology study, indomethacin or sulindac was administered to hypertensive patients receiving enalapril maleate tablets. In this study, there was no evidence of a blunting of the antihypertensive action of enalapril [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In a clinical study involving 110 hypertensive pediatric patients 6 to 16 years of age, patients who weighed < 50 kg received either 0.625, 2.5, or 20 mg of enalapril daily and patients who weighed ≥ 50 kg received either 1.25, 5, or 40 mg of enalapril daily. Enalapril administration once daily lowered trough blood pressure in a dose-dependent manner. The dose-dependent antihypertensive efficacy of enalapril was consistent across all subgroups (age, Tanner stage, gender, race). However, the lowest doses studied, 0.625 mg and 1.25 mg, corresponding to an average of 0.02 mg/kg once daily, did not appear to offer consistent antihypertensive efficacy. In this study, enalapril maleate was generally well tolerated.
The pharmacokinetics of EPANED Oral Solution were shown to be similar to that of Vasotec® tablets under fasted conditions. A high-fat meal reduced the Cmax of enalapril and enalaprilat by 46% and 36%, respectively. The exposure, as measured by AUC, to enalaprilat was reduced by 23%. The time to peak concentrations (Cmax ) was delayed by 20 minutes for enalapril and 62 minutes for enalaprilat. The trough plasma concentrations of enalapril (from 6 to 12 hours) and enalaprilat (from 16 to 36 hours) are similar between fasted and fed administrations.
Following oral administration of enalapril maleate tablets, peak serum concentrations of enalapril occur within about one hour. Based on urinary recovery, the extent of absorption of enalapril is approximately 60%. Enalapril absorption is not influenced by the presence of food in the gastrointestinal tract. Following absorption, enalapril is hydrolyzed to enalaprilat, which is a more potent angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor than enalapril; enalaprilat is poorly absorbed when administered orally. Peak serum concentrations of enalaprilat occur three to four hours after an oral dose of enalapril maleate. Excretion of enalapril is primarily renal.
Approximately 94% of the dose is recovered in the urine and feces as enalaprilat or enalapril. The principal components in urine are enalaprilat, accounting for about 40% of the dose, and intact enalapril. There is no evidence of metabolites of enalapril, other than enalaprilat.
The serum concentration profile of enalaprilat exhibits a prolonged terminal phase, apparently representing a small fraction of the administered dose that has been bound to ACE. The amount bound does not increase with dose, indicating a saturable site of binding. The effective half-life for accumulation of enalaprilat following multiple doses of enalapril maleate is 11 hours.
The disposition of enalapril and enalaprilat in patients with renal insufficiency is similar to that in patients with normal renal function until the glomerular filtration rate is 30 mL/min or less. With glomerular filtration rate ≤ 30 mL/min, peak and trough enalaprilat levels increase, time to peak concentration increases, and time to steady state may be delayed. The effective half-life of enalaprilat following multiple doses of enalapril maleate is prolonged at this level of renal insufficiency [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Enalaprilat is dialyzable at the rate of 62 mL/min.
A multiple dose pharmacokinetic study was conducted in 40 hypertensive male and female pediatric patients aged 2 months to ≤ 16 years following daily oral administration of 0.07 to 0.14 mg/kg enalapril maleate. At steady state, the mean effective half-life for accumulation of enalaprilat was 14 hours and the mean urinary recovery of total enalapril and enalaprilat in 24 hours was 68% of the administered dose. Conversion of enalapril to enalaprilat was in the range of 63-76%. The overall results of this study indicate that the pharmacokinetics of enalapril in hypertensive children aged 2 months to ≤ 16 years are consistent across the studied age groups and consistent with pharmacokinetic historic data in healthy adults.
In the above pediatric study, enalapril maleate was given as tablets and for those children and infants who were unable to swallow tablets or who required a lower dose than is available in tablet form, enalapril was administered in a suspension formulation.
Studies in dogs indicate that enalapril crosses the blood-brain barrier poorly, if at all; enalaprilat does not enter the brain. Multiple doses of enalapril maleate in rats do not result in accumulation in any tissues. Milk of lactating rats contains radioactivity following administration of 14C-enalapril maleate. Radioactivity was found to cross the placenta following administration of labeled drug to pregnant hamsters.
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/29/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Epaned Information
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