"What are ACE inhibitors and how do they work?
The class of drugs called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, as the class name suggests, reduces the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme. ACE converts angiotensin I pr"...
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Anaphylactoid and Possibly Related Reactions
Presumably because angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors affect the metabolism of eicosanoids and polypeptides, including endogenous bradykinin, patients receiving ACE inhibitors (including MONOPRIL-HCT) may be subject to a variety of adverse reactions, some of them serious.
Head and Neck Angioedema
Angioedema of the face, extremities, lips, tongue, glottis, and larynx has been reported in patients treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. Angioedema associated with laryngeal edema can be fatal. If laryngeal stridor or angioedema of the face, tongue, or glottis occurs, treatment with MONOPRIL-HCT should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted immediately. When involvement of the tongue, glottis, or larynx appears likely to cause airway obstruction, appropriate therapy, e.g., subcutaneous epinephrine injection 1:1000 (0.3–0.5 mL) should be promptly administered (see PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Intestinal angioedema has been reported in patients treated with ACE inhibitors. These patients presented with abdominal pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); in some cases there was no prior history of facial angioedema and C-1 esterase levels were normal. The angioedema was diagnosed by procedures including abdominal CT scan or ultrasound, or at surgery, and symptoms resolved after stopping the ACE inhibitor. Intestinal angioedema should be included in the differential diagnosis of patients on ACE inhibitors presenting with abdominal pain.
Anaphylactoid Reactions During Desensitization
Two patients undergoing desensitizing treatment with hymenoptera venom while receiving ACE inhibitors sustained life-threatening anaphylactoid reactions. In the same patients, these reactions were avoided when ACE inhibitors were temporarily withheld, but they reappeared upon inadvertent rechallenge.
Anaphylactoid Reactions During Membrane Exposure
Anaphylactoid reactions have been reported in patients dialyzed with high-flux membranes and treated concomitantly with an ACE inhibitor. Anaphylactoid reactions have also been reported in patients undergoing low-density lipoprotein apheresis with dextran sulfate absorption.
MONOPRIL-HCT can cause symptomatic hypotension. Like other ACE inhibitors, fosinopril has been only rarely associated with hypotension in uncomplicated hypertensive patients. Symptomatic hypotension is most likely to occur in patients who have been volume- and/or salt-depleted as a result of prolonged diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, dialysis, diarrhea, or vomiting. Volume and/or salt depletion should be corrected before initiating therapy with MONOPRIL-HCT.
MONOPRIL-HCT (fosinopril sodium-hydrochlorothiazide tablets) should be used cautiously in patients receiving concomitant therapy with other antihypertensives. The thiazide component of MONOPRIL-HCT may potentiate the action of other antihypertensive drugs, especially ganglionic or peripheral adrenergic-blocking drugs. The antihypertensive effects of the thiazide component may also be enhanced in the post-sympathectomy patient.
In patients with congestive heart failure, with or without associated renal insufficiency, ACE inhibitor therapy may cause excessive hypotension, which may be associated with oliguria, azotemia, and (rarely) with acute renal failure and death. In such patients, MONOPRIL-HCT therapy should be started under close medical supervision; they should be followed closely for the first 2 weeks of treatment and whenever the dose of fosinopril or diuretic is increased.
If hypotension occurs, the patient should be placed in a supine position, and, if necessary, treated with intravenous infusion of physiological saline. MONOPRIL-HCT treatment usually can be continued following restoration of blood pressure and volume.
Impaired Renal Function
MONOPRIL-HCT should be used with caution in patients with severe renal disease. Thiazides may precipitate azotemia in such patients, and the effects of repeated dosing may be cumulative.
When the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is inhibited by ACE inhibitors, changes in renal function may be anticipated in susceptible individuals. In patients with severe congestive heart failure, whose renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (including fosinopril) may be associated with oliguria and/or progressive azotemia and (rarely) with acute renal failure and/or death.
In some studies of hypertensive patients with unilateral or bilateral renal artery stenosis, treatment with ACE inhibitors has been associated with increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine; these increases were reversible upon discontinuation of ACE inhibitor therapy, concomitant diuretic therapy, or both. When such patients are treated with MONOPRIL-HCT, renal function should be monitored during the first few weeks of therapy.
Some ACE-inhibitor-treated hypertensive patients with no apparent preexisting renal vascular disease have developed increases in blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine, usually minor and transient, especially when the ACE inhibitor has been given concomitantly with a diuretic. Dosage reduction of MONOPRIL-HCT may be required. Evaluation of the hypertensive patient should always include assessment of renal function (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Another angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, captopril, has been shown to cause agranulocytosis and bone marrow depression, rarely in uncomplicated patients (incidence probably less than once per 10,000 exposures), but more frequently (incidence possibly as great as once per 1,000 exposures) in patients with renal impairment, especially those who also have a collagen-vascular disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus or scleroderma. Available data from clinical trials of fosinopril are insufficient to show that fosinopril does not cause agranulocytosis at similar rates. Monitoring of white blood cell counts should be considered in patients with collagen-vascular disease, especially if the disease is associated with impaired renal function.
Neutropenia/agranulocytosis has also been associated with thiazide diuretics.
Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality
ACE inhibitors can cause fetal and neonatal morbidity and death when administered to pregnant women. Several dozen cases have been reported in the world literature. When pregnancy is detected, MONOPRIL-HCT should be discontinued as soon as possible.
The use of ACE inhibitors during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy has been associated with fetal and neonatal injury, including hypotension, neonatal skull hypoplasia, anuria, reversible or irreversible renal failure, and death. Oligohydramnios has also been reported, presumably resulting from decreased fetal renal function; oligohydramnios in this setting has been associated with fetal limb contractures, craniofacial deformation, and hypoplastic lung development. Prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation, and patent ductus arteriosus have also been reported, although it is not clear whether these occurrences were due to the ACE-inhibitor exposure.
These adverse effects do not appear to have resulted from intrauterine ACE-inhibitor exposure that has been limited to the first trimester. Mothers whose embryos and fetuses are exposed to ACE inhibitors only during the first trimester should be so informed. Nonetheless, when patients become pregnant, physicians should make every effort to discontinue the use of fosinopril as soon as possible.
Rarely (probably less often than once in every thousand pregnancies), no alternative to ACE inhibitors will be found. In these rare cases, the mothers should be apprised of the potential hazards to their fetuses, and serial ultrasound examinations should be performed to assess the intraamniotic environment.
If oligohydramnios is observed, fosinopril should be discontinued unless it is considered life-saving for the mother. Contraction stress testing (CST), a non-stress test (NST), or biophysical profiling (BPP) may be appropriate, depending upon the week of pregnancy. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury.
Infants with histories of in utero exposure to ACE inhibitors should be closely observed for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia. If oliguria occurs, attention should be directed toward support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusion or peritoneal dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and/or substituting for disordered renal function. Fosinopril is poorly dialyzed from the circulation of adults, and indeed there is no experience with any procedure for removing fosinopril from the neonatal circulation, but limited experience with other ACE inhibitors has not shown that such removal is central to the treatment of these infants.
When fosinopril is given to pregnant rats at doses about 80 to 250 times (on a mg/kg basis) the maximum recommended human dose, three similar orofacial malformations and one fetus with situs inversus were observed among the offspring. In pregnant rabbits, no teratogenic effects of fosinopril were seen in studies at doses up to 25 times (on a mg/kg basis) the maximum recommended human dose.
Impaired Hepatic Function
Rarely, ACE inhibitors have been associated with a syndrome that begins with cholestatic jaundice and progresses to fulminant hepatic necrosis and (sometimes) death. The mechanism of this syndrome is not understood. A patient receiving MONOPRIL-HCT who develops jaundice or marked elevation of hepatic enzymes should discontinue MONOPRIL-HCT (fosinopril sodium-hydrochlorothiazide tablets) and receive appropriate medical follow-up.
MONOPRIL-HCT should be used with caution in patients with impaired hepatic function or progressive liver disease, since minor alterations of fluid and electrolyte balance may precipitate hepatic coma. Also, since the metabolism of fosinopril to fosinoprilat is normally dependent upon hepatic esterases, patients with impaired liver function could develop elevated plasma levels of fosinopril. In a study of patients with alcoholic or biliary cirrhosis the rate (but not the extent) of hydrolysis to fosinoprilat was reduced. In these patients the clearance of fosinoprilat was reduced, and the area under the fosinoprilat-time curve was approximately doubled.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Thiazide diuretics have been reported to cause exacerbation or activation of systemic lupus erythematosus.
Derangements of Serum Electrolytes
In clinical trials of fosinopril monotherapy, hyperkalemia (serum potassium at least 10% greater than the upper limit of normal) occurred in approximately 2.6% of hypertensive patients receiving fosinopril. In most cases, these were isolated values which resolved despite continued therapy. Risk factors for the development of hyperkalemia included renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, and the concomitant use of potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, and/or potassium-containing salt substitutes.
Conversely, treatment with thiazide diuretics has been associated with hypokalemia, hyponatremia, and hypochloremic alkalosis. These disturbances have sometimes been manifest as one or more of dryness of mouth, thirst, weakness, lethargy, drowsiness, restlessness, muscle pains or cramps, muscular fatigue, hypotension, oliguria, tachycardia, nausea, and vomiting. Hypokalemia can also sensitize or exaggerate the response of the heart to the toxic effects of digitalis. The risk of hypokalemia is greatest in patients with cirrhosis of the liver, in patients experiencing a brisk diuresis, in patients who are receiving inadequate oral intake of electrolytes, and in patients receiving concomitant therapy with corticosteroids or ACTH.
The opposite effects of fosinopril and hydrochlorothiazide on serum potassium will approximately balance each other in many patients, so that no net effect upon serum potassium will be seen. In other patients, one or the other effect may be dominant. Initial and periodic determinations of serum electrolytes to detect possible electrolyte imbalance should be performed at appropriate intervals.
Chloride deficits are generally mild and require specific treatment only under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., in liver disease or renal disease). Dilutional hyponatremia may occur in edematous patients; appropriate therapy is water restriction rather than administration of salt, except in rare instances when the hyponatremia is life-threatening. In actual salt depletion, appropriate replacement is the therapy of choice.
Calcium excretion is decreased by thiazides. In a few patients on prolonged thiazide therapy, pathological changes in the parathyroid gland have been observed, with hypercalcemia and hypophosphatemia. More serious complications of hyperparathyroidism (renal lithiasis, bone resorption, and peptic ulceration) have not been seen.
Other Metabolic Disturbances
Thiazide diuretics tend to reduce glucose tolerance and to raise serum levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and uric acid. These effects are usually minor, but frank gout or overt diabetes may be precipitated in susceptible patients.
Presumably due to the inhibition of the degradation of endogenous bradykinin, persistent nonproductive cough has been reported with all ACE inhibitors, always resolving after discontinuation of therapy. ACE inhibitor-induced cough should be considered in the differential diagnosis of cough.
In patients undergoing surgery or during anesthesia with agents that produce hypotension, fosinopril will block the angiotensin II formation that could otherwise occur secondary to compensatory renin release. Hypotension that occurs as a result of this mechanism can be corrected by volume expansion.
Therapy with MONOPRIL-HCT should be interrupted for a few days before carrying out tests of parathyroid function.
Fosinopril may cause false low measurement of serum digoxin levels when the Digi-Tab® (Nuclear Medical) RIA Kit is used. The accuracy of the Coat-A-Count® (Diagnostic Products Corporation) kit is not affected.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Reproductive studies and long-term carcinogenicity studies with MONOPRIL-HCT have not been conducted. The combination of fosinopril and hydrochlorothiazide was not mutagenic in the Ames microbial mutagen test, the mouse lymphoma forward mutation assay, or the Chinese hamster ovary cell cytogenetic assay. The combination was also not genotoxic in a mouse micronucleus test in vivo.
No evidence of a carcinogenicity was found when fosinopril was given in the diet to rats and mice for up to 24 months at doses up to 400 mg/kg/day. On a body weight basis, the highest dose was about 250 times the maximum human dose of 80 mg, given to a 50 kg subject. On a body surface area basis, this dose is 20 (mice) to 40 (rats) times the maximum human dose.
Neither fosinopril nor the fosinoprilat moiety was mutagenic in the Ames microbial mutagen test, the mouse lymphoma forward mutation assay, or a mitotic gene conversion assay. Fosinopril was also not genotoxic in a mouse micronucleus test in vivo and a mouse bone marrow cytogenetic assay in vivo.
In Chinese hamster ovary cell cytogenetic assay, fosinopril increased the frequency of chromosomal aberrations when tested without metabolic activation at a concentration that was toxic to the cells. However, there was no increase in chromosomal aberrations at lower drug concentrations without metabolic activation or at any concentration with metabolic activation.
There were no adverse reproductive effects in male and female rats treated with up to 60 mg/kg daily. At doses 4 times higher, slight increases in pairing time were seen. This higher dose is about 125 (body surface area basis) or 600 (body weight basis) times greater than the dose received by a 50 kg human receiving 20 mg a day.
Under the auspices of the National Toxicology Program, rats and mice received hydrochlorothiazide for two years at doses up to 100 (rats) and 600 (mice) mg/kg/day. On a body weight basis, these highest doses were about 2400 times (mice) or 400 times (rats) the MONOPRIL-HCT dose of 12.5 mg, given to a 50 kg subject. On a body surface area basis, these doses are 226 times (mice) and 82 times (rats) the MONOPRIL-HCT dose. These studies uncovered no evidence of carcinogenicity in rats or female mice, but there was equivocal evidence of hepatocarcinogenicity in male mice.
Hydrochlorothiazide was not genotoxic in in vitro assays using strains TA 98, TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1537, and TA 1538 of Salmonella typhimurium (Ames assay); in the Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) test for chromosomal aberrations; or in in vivo assays using mouse germinal cell chromosomes; Chinese Hamster bone-marrow chromosomes, and the Drosophila sex-linked recessive lethal trait gene. Using concentrations of hydrochlorothiazide of 43–1300 mg/mL, positive test results were obtained in the in vitro CHO Sister Chromatid Exchange (clastogenicity) test and in the Mouse Lymphoma Cell (mutagenicity) assays. Using an unspecified concentration of hydrochlorothiazide, positive test results were also obtained in the Aspergillus nidulans nondisjunction assay.
No adverse effects upon fertility were seen when rats and mice received dietary hydrochlorothiazide prior to mating and throughout gestation at doses up to 4 (rats) and 100 (mice) mg/kg/day. These doses are from 3.2 (body surface area basis in rats) to 400 (weight basis in mice) times greater than the dose received by a 50 kg human receiving 12.5 mg a day.
Pregnancy Categories C (first trimester) and D (second and third trimesters)
See WARNINGS: Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality.
Both fosinopril and hydrochlorothiazide are excreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue MONOPRIL-HCT, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Clinical studies of fosinopril sodium-hydrochlorothiazide 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 responses between elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/1/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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