QT time prolongation
Adverse drug events
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Explanations of the substances for patients
We have no additional warnings for the combination of astemizole and imipramine. Please also consult the relevant specialist information.
The reported changes in exposure correspond to the changes in the plasma concentration-time curve [ AUC ]. We did not detect any change in exposure to astemizole. We currently cannot estimate the influence of imipramine. We did not detect any change in exposure to imipramine. We currently cannot estimate the influence of astemizole.
The pharmacokinetic parameters of the average population are used as the starting point for calculating the individual changes in exposure due to the interactions.
Astemizole has a low oral bioavailability [ F ] of 3%, which is why the maximum plasma level [Cmax] tends to change strongly with an interaction. The terminal half-life [ t12 ] is 22 hours and constant plasma levels [ Css ] are reached after approximately 88 hours. The protein binding [ Pb ] is 97% strong. The metabolism takes place via CYP2D6 and CYP3A4, among others.
Imipramine has a mean oral bioavailability [ F ] of 44%, which is why the maximum plasma levels [Cmax] tend to change with an interaction. The terminal half-life [ t12 ] is 21 hours and constant plasma levels [ Css ] are reached after approximately 84 hours. The protein binding [ Pb ] is moderately strong at 85.2% and the volume of distribution [ Vd ] is very large at 1470 liters, which is why, with a mean hepatic extraction rate of 0.54, both liver blood flow [Q] and a change in protein binding [Pb] are relevant. The metabolism takes place via CYP1A2, CYP2C19, CYP2D6 and CYP3A4, among others and the active transport takes place in particular via PGP.
|Serotonergic Effects a||2||Ø||++|
Recommendation: As a precautionary measure, symptoms of serotonergic overstimulation should be taken into account, especially after increasing the dose and at doses in the upper therapeutic range.
Rating: Imipramine modulates the serotonergic system to a moderate extent. The risk of a serotonergic syndrome can be classified as low with this medication if the dosage is in the usual range. According to our knowledge, astemizole does not increase serotonergic activity.
|Kiesel & Durán b||3||Ø||+++|
Recommendation: As a precaution, attention should be paid to anticholinergic symptoms, especially after increasing the dose and at doses in the upper therapeutic range.
Rating: The imipramine greatly increases anticholinergic activity. According to our knowledge, astemizole does not increase anticholinergic activity.
QT time prolongation
Rating: In combination, astemizole and imipramine can potentially trigger ventricular arrhythmias of the torsades de pointes type.
General adverse effects
|Side effects||∑ frequency||ast||imi|
|Orthostatic hypotension||1.0 %||n.a.||+|
|Weight gain||1.0 %||n.a.||+|
|Blurred vision||1.0 %||n.a.||+|
Angle closure glaucoma: imipramine
Urinary retention: imipramine
Based on your answers and scientific information, we assess the individual risk of undesirable side effects. These recommendations are intended to advise professionals and are not a substitute for consultation with a doctor. In the restricted test version (alpha), the risk of all substances has not yet been conclusively assessed.
Abstract: Clinical reports of concurrent use of fluoxetine and tricyclic antidepressant agents suggest that tricyclic concentrations increase upon coadministration with fluoxetine. This study was conducted to confirm the clinical reports, to quantify the degree of change in tricyclic kinetics, and to establish the mechanism of interaction. Twelve male subjects were given 50 mg desipramine (six subjects) or 50 mg imipramine (six subjects) on three occasions: alone, after a 60 mg dose of fluoxetine, and after eight daily 60 mg doses of fluoxetine. Fluoxetine significantly reduced oral clearance of both imipramine and desipramine as much as tenfold and prolonged half-life as much as fourfold. Desipramine oral clearance values were 289, 112, and 27 L/hr alone, after a single fluoxetine dose, and after multiple fluoxetine doses, respectively. Correspondingly, imipramine oral clearance values were 181, 87, and 51 L/hr. These kinetic changes resulted in significantly higher plasma tricyclic concentrations after fluoxetine administration. The amount of parent drug excreted unchanged in urine increased and imipramine or desipramine clearance to their respective 2-hydroxy metabolites decreased. Metabolic conversion of imipramine to desipramine appeared to be unaffected. The findings indicate that fluoxetine causes an inhibition of tricyclic 2-hydroxylation and may decrease first-pass and systemic metabolism. When imipramine or desipramine are to be coadministered with fluoxetine, a lower dosage may be needed to maintain steady-state concentrations and to avoid undesirable side effects caused by excessive tricyclic concentrations.
Abstract: The pharmacokinetics of imipramine and desipramine have been extensively investigated with recent studies designed to understand sources of intersubject variability and to study discrete clinical populations rather than healthy volunteers. Sources of intersubject variability in pharmacokinetics are both genetic (oxidative phenotype) and environmental. Oxidative phenotype has an important impact on first-pass metabolism. In individuals with poor metabolism, systemic availability for imipramine is increased. Intrinsic clearance of desipramine is reduced 4-fold in individuals with poor metabolism. Recent pharmacokinetic studies in diverse patient populations such as the depressed elderly, children and alcoholics have revealed decreased clearance of imipramine in the elderly and increased clearance of both imipramine and desipramine in chronic alcoholics. In at least a third of the population, nonlinear pharmacokinetics of desipramine may be observed at steady-state plasma concentrations above 150 micrograms/L. These nonlinear changes in desipramine pharmacokinetics are not associated with age or sex, but are associated with higher desipramine 2-hydroxydesipramine concentration ratios. Hydroxylated metabolites of imipramine and desipramine may possess both antidepressants and cardiotoxic activity but their formation is rate limited and plasma concentrations tend to follow the parent compound with little accumulation. The potent cardiovascular effects of the hydroxymetabolites may be particularly relevant for the elderly and in acute overdose.
Abstract: On separate occasions 6 extensive metabolizers of sparteine took a single oral dose of 100 mg imipramine and desipramine before and during the intake of quinidine sulphate 200 mg/day. During quinidine the total oral clearance of imipramine on average was reduced by 35%, and that of desipramine by 85%. The clearance of imipramine via demethylation was not significantly reduced during quinidine administration, whereas its clearance by other pathways, largely 2-hydroxylation, was reduced by more than 50%. 2-OH-Imipramine and 2-OH-desipramine were detected in plasma before (maximum concentrations 30-100 nmol.l-1) but not during quinidine. It appears that quinidine is a potent inhibitor of the sparteine/debrisoquine oxygenase, P450dbl, which is responsible for the 2-hydroxylation of imipramine and desipramine, but not of the P450 isozyme responsible for the demethylation of imipramine.
Abstract: Astemizole is a long-acting, highly selective histamine1-receptor antagonist with minimal central and anticholinergic effects. Comparison studies have shown astemizole to be equal or superior to currently available antihistamines, beclomethasone nasal spray, and cromolyn sodium in relieving allergic symptoms of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. Other uses include treatment of allergic conjunctivitis and chronic urticaria. Astemizole is not as effective for treatment of acute allergic symptoms because of its delayed onset of action. Astemizole and its active metabolite, desmethylastemizole, have long elimination half-lives permitting once-daily dosing. The incidence of sedation is lower than with conventional antihistamines, but increased appetite and weight gain do occur. Astemizole should be useful for both maintenance and prophylactic therapy in patients with chronic allergic conditions who cannot tolerate the sedative or anticholinergic effects of conventional antihistamines.
Abstract: The pharmacokinetic characteristics of imipramine were studied after a single, oral, 100 mg dose was taken by 12 healthy male subjects following 3 days of pretreatment with placebo, cimetidine (300 mg every 6 h), and ranitidine (150 mg every 12 h) in a randomized, double blind, crossover trial. After each imipramine dose plasma samples were collected for 72 h and assayed for imipramine, desipramine, 2-hydroxyimipramine and 2-hydroxydesipramine by HPLC. Cimetidine preadministration statistically prolonged imipramine t 1/2 compared to ranitidine (22.7 vs. 13.0 h) or placebo (10.8 h). Mean imipramine area under the curve (AUC) following cimetidine pretreatment was more than double that following placebo (2.633 vs. 0.966 micrograms X h X ml-1) or ranitidine (1.14 micrograms X h X ml-1) pretreatment. Imipramine apparent oral clearance was reduced in all 12 subjects after cimetidine. Compared to ranitidine or placebo, cimetidine pretreatment was associated with an increased imipramine/desipramine AUC ratio, suggesting cimetidine-induced impairment of demethylation of imipramine. Ranitidine was not observed to alter imipramine pharmacokinetics.
Abstract: Astemizole is an H1-histamine receptor antagonist with a long duration of action permitting once daily administration. Its efficacy in seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis has been convincingly demonstrated, and several comparative studies suggest that astemizole is at least as effective as some other H1-histamine receptor antagonists. A few smaller studies have shown beneficial effects on the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis and chronic urticaria (but not atopic dermatitis). While astemizole appears to share with other H1-histamine receptor antagonists a tendency to increase appetite and cause weight gain after prolonged use, it offers the important advantage of an absence of significant central nervous system depression or anticholinergic effects with usual doses. Thus, astemizole offers a worthwhile improvement in side effect profile over 'traditional' H1-histamine receptor antagonists, especially in patients bothered by the sedative effects of these drugs.
Abstract: Imipramine hydrochloride (IMI) was administered to 12 healthy volunteers on three occasions in random sequence: 12.5 mg IV, 50 mg orally after overnight fast, and 50 mg orally 30 min after eating a standardized breakfast. IMI concentrations were measured by gas-liquid chromatography using nitrogen-phosphorous detection and pharmacokinetic and bioavailability parameters determined by iterative nonlinear least-squares regression analysis. After IV administration, mean kinetic variables were: volume of distribution, 21.0 l/kg; total clearance, 12.8 ml/min per kg, and elimination half-life, 21. h. Mean absolute bioavailability of IMI in the fasting state was 43.6%. When IMI was administered immediately after the standardized meal, absolute bioavailability was 44.1%. After oral administration, the time to peak IMI level was not changed by concurrent food ingestion (2.8 vs 3.2 h after dosage), and the peak IMI concentration was no different (35 vs 30 ng/ml). Thus concurrent food ingestion has no effect on IMI absolute bioavailability, peak concentration attained after oral dosage, or the time to peak concentration.
Abstract: Active hydroxy metabolites of imipramine (IMI) and desipramine (DMI) have been quantified in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients at steady-state. In plasma of prepubescent boys and adults the concentration of unconjugated 2-hydroxyimipramine is only 15% to 25% that of IMI; 2-hydroxydesipramine (OH-DMI) concentration, however, is usually 50% that of DMI and in some cases OH-DMI is the predominant compound. In CSF from adult patients the ratio of concentrations of OH-DMI/DMI is higher than in plasma. Judging from the CSF/plasma ratio 12% of DMI exists in the free form at steady state, whereas 16% of OH-DMI is free (P less than 0.02). There is no evidence for saturation of hydroxylation within the therapeutic dose and concentration ranges investigated. On the basis of a steady-state OH-DMI/DMI ratio of less than 1/30 in plasma 5% of the population studied could be classified as deficient DMI hydroxylators. This in the same as the incidence of deficient debrisoquine hydroxylators reported in other populations.
Abstract: An overdose of astemizole predisposes the myocardium to ventricular dysrhythmias, including torsades de pointes. Herein we describe a case of astemizole-induced torsades de pointes ventricular tachycardia and also review previous case reports in the literature. All the patients were young, and dysrhythmias developed only in those with corrected QT intervals greater than 500 ms. Although several mechanisms have been postulated, no clear explanation has been provided for why astemizole promotes myocardial dysrhythmias. Treatment of astemizole-induced torsades de pointes includes discontinuing use of astemizole, intravenous administration of magnesium sulfate and isoproterenol, temporary cardiac pacing, and, when necessary, direct current cardioversion. A cardiac cause of syncope or convulsions must not be overlooked, especially in patients taking H1 antagonists because they often have these symptoms before hospitalization or detection of torsades de pointes (or both).
Abstract: No Abstract available
Abstract: The effect of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluvoxamine (100 mg/day for 10 consecutive days) on the kinetics of a single oral dose of imipramine (50 mg) and desipramine (100 mg) was investigated in 12 healthy subjects. Compared with a control session, treatment with fluvoxamine caused a significant prolongation of imipramine half-life (from 22.8 +/- 6.4 to 40.5 +/- 5.0 h, means +/- SD, p < 0.01) and a marked decrease in imipramine apparent oral clearance (from 1.02 +/- 0.19 to 0.28 +/- 0.06 L/h/kg, p < 0.0001). No significant changes in desipramine kinetics were observed during fluvoxamine treatment. These findings indicate that, at the dosage tested, fluvoxamine markedly inhibits the demethylation of imipramine without affecting significantly the CYP2D6-mediated hydroxylation of desipramine.
Abstract: A 26 year-old woman was admitted to the hospital two hours after astemizole overdose. Electrocardiograph showed a prolonged QT interval. Torsade de pointes occurred 13 h after ingestion. Plasma levels of astemizole plus hydroxylated metabolites showed an apparent plasma half-life of 17 h. The possible occurrence of torsade de pointes in astemizole overdose, and the long elimination time of astemizole and hydroxylated metabolites, makes it necessary to maintain ECG monitoring until QT interval has returned to normal.
Abstract: The combination of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors with tricyclic antidepressants has proven useful in treatment-resistant depression but has the potential for adverse drug-drug interactions. In the present study, the metabolism of a single dose of imipramine was studied before and after treatment with paroxetine. Paroxetine induced significant elevations of approximately 50% in half-life, area under the curve, and Cmax of imipramine and decreased clearance twofold. The effects on desipramine pharmacokinetics were even more pronounced. These findings indicate a significant interaction of paroxetine with the CYP2D6 isoenzyme.
Abstract: AIMS: The aim of the study was to characterize further the role of CYP3A4 in the metabolism of tricyclic antidepressants. METHODS: The effect of oral ketoconazole (200 mg day-1 for 14 days) on the kinetics of a single oral dose of imipramine (100 mg) and desipramine (100 mg) was evaluated in two groups of six healthy male subjects. RESULTS: Ketoconazole administration was associated with a decrease in imipramine apparent oral clearance (from 1.16 +/- 0.21 to 0.96 +/- 0.20 l h-1 kg-1, mean +/- s.d.; P < 0.02), a prolongation in imipramine half-life (from 16.7 +/- 3.3 to 19.2 +/- 5.4 h, P < 0.05) and a decrease in area under the curve of metabolically derived desipramine (from 3507 +/- 1707 to 3180 +/- 1505 nmol l-1 h, P < 0.05), whereas concentrations of 2-hydroxy-imipramine were unaffected. In the subjects given desipramine, no significant changes in desipramine and 2-hydroxy-desipramine kinetics were observed during ketoconazole treatment. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that ketoconazole, a relatively specific inhibitor of CYP3A4, inhibits the N-demethylation of imipramine without affecting the 2-hydroxylation of imipramine and desipramine. This interaction, confirms that CYP3A4 plays a role in the demethylation of tricyclic antidepressants.
Abstract: AIMS: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of chronic itraconazole treatment on the pharmacokinetics and cardiovascular effects of single dose astemizole in healthy subjects was studied. METHODS: Twelve male volunteers were taking orally 200 mg twice daily itraconazole or placebo for 14 days with a washout period of 4 weeks in between. Approximately 2 h after the morning dose of itraconazole or placebo on day 11, 10 mg astemizole was orally administered. The plasma concentrations of astemizole and desmethylastemizole were measured by radioimmunoassay up to 504 h after administration; electrocardiograms with analysis of the QTc interval were recorded up to 24 h post administration. RESULTS: Itraconazole treatment did not significantly change the peak concentration of astemizole (0.74 vs 0.81 ng ml-1) but it increased the area under the curve from 0 to 24 h (5.46 to 9.95 ng ml-1 h) and from 0 to infinity (17.4 to 48.2 ng ml-1 h), and the elimination half-life (2.1 to 3.6 days). The systemic bioavailability of desmethylastemizole was also increased. The QTc interval did not increase after astemizole administration and there was no difference in the QTc intervals between the itraconazole and placebo session. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic administration of itraconazole influences the metabolism of single dose astemizole in normal volunteers without changes of cardiac repolarization during the first 24 h after astemizole administration. However, the reduction in astemizole clearance under concomitant administration of itraconazole may result in a marked increase in astemizole plasma concentrations and QTc alterations during chronic combined intake of astemizole with itraconazole.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To examine the pharmacokinetic interaction between the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor sertraline and the tricyclic antidepressants desipramine or imipramine in 12 healthy male subjects. METHODS: Participants received a 50 mg single dose of either desipramine or imipramine under three conditions: alone, after a single 150 mg dose of sertraline, and after the eighth daily 150 mg dose of sertraline. Plasma samples were analyzed for desipramine or imipramine concentration by HPLC with electrochemical detection, and pharmacokinetics were determined with use of noncompartmental analysis of individual data. RESULTS: Multiple-dose, but not single-dose, treatment with sertraline significantly reduced apparent plasma clearance (CL/F) and prolonged the half-life of desipramine relative to baseline. These changes resulted in higher plasma desipramine concentrations, as indicated by a significant increase in maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and area under the plasma concentration-time curve extrapolated to infinity [AUC(0-infinity)] (22% and 54%, respectively). Both single- and multiple-dose treatment with sertraline significantly reduced the CL/F of imipramine. This effect was stronger after multiple predoses of sertraline, when imipramine Cmax and AUC(0-infinity) were increased by 39% and 68%, respectively. These treatment effects were consistent between individuals. CONCLUSIONS: This pharmacokinetic interaction is likely the result of an inhibition of CYP2D6 tricyclic metabolism by sertraline. When a tricyclic antidepressant, such as desipramine or imipramine, is coadministered with sertraline, lower dosages of the tricyclic agents may be necessary to prevent elevated tricyclic levels.
Abstract: Second-generation histamine H1 receptor antagonists (antihistamines) have been developed to reduce or eliminate the sedation and anticholinergic adverse effects that occur with older H1 receptor antagonists. This article evaluates second-generation antihistamines, including acrivastine, astemizole, azelastine, cetirizine, ebastine, fexofenadine, ketotifen, loratadine, mizolastine and terfenadine, for significant features that affect choice. In addition to their primary mechanism of antagonising histamine at the H1 receptor, these agents may act on other mediators of the allergic reaction. However, the clinical significance of activity beyond that mediated by histamine H1 receptor antagonism has yet to be demonstrated. Most of the agents reviewed are metabolised by the liver to active metabolites that play a significant role in their effect. Conditions that result in accumulation of astemizole, ebastine and terfenadine may prolong the QT interval and result in torsade de pointes. The remaining agents reviewed do not appear to have this risk. For allergic rhinitis, all agents are effective and the choice should be based on other factors. For urticaria, cetirizine and mizolastine demonstrate superior suppression of wheal and flare at the dosages recommended by the manufacturer. For atopic dermatitis, as adjunctive therapy to reduce pruritus, cetirizine, ketotifen and loratadine demonstrate efficacy. Although current evidence does not suggest a primary role for these agents in the management of asthma, it does support their use for asthmatic patients when there is coexisting allergic rhinitis, dermatitis or urticaria.
Abstract: AIMS: The aims of the present study were to investigate the metabolism of astemizole in human liver microsomes, to assess possible pharmacokinetic drug-interactions with astemizole and to compare its metabolism with terfenadine, a typical H1 receptor antagonist known to be metabolized predominantly by CYP3A4. METHODS: Astemizole or terfenadine were incubated with human liver microsomes or recombinant cytochromes P450 in the absence or presence of chemical inhibitors and antibodies. RESULTS: Troleandomycin, a CYP3A4 inhibitor, markedly reduced the oxidation of terfenadine (26% of controls) in human liver microsomes, but showed only a marginal inhibition on the oxidation of astemizole (81% of controls). Three metabolites of astemizole were detected in a liver microsomal system, i.e. desmethylastemizole (DES-AST), 6-hydroxyastemizole (6OH-AST) and norastemizole (NOR-AST) at the ratio of 7.4 : 2.8 : 1. Experiments with recombinant P450s and antibodies indicate a negligible role for CYP3A4 on the main metabolic route of astemizole, i.e. formation of DES-AST, although CYP3A4 may mediate the relatively minor metabolic routes to 6OH-AST and NOR-AST. Recombinant CYP2D6 catalysed the formation of 6OH-AST and DES-AST. Studies with human liver microsomes, however, suggest a major role for a mono P450 in DES-AST formation. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to terfenadine, a minor role for CYP3A4 and involvement of multiple P450 isozymes are suggested in the metabolism of astemizole. These differences in P450 isozymes involved in the metabolism of astemizole and terfenadine may associate with distinct pharmacokinetic influences observed with coadministration of drugs metabolized by CYP3A4.
Abstract: The QT interval measuring depolarisation and repolarisation has, when lengthened, been implicated as a risk factor for the development of torsades de pointes and sudden death, particularly in patients predisposed to these complications due to cardiovascular impairment. Since some of the medications used in psychiatry have been implicated, an extensive review of available literature was made of the major classes, including antipsychotics, antidepressants, lithium, anticonvulsants and benzodiazepines. Further, where no publications were found on a particular medication, the pharmaceutical firms responsible for these items were contacted concerning possibly unpublished data. Results of the survey indicate that there may be difficulty in one of three situations: immediate (in the first minutes to hours after oral or parenteral administration), short-term use of 4 - 12 weeks or long-term use of 6 months. Based on this approach, the greatest concern is directed at the immediate application of haloperidol, droperidol, pimozide and trazodone, the short-term use of thioridazine, pimozide, sertindole, nortriptyline, clomipramine, doxepin and the long-term use of clozapine, olanzapine and carbamazepine. It is of interest that a reduction in QTc is reported with aripiprazole. Among the antidepressants, the tertiary tricyclic antidepressants (imipramine, amitriptyline and doxepin) appear to have a more general impact, while the secondary tricyclic antidepressants (nortriptyline, desipramine) may impact more on children and the elderly. Among other antidepressants, the only reports of torsades de pointes appeared to occur with mirtazapine. It was also of interest to find data showing no effect or reductions in QTc produced by sertraline, citalopram, paroxetine and bupropion in multiple studies. Effects of medications on other heart parameters are also briefly reviewed. In particular, the safety of sertraline in post-MI patients and of bupropion in heart disease patients is highlighted. Little information was available on other classes of medications used in psychiatric disorders. What is available concerning lithium, the anticonvulsants and the benzodiazepines indicates little effect on the QTc, although there may be effects on other cardiovascular parameters.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To assess the potential of anticholinergic drugs as a cause of non-degenerative mild cognitive impairment in elderly people. DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: 63 randomly selected general practices in the Montpellier region of southern France. PARTICIPANTS: 372 people aged > 60 years without dementia at recruitment. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Anticholinergic burden from drug use, cognitive examination, and neurological assessment. RESULTS: 9.2% of subjects continuously used anticholinergic drugs during the year before cognitive assessment. Compared with non-users, they had poorer performance on reaction time, attention, delayed non-verbal memory, narrative recall, visuospatial construction, and language tasks but not on tasks of reasoning, immediate and delayed recall of wordlists, and implicit memory. Eighty per cent of the continuous users were classified as having mild cognitive impairment compared with 35% of non-users, and anticholinergic drug use was a strong predictor of mild cognitive impairment (odds ratio 5.12, P = 0.001). No difference was found between users and non-users in risk of developing dementia at follow-up after eight years. CONCLUSIONS: Elderly people taking anticholinergic drugs had significant deficits in cognitive functioning and were highly likely to be classified as mildly cognitively impaired, although not at increased risk for dementia. Doctors should assess current use of anticholinergic drugs in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment before considering administration of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors.
Abstract: Anticholinergic Drug Scale (ADS) scores were previously associated with serum anticholinergic activity (SAA) in a pilot study. To replicate these results, the association between ADS scores and SAA was determined using simple linear regression in subjects from a study of delirium in 201 long-term care facility residents who were not included in the pilot study. Simple and multiple linear regression models were then used to determine whether the ADS could be modified to more effectively predict SAA in all 297 subjects. In the replication analysis, ADS scores were significantly associated with SAA (R2 = .0947, P < .0001). In the modification analysis, each model significantly predicted SAA, including ADS scores (R2 = .0741, P < .0001). The modifications examined did not appear useful in optimizing the ADS. This study replicated findings on the association of the ADS with SAA. Future work will determine whether the ADS is clinically useful for preventing anticholinergic adverse effects.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Adverse effects of anticholinergic medications may contribute to events such as falls, delirium, and cognitive impairment in older patients. To further assess this risk, we developed the Anticholinergic Risk Scale (ARS), a ranked categorical list of commonly prescribed medications with anticholinergic potential. The objective of this study was to determine if the ARS score could be used to predict the risk of anticholinergic adverse effects in a geriatric evaluation and management (GEM) cohort and in a primary care cohort. METHODS: Medical records of 132 GEM patients were reviewed retrospectively for medications included on the ARS and their resultant possible anticholinergic adverse effects. Prospectively, we enrolled 117 patients, 65 years or older, in primary care clinics; performed medication reconciliation; and asked about anticholinergic adverse effects. The relationship between the ARS score and the risk of anticholinergic adverse effects was assessed using Poisson regression analysis. RESULTS: Higher ARS scores were associated with increased risk of anticholinergic adverse effects in the GEM cohort (crude relative risk [RR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-1.8) and in the primary care cohort (crude RR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.5-2.4). After adjustment for age and the number of medications, higher ARS scores increased the risk of anticholinergic adverse effects in the GEM cohort (adjusted RR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6; c statistic, 0.74) and in the primary care cohort (adjusted RR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.5-2.5; c statistic, 0.77). CONCLUSION: Higher ARS scores are associated with statistically significantly increased risk of anticholinergic adverse effects in older patients.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To examine the longitudinal relationship between cumulative exposure to anticholinergic medications and memory and executive function in older men. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: A Department of Veterans Affairs primary care clinic. PARTICIPANTS: Five hundred forty-four community-dwelling men aged 65 and older with diagnosed hypertension. MEASUREMENTS: The outcomes were measured using the Hopkins Verbal Recall Test (HVRT) for short-term memory and the instrumental activity of daily living (IADL) scale for executive function at baseline and during follow-up. Anticholinergic medication use was ascertained using participants' primary care visit records and quantified as total anticholinergic burden using a clinician-rated anticholinergic score. RESULTS: Cumulative exposure to anticholinergic medications over the preceding 12 months was associated with poorer performance on the HVRT and IADLs. On average, a 1-unit increase in the total anticholinergic burden per 3 months was associated with a 0.32-point (95% confidence interval (CI)= 0.05-0.58) and 0.10-point (95% CI=0.04-0.17) decrease in the HVRT and IADLs, respectively, independent of other potential risk factors for cognitive impairment, including age, education, cognitive and physical function, comorbidities, and severity of hypertension. The association was attenuated but remained statistically significant with memory (0.29, 95% CI=0.01-0.56) and executive function (0.08, 95% CI=0.02-0.15) after further adjustment for concomitant non-anticholinergic medications. CONCLUSION: Cumulative anticholinergic exposure across multiple medications over 1 year may negatively affect verbal memory and executive function in older men. Prescription of drugs with anticholinergic effects in older persons deserves continued attention to avoid deleterious adverse effects.
Abstract: BACKGROUND/AIMS: The nature and extent of adverse cognitive effects due to the prescription of anticholinergic drugs in older people with and without dementia is unclear. METHODS: We calculated the anticholinergic load (ACL) of medications taken by participants of the Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) study of ageing, a cohort of 211 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, 133 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients and 768 healthy controls (HC) all aged over 60 years. The association between ACL and cognitive function was examined for each diagnostic group (HC, MCI, AD). RESULTS: A high ACL within the HC group was associated with significantly slower response speeds for the Stroop color and incongruent trials. No other significant relationships between ACL and cognition were noted. CONCLUSION: In this large cohort, prescribed anticholinergic drugs appeared to have modest effects upon psychomotor speed and executive function, but not on other areas of cognition in healthy older adults.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Anticholinergic drugs put elderly patients at a higher risk for falls, cognitive decline, and delirium as well as peripheral adverse reactions like dry mouth or constipation. Prescribers are often unaware of the drug-based anticholinergic burden (ACB) of their patients. This study aimed to develop an anticholinergic burden score for drugs licensed in Germany to be used by clinicians at prescribing level. METHODS: A systematic literature search in pubmed assessed previously published ACB tools. Quantitative grading scores were extracted, reduced to drugs available in Germany, and reevaluated by expert discussion. Drugs were scored as having no, weak, moderate, or strong anticholinergic effects. Further drugs were identified in clinical routine and included as well. RESULTS: The literature search identified 692 different drugs, with 548 drugs available in Germany. After exclusion of drugs due to no systemic effect or scoring of drug combinations (n = 67) and evaluation of 26 additional identified drugs in clinical routine, 504 drugs were scored. Of those, 356 drugs were categorised as having no, 104 drugs were scored as weak, 18 as moderate and 29 as having strong anticholinergic effects. CONCLUSIONS: The newly created ACB score for drugs authorized in Germany can be used in daily clinical practice to reduce potentially inappropriate medications for elderly patients. Further clinical studies investigating its effect on reducing anticholinergic side effects are necessary for validation.