Renal function: In cases of severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance < 30 mL/min), treatment is contraindicated.
For patients with a moderate renal impairment (creatinine clearance < 60 mL/min), treatment is contraindicated with Triplixam doses containing 10mg/2.5mg of perindopril /indapamide combination (i.e., Triplixam 10mg/2.5mg /5mg and 10mg/2.5mg/10mg).
In certain hypertensive patients without pre-existing apparent renal lesions and for whom renal blood tests show functional renal insufficiency, treatment should be stopped and possibly restarted either at a low dose or with one constituent only.
In these patients usual medical follow-up will include frequent monitoring of potassium and creatinine, after two weeks of treatment and then every two months during therapeutic stability period. Renal failure has been reported mainly in patients with severe heart failure or underlying renal failure including renal artery stenosis.
The drug is usually not recommended in case of bilateral renal artery stenosis or a single functioning kidney.
Risk of arterial hypotension and/or renal insufficiency (in cases of cardiac insufficiency, water and electrolyte depletion, etc.): Marked stimulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system has been observed with perindopril particularly during marked water and electrolyte depletions (strict sodium restricted diet or prolonged diuretic treatment), in patients whose blood pressure was initially low, in cases of renal artery stenosis, congestive heart failure or cirrhosis with oedema and ascites.
The blocking of this system with an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor may therefore cause, particularly at the time of the first administration and during the first two weeks of treatment, a sudden drop in blood pressure and/or an increase in plasma levels of creatinine, showing a functional renal insufficiency. Occasionally this can be acute in onset, although rare, and with a variable time to onset.
In such cases, the treatment should then be initiated at a lower dose and increased progressively. In patients with ischaemic heart or cerebrovascular disease an excessive fall in blood pressure could result in a myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident.
Thiazide diuretics and thiazide-related diuretics are only fully effective when renal function is normal or only slightly impaired (creatinine levels lower than approximately 25 mg/l, i.e. 220 μmol/l for an adult).
In the elderly the value of plasma creatinine levels should be adjusted in relation to age, weight and gender.
Hypovolaemia, secondary to the loss of water and sodium caused by the diuretic at the start of treatment, causes a reduction in glomerular filtration. It may result in an increase in blood urea and creatinine levels. This transitory functional renal insufficiency is of no adverse consequence in patients with normal renal function but may however worsen a pre-existing renal impairment.
Amlodipine may be used at normal doses in patients with renal failure. Changes in amlodipine plasma concentrations are not correlated with degree of renal impairment.
The effect of the combination Triplixam has not been tested in renal dysfunction. In renal impairment, Triplixam doses should respect those of the individual components taken separately.
Hypotension and water and sodium depletion: There is a risk of sudden hypotension in the presence of pre-existing sodium depletion (in particular in individuals with renal artery stenosis). Therefore systematic testing should be carried out for clinical signs of water and electrolyte depletion, which may occur with an intercurrent episode of diarrhoea or vomiting. Regular monitoring of plasma electrolytes should be carried out in such patients.
Marked hypotension may require the implementation of an intravenous infusion of isotonic saline.
Transient hypotension is not a contraindication to continuation of treatment. After re-establishment of a satisfactory blood volume and blood pressure, treatment can be started again either at a reduced dose or with only one of the constituents.
Reduction in sodium levels can be initially asymptomatic and regular testing is therefore essential. Testing should be more frequent in elderly and cirrhotic patients (see Adverse Reactions and Overdosage).
Any diuretic treatment may cause hyponatraemia, sometimes with very serious consequences.
Hyponatraemia with hypovolaemia may be responsible of dehydration and orthostatic hypotension. Concomitant loss of chloride ions may lead to secondary compensatory metabolic alkalosis: the incidence and degree of this effect are slight.
Potassium levels: The combination of indapamide with perindopril and amlodipine does not prevent the onset of hypokalaemia particularly in diabetic patients or in patients with renal failure. As with any antihypertensive agent in combination with a diuretic, regular monitoring of plasma potassium levels should be carried out.
Elevations in serum potassium have been observed in some patients treated with ACE inhibitors, including perindopril. Risk factors for the development of hyperkalemia include those with renal insufficiency, worsening of renal function, age (> 70 years), diabetes mellitus, intercurrent events, in particular dehydration, acute cardiac decompensation, metabolic acidosis and concomitant use of potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., spironolactone, eplerenone, triamterene, or amiloride), potassium supplements or potassium-containing salt substitutes; or those patients taking other drugs associated with increases in serum potassium (e.g. heparin, co-trimoxazole also known as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole). The use of potassium supplements, potassium-sparing diuretics, or potassium-containing salt substitutes particularly in patients with impaired renal function may lead to a significant increase in serum potassium. Hyperkalemia can cause serious, sometimes fatal arrhythmias. If concomitant use of the previously-mentioned agents is deemed appropriate, they should be used with caution and with frequent monitoring of serum potassium (see Interactions).
Potassium depletion with hypokalaemia is a major risk with thiazide diuretics and thiazide-related diuretics. The risk of onset of lowered potassium levels (< 3.4 mmol/l) should be prevented in some high risk populations such as elderly and/or malnourished subjects, whether or not they are taking multiple medications, cirrhotic patients with oedema and ascites, coronary patients and patients with heart failure.
In such cases hypokalaemia increases the cardiac toxicity of cardiac glycosides and the risk of rhythm disorders.
Subjects presenting with a long QT interval are also at risk, whether the origin is congenital or iatrogenic. Hypokalaemia, as with bradycardia, acts as a factor which favours the onset of severe rhythm disorders, in particular torsades de pointes, which may be fatal.
In all cases more frequent testing of potassium levels is necessary. The first measurement of plasma potassium levels should be carried out during the first week following the start of treatment. If low potassium levels are detected, correction is required.
Calcium levels: Thiazide diuretics and thiazide-related diuretics may reduce urinary excretion of calcium and cause a mild and transient increase in plasma calcium levels. Markedly raised levels of calcium may be related to undiagnosed hyperparathyroidism. In such cases the treatment should be stopped before investigating the parathyroid function (see Adverse Reactions).
Renovascular hypertension: The treatment for renovascular hypertension is revascularisation. Nonetheless, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors can be beneficial in patients presenting with renovascular hypertension who are awaiting corrective surgery or when such a surgery is not possible.
If Triplixam is prescribed to patients with known or suspected renal artery stenosis, treatment should be started in a hospital setting at a low dose and renal function and potassium levels should be monitored, since some patients have developed a functional renal insufficiency which was reversed when treatment was stopped.
Cough: A dry cough has been reported with the use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. It is characterised by its persistence and by its disappearance when treatment is withdrawn. An iatrogenic aetiology should be considered in the event of this symptom. If the prescription of an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor is still preferred, continuation of treatment may be considered.
Atherosclerosis: The risk of hypotension exists in all patients but particular care should be taken in patients with ischaemic heart disease or cerebral circulatory insufficiency, with treatment being started at a low dose.
Hypertensive crisis: The safety and efficacy of amlodipine in hypertensive crisis has not been established.
Cardiac failure/severe cardiac insufficiency: Patients with heart failure should be treated with caution.
In a long-term, placebo controlled study in patients with severe heart failure (NYHA class III and IV) the reported incidence of pulmonary oedema was higher in the amlodipine treated group than in the placebo group. Calcium channel blockers, including amlodipine, should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, as they may increase the risk of future cardiovascular events and mortality.
In patients with severe cardiac insufficiency (grade IV) treatment should be started under medical supervision with a reduced initial dose. Treatment with beta-blockers in hypertensive patients with coronary insufficiency should not be stopped: the ACE inhibitor should be added to the beta-blocker.
Aortic or mitral valve stenosis/hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: ACE inhibitors should be used with caution in patient with an obstruction in the outflow tract of the left ventricle.
Diabetic patients: In patients with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (spontaneous tendency to increased levels of potassium), treatment should be started under medical supervision with a reduced initial dose.
The glycaemia levels should be closely monitored in diabetic patients previously treated with oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin, namely during the first month of treatment with an ACE inhibitor.
Monitoring of blood glucose is important in diabetic patients, particularly when potassium levels are low.
Ethnic differences: As with other angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, perindopril is apparently less effective in lowering blood pressure in black people than in non-blacks, possibly because of a higher prevalence of low-renin states in the black hypertensive population.
Surgery/anaesthesia: Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors can cause hypotension in cases of anaesthesia, especially when the anaesthetic administered is an agent with hypotensive potential.
It is therefore recommended that treatment with long-acting angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors such as perindopril should be discontinued where possible one day before surgery.
Hepatic impairment: Rarely, ACE inhibitors have been associated with a syndrome that starts with cholestatic jaundice and progresses to fulminant hepatic necrosis and (sometimes) death. The mechanism of this syndrome is not understood. Patients receiving ACE inhibitors who develop jaundice or marked elevations of hepatic enzymes should discontinue the ACE inhibitor and receive appropriate medical follow-up (see Adverse Reactions).
The half-life of amlodipine is prolonged and AUC values are higher in patients with impaired liver function; dosage recommendations have not been established. Amlodipine should therefore be initiated at the lower end of the dosing range and caution should be used, both on initial treatment and when increasing the dose. Slow dose titration and careful monitoring may be required in patients with severe hepatic impairment.
The effect of the combination Triplixam has not been tested in hepatic dysfunction. Taking into account the effect of each individual component of this combination, Triplixam is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment, and caution should be exercised in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment.
Uric acid: Tendency to gout attacks may be increased in hyperuricaemic patients.
Excipients: Level of sodium: Triplixam contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per tablet, i.e. essentially 'sodium-free'.
Effects on ability to drive and use machines: No studies on the effects of Triplixam on the ability to drive and use machines have been performed. Perindopril and indapamide have no influence on the ability to drive and use machines but individual reactions related to low blood pressure may occur in some patients.
Amlodipine can have minor or moderate influence on the ability to drive and use machines. If patients suffer from dizziness, headache, fatigue, weariness or nausea, the ability to react may be impaired.
As a result the ability to drive or operate machinery may be impaired. Caution is recommended especially at the start of treatment.
Use in the Elderly: Renal function and potassium levels should be tested before the start of treatment. The initial dose is subsequently adjusted according to blood pressure response, especially in cases of water and electrolyte depletion, in order to avoid sudden onset of hypotension.
In the elderly increase of the dosage of amlodipine should take place with care (see Dosage & Administration and Pharmacology: Pharmacokinetics under Actions).