"What are angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and how do they work?
The class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), as the class name suggests, are drugs that block the action of angiotensin. Specifically, ARBs preve"...
Mechanism of Action
Angiotensin II (formed from angiotensin I in a reaction catalyzed by angiotensin-converting enzyme [kininase II]), a potent vasoconstrictor, is the principal pressor agent of the renin-angiotensin system. Angiotensin II also stimulates aldosterone synthesis and secretion by the adrenal cortex, cardiac contraction, renal resorption of sodium, activity of the sympathetic nervous system, and smooth muscle cell growth. Eprosartan blocks the vasoconstrictor and aldosterone-secreting effects of angiotensin II by selectively blocking the binding of angiotensin II to the AT1 receptor found in many tissues (e.g., vascular smooth muscle, adrenal gland). There is also an AT2 receptor found in many tissues but it is not known to be associated with cardiovascular homeostasis. Eprosartan does not exhibit any partial agonist activity at the AT1 receptor. Its affinity for the AT1 receptor is 1,000 times greater than for the AT2 receptor. In vitro binding studies indicate that eprosartan is a reversible, competitive inhibitor of the AT1 receptor.
Blockade of the AT1 receptor removes the negative feedback of angiotensin II on renin secretion, but the resulting increased plasma renin activity and circulating angiotensin II do not overcome the effect of eprosartan on blood pressure.
TEVETEN® does not inhibit kininase II, the enzyme that converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II and degrades bradykinin; whether this has clinical relevance is not known. It does not bind to or block other hormone receptors or ion channels known to be important in cardiovascular regulation.
Absolute bioavailability following a single 300 mg oral dose of eprosartan is approximately 13%. Eprosartan plasma concentrations peak at 1 to 2 hours after an oral dose in the fasted state. Administering eprosartan with food delays absorption, and causes variable changes ( < 25%) in Cmax and AUC values which do not appear clinically important. Plasma concentrations of eprosartan increase in a slightly less than dose-proportional manner over the 100 mg to 800 mg dose range. The mean terminal elimination half-life of eprosartan following multiple oral doses of 600 mg was approximately 20 hours. Eprosartan does not significantly accumulate with chronic use.
Metabolism and Excretion
Eprosartan is eliminated by biliary and renal excretion, primarily as unchanged compound. Less than 2% of an oral dose is excreted in the urine as a glucuronide. There are no active metabolites following oral and intravenous dosing with [14C] eprosartan in human subjects. Eprosartan was the only drug-related compound found in the plasma and feces. Following intravenous [14C] eprosartan, about 61% of the material is recovered in the feces and about 37% in the urine. Following an oral dose of [14C] eprosartan, about 90% is recovered in the feces and about 7% in the urine. Approximately 20% of the radioactivity excreted in the urine was an acyl glucuronide of eprosartan with the remaining 80% being unchanged eprosartan.
Plasma protein binding of eprosartan is high (approximately 98%) and constant over the concentration range achieved with therapeutic doses.
The pooled population pharmacokinetic analysis from two Phase 3 trials of 299 men and 172 women with mild to moderate hypertension (aged 20 to 93 years) showed that eprosartan exhibited a population mean oral clearance (CL/F) for an average 60-year-old patient of 48.5 L/hr. The population mean steady-state volume of distribution (Vss/F) was 308 L. Eprosartan pharmacokinetics were not influenced by weight, race, gender or severity of hypertension at baseline. Oral clearance was shown to be a linear function of age with CL/F decreasing 0.62 L/hr for every year increase.
Eprosartan pharmacokinetics have not been investigated in patients younger than 18 years of age.
Following single oral dose administration of eprosartan to healthy elderly men (aged 68 to 78 years), AUC, Cmax, and Tmax eprosartan values increased, on average by approximately twofold, compared to healthy young men (aged 20 to 39 years) who received the same dose. The extent of plasma protein binding was not influenced by age.
There was no difference in the pharmacokinetics and plasma protein binding between men and women following single oral dose administration of eprosartan.
A pooled population pharmacokinetic analysis of442 Caucasian and 29 non-Caucasian hypertensive patients showed that oral clearance and steady-state volume of distribution were not influenced by race.
Following administration of 600 mg once daily, there was a 70-90% increase in AUC, and a 30-50% increase in Cmax in moderate or severe renal impairment. The unbound eprosartan fractions increased by 35% and 59% in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment, respectively. No initial dosing adjustment is generally necessary in patients with moderate or severe renal impairment, with maximum dose not exceeding 600 mg daily. Eprosartan was poorly removed by hemodialysis (CLHD < 1 L/hr) (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Eprosartan AUC (but not Cmax) values increased, on average, by approximately 40% in men with decreased hepatic function compared to healthy men after a single 100 mg oral dose of eprosartan. Hepatic disease was defined as a documented clinical history of chronic hepatic abnormality diagnosed by liver biopsy, liver/spleen scan or clinical laboratory tests. The extent of eprosartan plasma protein binding was not influenced by hepatic dysfunction. No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with hepatic impairment (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Concomitant administration of eprosartan and digoxin had no effect on single oral-dose digoxin pharmacokinetics. Concomitant administration of eprosartan and warfarin had no effect on steady-state prothrombin time ratios (INR) in healthy volunteers. Concomitant administration of eprosartan and glyburide in diabetic patients did not affect 24-hour plasma glucose profiles. Eprosartan pharmacokinetics were not affected by concomitant administration of ranitidine. Eprosartan did not inhibit human cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP1A, 2A6, 2C9/8, 2C19, 2D6, 2E and 3 A in vitro. Eprosartan is not metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system; eprosartan steady-state concentrations were not affected by concomitant administration of ketoconazole or fluconazole, potent inhibitors of CYP3A and 2C9, respectively.
Pharmacodynamics and Clinical Effects
Eprosartan inhibits the pharmacologic effects of angiotensin II infusions in healthy adult men. Single oral doses of eprosartan from 10 mg to 400 mg have been shown to inhibit the vasopressor, renal vasoconstrictive and aldosterone secretory effects of infused angiotensin II with complete inhibition evident at doses of 350 mg and above. Eprosartan inhibits the pressor effects of angiotensin II infusions. A single oral dose of 350 mg of eprosartan inhibits pressor effects by approximately 100% at peak, with approximately 30% inhibition persisting for 24 hours. The absence of angiotensin II AT1 agonist activity has been demonstrated in healthy adult men. In hypertensive patients treated chronically with eprosartan, there was a twofold rise in angiotensin II plasma concentration and a twofold rise in plasma renin activity, while plasma aldosterone levels remained unchanged. Serum potassium levels also remained unchanged in these patients.
Achievement of maximal blood pressure response to a given dose in most patients may take 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. Onset of blood pressure reduction is seen within 1 to 2 hours of dosing with few instances of orthostatic hypotension. Blood pressure control is maintained with once- or twice-daily dosing over a 24-hour period. Discontinuing treatment with eprosartan does not lead to a rapid rebound increase in blood pressure.
There was no change in mean heart rate in patients treated with eprosartan in controlled clinical trials.
Eprosartan increases mean effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) in salt-replete and salt-restricted normal subjects. A dose-related increase in ERPF of 25% to 30% occurred in salt-restricted normal subjects, with the effect plateauing between the 200 mg and 400 mg doses. There was no change in ERPF in hypertensive patients and patients with renal insufficiency on normal salt diets. Eprosartan did not reduce glomerular filtration rate in patients with renal insufficiency or in patients with hypertension, after 7 days and 28 days of dosing, respectively. In hypertensive patients and patients with chronic renal insufficiency, eprosartan did not change fractional excretion of sodium and potassium.
Eprosartan (1200 mg once daily for 7 days or 300 mg twice daily for 28 days) had no effect on the excretion of uric acid in healthy men, patients with essential hypertension or those with varying degrees of renal insufficiency.
There were no effects on mean levels of fasting triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or fasting glucose.
The safety and efficacy of TEVETEN® have been evaluated in controlled clinical trials worldwide that enrolled predominantly hypertensive patients with sitting DBP ranging from 95 mmHg to ≤ 115 mmHg.
There is also some experience with use of eprosartan together with other anti-hypertensive drugs in more severe hypertension.
The antihypertensive effects of TEVETEN® were demonstrated principally in five placebo-controlled trials (4 to 13 weeks' duration) including dosages of 400 mg to 1200 mg given once daily (two studies), 25 mg to 400 mg twice daily (two studies), and one study comparing total daily doses of 400 mg to 800 mg given once daily or twice daily. The five studies included 1,111 patients randomized to eprosartan and 395 patients randomized to placebo. The studies showed dose-related antihypertensive responses.
At study endpoint, patients treated with TEVETEN® at doses of 600 mg to 1200 mg given once daily experienced significant decreases in sitting systolic and diastolic blood pressure at trough, with differences from placebo of approximately 5-10/3-6 mmHg. Limited experience is available with the dose of 1200 mg administered once daily. In a direct comparison of 200 mg to 400 mg b.i.d. with 400 mg to 800 mg q.d. of TEVETEN®, effects at trough were similar. Patients treated with TEVETEN® at doses of 200 mg to 400 mg given twice daily experienced significant decreases in sitting systolic and diastolic blood pressure at trough, with differences from placebo of approximately 7-10/4-6 mmHg.
Peak (1 to 3 hours) effects were uniformly, but moderately, larger than trough effects with b.i.d. dosing, with the trough-to-peak ratio for diastolic blood pressure 65% to 80%. In the once-daily dose-response study, trough-to-peak responses of ≤ 50% were observed at some doses (including 1200 mg), suggesting attenuation of effect at the end of the dosing interval.
The antihypertensive effect of TEVETEN® was similar in men and women, but was somewhat smaller in patients over 65. There were too few black subjects to determine whether their response was similar to Caucasians. In general, blacks (usually a low renin population) have had smaller responses to ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II inhibitors than Caucasian populations.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor-induced cough (a dry, persistent cough) can lead to discontinuation of ACE inhibitor therapy. In one study, patients who had previously coughed while taking an ACE inhibitor were treated with eprosartan, an ACE inhibitor (enalapril) or placebo for six weeks. The incidence of dry, persistent cough was 2.2% on eprosartan, 4.4% on placebo, and 20.5% on the ACE inhibitor; p=0.008 for the comparison of eprosartan with enalapril. In a second study comparing the incidence of cough in 259 patients treated with eprosartan to 261 patients treated with the ACE inhibitor enalapril, the incidence of dry, persistent cough in eprosartan-treated patients (1.5%) was significantly lower (p=0.018) than that observed in patients treated with the ACE inhibitor (5.4%). In addition, analysis of overall data from six double-blind clinical trials involving 1,554 patients showed an incidence of spontaneously reported cough in patients treated with eprosartan of 3.5%, similar to placebo (2.6%).
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/24/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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