Objective: To investigate the influence of paroxetine on metoprolol concentrations and its effect in patients treated for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) who are routinely given paroxetine as a co-treatment of depression.
Methods: We recruited 17 depressed AMI patients who received metoprolol as a routine part of their therapy (mean dose 75 +/- 39 mg/day). Patients were genotyped for CYP2D6 3, 4 and gene duplication. Metoprolol and alpha-hydroxy-metoprolol were analyzed in plasma 0, 2, 6 and 12 h post-dose. Heart rates (HR) at rest were registered after each sampling. Paroxetine 20 mg daily was then administered, and all measurements were repeated on day 8.
Results: All patients were genotypically extensive metabolizers (EMs) (nine with 1/1 and eight with 1/3 or 4). Following the administration of paroxetine, mean metoprolol areas under the concentration-time curve (AUC) increased (1064 +/- 1213 to 4476 +/- 2821 nM x h/mg per kg, P = 0.0001), while metabolite AUCs decreased (1492 +/- 872 to 348 +/- 279 n M x h/mg per kg, P < 0.0001), with an increase of metabolic ratios (MR) (0.9 +/- 1.3 to 26 +/- 29; P < 0.0001). Mean HRs were significantly lower after the study week at each time point. Mean area under the HR versus time curve (AUEC) decreased (835 +/- 88 to 728 +/- 84 beats x h/min; P = 0.0007). Metoprolol AUCs correlated with patients' AUECs at the baseline (Spearman r = -0.64, P < 0.01), but not on the eighth day of the study. A reduction of metoprolol dose was required in two patients due to excessive bradycardia and severe orthostatic hypotension. No other adverse effects of the drugs were identified.
Conclusion: A pronounced inhibition of metoprolol metabolism by paroxetine was observed in AMI patients, but without serious adverse effects. We suggest, however, that the metoprolol dose is controlled upon initiation and withdrawal of paroxetine.