Objective: To investigate the effect of multiple-dose paroxetine intake on the stereoselective pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics of metoprolol.
Methods: We conducted an open trial with two sessions in eight healthy male volunteers. Racemic metoprolol (100 mg single oral dose) was administered before and after paroxetine treatment (20 mg/day for 6 days). The (R)- and (S)-metoprolol pharmacokinetics, metoprolol metabolic ratio (MR), exercise heart rate and blood pressure were assessed for 12 (pharmacodynamic data) to 24 (pharmacokinetic data) hours after each metoprolol intake.
Results: Paroxetine treatment increased the mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve extrapolated to infinity (AUC) of (R)- and (S)-metoprolol significantly (169 to 1,340 ng x h/mL [P < .001] and 279 to 1,418 ng x h/mL [P < .001], respectively), with an approximately twofold increase in both maximum plasma concentration and terminal elimination half-life. Furthermore, the (S)/(R) AUC ratio was significantly decreased, from 1.72 to 1.07 (P < .001). The mean metoprolol MR was significantly increased, from 0.17 to 5.69 (P < .05). The AUC of the metoprolol-induced decrease in exercise heart rate versus time curve was increased, with 46% (P < .01) after multiple-dose paroxetine intake, reaching significance from 6 hours after metoprolol intake, illustrating a more sustained beta-blockade. Similar results were obtained for the effect on exercise systolic blood pressure. Multiple-dose metoprolol administration combined with paroxetine can lead to an accumulation of the beta-blocking (S)-enantiomer of metoprolol, possibly resulting in unacceptable bradycardia, loss of cardioselectivity, or both.
Conclusion: Multiple-dose paroxetine intake affects both metoprolol pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and suggests that when paroxetine is added to an ongoing metoprolol therapy, caution is warranted and a reduction of the metoprolol dose may be required to prevent undesired adverse effects.