Aims: To study whether intravenous diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker commonly prescribed for hypertension and stable angina, is an inhibitor of the CYP3A enzymes by using oral lovastatin, an HMG Co-A reductase inhibitor, as a substrate.
Methods: Ten healthy volunteers were studied in a randomized two-way crossover design. The two arms were 1) administration of a 20 mg dosage of lovastatin orally and 2) administration of a 20 mg dosage of lovastatin orally 1 h after an intravenous loading dosage and constant infusion of diltiazem. Blood samples were collected up to 25 h in order to quantify lovastatin and diltiazem concentrations in the separated serum. Lovastatin and diltiazem concentrations were quantified by GC-MS and h.p.l.c., respectively.
Results: Intravenous diltiazem did not significantly affect the oral AUC, Cmax, t(1/2), or tmax of lovastatin.
Conclusions: These data suggest that the interaction of lovastatin with diltiazem does not occur systemically and is primarily a first-pass effect. Thus, drug interactions with diltiazem may become evident when a patient is moved from intravenous to oral dosing.