Background: Clinical trials have indicated that the combined beta- and alpha-adrenergic receptor blocker carvedilol improves the survival rate in patients with advanced chronic heart failure. The objective of our study was the identification and quantification of factors that modulate steady-state serum concentrations of carvedilol and its enantiomers and that may influence therapeutic efficacy and safety.
Methods: The influence of genetic variants of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2D6 and CYP2C9 and of transporter proteins (P-glycoprotein, multidrug resistance protein 2 [MRP2]) on the disposition of carvedilol and its enantiomers after intravenous (5 mg) and long-term oral administration (25 mg for 7 days) was assessed in 12 healthy subjects. The intestinal expression of P-glycoprotein and MRP2 was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical techniques.
Results: The area under the serum concentration-time curve (AUC) values of carvedilol were significantly (P <.05) increased in 6 subjects with CYP2D6 deficiency, with effects being more pronounced for R(+)-carvedilol (230 +/- 72.6 ng. h/mL versus 93.9 +/- 64.6 ng. h/mL in extensive metabolizers) than for S(-)-carvedilol (62.9 +/- 21.1 ng. h/mL versus 32.7 +/- 14.5 ng. h/mL). The AUC and fecal excretion of intravenous carvedilol were correlated with the intestinal expression of MDR1 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) (r = -0.67, P =.001; r = 0.83, P =.002) and MRP2 mRNA (r = -0.74, P <.001; r = 0.70, P =.025). Furthermore, we measured the disposition of long-term oral carvedilol after comedication of the pregnane X receptor ligand rifampin (INN, rifampicin) (600 mg, 9 days), which up-regulates both P-glycoprotein and MRP2 but not CYP2D6. Rifampin decreased the AUC of carvedilol to an extent independent of the CYP2D6 genotype (poor metabolizers, 341 +/- 147 ng. h/mL versus 126 +/- 41.7 ng. h/mL; extensive metabolizers, 173 +/- 102 ng. h/mL versus 74 +/- 41.4 ng. h/mL; both P <.05). The AUC was significantly correlated with intestinal expression of MDR1 mRNA (r = -0.671, P =.001) and MRP2 mRNA (r = -0.595, P <.006).
Conclusions: Variable plasma concentrations of carvedilol during long-term administration are predicted by CYP2D6 genotype and intestinal expression of P-glycoprotein and MRP2.