Increased Angina and/or Myocardial Infarction: Rarely, patients, particularly those with severe obstructive coronary artery disease, have developed documented increased frequency, duration and/or severity of angina or acute myocardial infarction on starting calcium channel blocker therapy or at the time of dosage increased. The mechanism of this effect has not been elucidated.
Use in Patients with Heart Failure: In a long-term, placebo-controlled study (PRAISE-2) of amlodipine-treated patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III-IV heart failure of nonischemic etiology, amlodipine was associated with increased reports of pulmonary edema despite no significant difference in the incidence of worsening heart failure as compared to placebo (see Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics under Actions).
Use in Patients with Impaired Hepatic Function (See also Contraindications): Hepatic Effects: As with other lipid-lowering agents of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor class, moderate (>3 x ULN) elevations of serum transaminases have been reported following therapy with atorvastatin. Liver function was monitored during pre-marketing as well as post-marketing clinical studies of atorvastatin given at doses of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg.
Persistent increases in serum transaminases (>3 x ULN on two or more occasions) occurred in 0.7% of patients who received atorvastatin in these clinical trials. The incidence of these abnormalities was 0.2%, 0.2%, 0.6%, and 2.3% for 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg, respectively. Increases were generally not associated with jaundice or other clinical signs or symptoms. When the dosage of atorvastatin was reduced, or drug treatment interrupted or discontinued, transaminase levels returned to pre-treatment levels. Most patients continued treatment on a reduced dose of atorvastatin without sequelae.
Liver function tests should be performed before the initiation of treatment and periodically thereafter. Patients who develop any signs or symptoms suggesting liver injury should have liver function tests performed. Patients who develop increased transaminase levels should be monitored until the abnormality (ies) resolve(s). Should an increase in alanine transaminase (ALT) or aspartate transaminase (AST) >3x ULN persist, reduction of dose or withdrawal of amlodipine/atorvastatin is recommended. Atorvastatin can cause an elevation in transaminases (see Adverse Reactions).
Amlodipine/atorvastatin should be used with caution in patients who consume substantial quantities of alcohol and/or have a history of liver disease. Active liver disease or unexplained persistent transaminase elevations are contraindications to the use of amlodipine/atorvastatin (see Contraindications).
Skeletal Muscle Effects: Myalgia has been reported in atorvastatin-treated patients (see Adverse Reactions). Myopathy, defined as muscle aching or muscle weakness in conjunction with increases in creatine phosphokinase (CPK) values >10 x ULN, should be considered in any patient with diffuse myalgias, muscle tenderness or weakness, and/or marked elevation of CPK. Patients should be advised to promptly report unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever. Amlodipine/atorvastatin therapy should be discontinued if markedly elevated CPK levels occur or myopathy is diagnosed or suspected. The risk of myopathy is increased with concurrent administration of drugs that increase the systemic concentration of atorvastatin (see Interactions and Pharmacology: Pharmacokinetics under Actions).
Many of these drugs inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 metabolism and/or drug transport. CYP3A4 is the primary hepatic isozyme known to be involved in the biotransformation of atorvastatin. Physicians considering combined therapy with atorvastatin and fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, immunosuppressive drugs, azole antifungals, HIV/HCV protease inhibitors, letermovir, HCV NS5A/NS5B inhibitors or lipid-modifying doses of niacin should carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks and should carefully monitor patients for any signs and symptoms of muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly during the initial months of therapy and during any periods of upward dosage titration of either drug. Therefore, lower starting and maintenance doses of the atorvastatin component should also be considered when taken concomitantly with the aforementioned drugs (see Dosage & Administration). The concurrent use of atorvastatin and fusidic acid is not recommended, therefore, temporary suspension of atorvastatin is advised during fusidic acid therapy (see Interactions). Periodic CPK determinations may be considered in such situations, but there is no assurance that such monitoring will prevent the occurrence of severe myopathy. Amlodipine/atorvastatin may cause an elevation of CPK due to the atorvastatin component (see Adverse Reactions).
As with other drugs in the class of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, rare cases of rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria, have been reported. A history of renal impairment may be a risk factor for the development of rhabdomyolysis. Such patients merit closer monitoring for skeletal muscle effects. Amlodipine/atorvastatin therapy should be temporarily withheld or discontinued in any patient with an acute, serious condition suggestive of a myopathy or having a risk factor predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis, (e.g., severe acute infection; hypotension; major surgery; trauma; severe metabolic, endocrine and electrolyte disorders; and uncontrolled seizures). Control of hypertension may be continued with the appropriate dose of amlodipine.
Hemorrhagic Stroke: A post-hoc analysis of a clinical study in 4,731 patients without CHD (coronary heart disease) who had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) within the preceding 6 months and were initiated on atorvastatin 80 mg, revealed a higher incidence of hemorrhagic stroke in the atorvastatin 80 mg group compared to placebo (55 atorvastatin vs. 33 placebo). Patients with hemorrhagic stroke on entry appeared to be at increased risk for recurrent hemorrhagic stroke (7 atorvastatin vs. 2 placebo). However, in patients treated with atorvastatin 80 mg there were fewer strokes of any type (265 atorvastatin vs. 311 placebo) and fewer CHD events (123 atorvastatin vs. 204 placebo) (see Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Recurrent Stroke under Actions).
Endocrine Function: Increases in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including atorvastatin. The risk of hyperglycemia, however, is outweighed by the reduction in vascular risk with statins.
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, such as the atorvastatin component of CADUET interfere with cholesterol synthesis and theoretically might blunt adrenal and/or gonadal steroid production. Clinical studies have shown that atorvastatin does not reduce basal plasma cortisol concentration or impair adrenal reserve. The effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors on male fertility have not been studied in adequate numbers of patients. The effects, if any, on the pituitary-gonadal axis in premenopausal women are unknown. Caution should be exercised if an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor is administered concomitantly with drugs that may decrease the levels or activity of endogenous steroid hormones, such as ketoconazole, spironolactone, and cimetidine.
Beta-blocker Withdrawal: The amlodipine component of CADUET is not a beta-blocker and therefore gives no protection against the dangers of abrupt beta-blocker withdrawal; any such withdrawal should be by gradual reduction of the dose of beta-blocker.
CNS Toxicity: Studies with atorvastatin: Brain hemorrhage was seen in a female dog treated with atorvastatin calcium for 3 months at a dose equivalent to 120 mg atorvastatin/kg/day. Brain hemorrhage and optic nerve vacuolation were seen in another female dog that was sacrificed in moribund condition after 11 weeks of escalating doses of atorvastatin calcium equivalent to up to 280 mg atorvastatin/kg/day. The 120 mg/kg dose of atorvastatin resulted in a systemic exposure approximately 16 times the human plasma area-under-the-curve (AUC, 0-24 hours) based on the maximum human dose of 80 mg/day. A single tonic convulsion was seen in each of 2 male dogs (one treated with atorvastatin calcium at a dose equivalent to 10 mg atorvastatin/kg/day and one at a dose equivalent to 120 mg atorvastatin/kg/day) in a 2-year study. No CNS lesions have been observed in mice after chronic treatment for up to 2 years at doses of atorvastatin calcium equivalent to up to 400 mg atorvastatin/kg/day or in rats at doses equivalent to up to 100 mg atorvastatin/kg/day. These doses were 6 to 11 times (mouse) and 8 to 16 times (rat) the human AUC (0-24) based on the maximum recommended human dose of 80 mg atorvastatin/day.
CNS vascular lesions, characterized by perivascular hemorrhages, edema, and mononuclear cell infiltration of perivascular spaces, have been observed in dogs treated with other members of the HMG-CoA reductase class. A chemically similar drug in this class produced optic nerve degeneration (Wallerian degeneration of retinogeniculate fibers) in clinically normal dogs in a dose-dependent fashion at a dose that produced plasma drug levels about 30 times higher than the mean drug level in humans taking the highest recommended dose.
Information for the Patient: Patients should be advised to promptly report unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever. Adolescent females and women of childbearing potential should be counseled on appropriate contraceptive methods while on amlodipine/atorvastatin therapy (see Use in Pregnancy & Lactation).
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: Based on the available information on amlodipine and atorvastatin, this medication is unlikely to impair a patient's ability to drive or use machinery.