Author(s): Kuhlmann J
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Abstract To determine whether verapamil, diltiazem, or nifedipine affect digitoxin kinetics, glycoside plasma concentrations and renal excretion were measured before and during steady-state dosing in 30 patients with cardiac insufficiency. The mean (+/- SD) digitoxin plasma concentration was 14.27 +/- 3.66 ng/ml before and 18.15 +/- 5.33 ng/ml during verapamil dosing in 10 patients over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Renal digitoxin clearance was not influenced by verapamil, but total body clearance and extrarenal clearance of digitoxin were reduced by 27\% and 29\%, respectively. Diltiazem resulted in a 6\% to 31\% (mean = 21\%) increase in plasma digitoxin concentrations in five of 10 patients because of reduced extrarenal clearance of digitoxin. In contrast to verapamil, the concomitant dosing of nifedipine over 4 to 6 weeks did not alter digitoxin plasma levels or daily renal excretion. Based on these observations, the risk of digitalis intoxication after combined dosing with verapamil and digitoxin is much less pronounced than that after digoxin, and thus this glycoside is a valuable alternative.
This article was published in Clin Pharmacol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems