Page 1

Special Thanks to: The //Iustrators Deb Haimes Josh Worth Nancy CiHax

The Book Reviewers Jang~Ho Cha, M.D., Ph.D. Stephen Goldberg, M.D. Joanne Finnorn, J.D.

The Chapter and Table Reviewers/Contributers Rosemary Berardi, Pharm. D. Anne Bournay, R.Ph. Kevin Cassady, M.D.

Betty Chaffee, Pharm. D. Tim Esser, M.D. Marc Fischer, M.D. Janet Gilsdorf, M.D. Eric Hockstad, M.D. Roy Kulick, M.D. Fred Lamb, M.D., Ph.D. Lori Mangels, Ph.D. Beverly MitcheU, M.D.

Charles Neal, M.D., Ph.D. Francis Pasely, M.D. John Penney, M.D. Anna Parenri, Pharm. D. Rudy Roskos, M.D. Anne Rueh, M.D. Raymond Ruddan, M.D., Ph.D. Steve Silverman, M.D. Helen Yun, Pharm. D., M.B.A.


Contents Chapter 1

Principles of Pharmacology


Rational Therapeutics Drug Administration • Formulation • Routes of Drug Administration • Dosing Regimens

Pharmacokinetics • Drug Absorption

• Drug Distribution • Drug Metabolism • Drug Excretion • Drug Clcilrantt Drug Actions • Phannacology at the Cellular Level • Pharmacology at the Organism Level • Pharmacology at the Population Level

Drug lnteractions Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal The Patient Profile

Chapter 2

Peripheral Nervous System Sympathornimetics • Direct Sympathomimclics • lndirl.'C1 & Mixed Agents

Adrenergic Blockers • Central Anti-ndrenergics

• Peripheral Pn.'Synaptic Anti-adrenergics • Peripheral Postsynaptic Anti-adrenergics

Cholinomimetics • Dir(.-'CI Cholinergic Agonists

• Cholinesterase Inhibitors

Cholinergic Antagonists • Muscarinic Antagonists • Ganglion Blockers

Neuromuscular Blockers • NeuromuscularTransmission and Blockade • Reversing Neuromuscular Blockade

Local Anesthetics


Chapter 3

Central Nervous System


Neurotransmitters of the Brain .. Norepinephrine .. Dopamine .. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT. Serotonin) .. Acetylcholine .. Gamma-amino butyric acid (GADA) .. Excitatory Amino Acids (EAA) .. The Opioids .. Other europeptides Anbdepressants Psychomotor Stimulants

Antipsychotic Drugs .. Treatment of psychoses

.. Undesirable Neurologic Effects Antiemetics

Anti-Parkinson Drugs Central Analgesics .. The Opioid System

Anti-anxiety Agents Anticonvulsants .. Types of Seizures and Drugs of Choire .. Principles of Anticonvulsant TIlerapy

General Anesthetics

Chapter 4

Cardiovascular and Hematology Drugs


Heart Failure Drugs .. Acute Pumonary Edema .. Management of Shock

Antihypertensives .. Diuretics .. Anliadrenergics .. VasodiJators

Anti-anginal Agents Arrhythmias Antiarrhythmic Agents Lipid Lowering Agents Anticoagulants. Antithrombotics and Thrombolytics Hematopoietic Agents


Respiratory Drugs


Obstructive Lung Disease Treatment Options


Gastrointestinal Agents


Antiulcer Drugs Antidiarrheals Drugs Used to Treat Constipation

Chapter 7

Anti-Infective Agents Basic Strategies of Antimicrobial Therapy The Enemies: Cram Positive Cocci The Enemies: Anaerobes



The Enemies: Gram-negative Pathogens Bacterial Cell Wall Inhibitors • Penicillins (1}-lllctam drugs)

• Cephalosporins Intracellular Antibiotics • • • •

Quinolones and DNA Inhibitors Sulfonamidcs and Antimetabolites Aminoglycosides Protein Synthesis Inhibitors

The Enemies: Mycobacteria The Enemies: Viruses The Enemies: Fungi The Enemies: Protozoans and Helminths

Chapter 8

Anticancer Drugs


Principles of Cancer Chemotherapy • • • •

The cell cycle Resistance and Recurrence Toxicity of Anticancer Drugs Combination therapy

ALkylating Agents Antimelaholites AJltibiotic Anticancer Agents Other Anticancer Agents

Chapter 9

Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulating Agents ..... 133 Prostaglandin Inhibitors Antiarthritic Agents Antigout Agents Immunomodulating Agents Antihistamines

Chapter 10

Endocrine System


Anterior Pituitary Hormones Posterior Pituitary Hormones Other Hormones Sex Hormones • Testosterone • Anabolic Steroids • Estrogens • Progestins • Oral Contraceptives • Progestin Only "Minipills" • Le\'onorgcstrellmplants (Norplan

Oxytocin and Other OB/Gyn Drugs Adrenal Hormones • Glucocorticoids • Adrenocorticosteroid Hypersecretion • Minerillocorticoids & Androgens

Thyroid Hormones • Hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis) • Hypothyroidism

Pancreatic Hormones • Diabetes Mellitus • Insulin Replacement • Oral Hypoglycemic Drugs


Preface I developed the format of this book while teaching a rc\'iew course in pharmacology to medical students who were having difficulty with the standard course. The students stated that the concepts of pharmacology were not difficult, but that they were overwhelmed by the quantity of material. They spent hours leafing through pages, trying to identify subtle differences between drugs that ha\'e similar names, actions. pharmacoki-

netics and side effects. This guide organizes related drugs in tables. It allows the student to learn about a

prototype drug and the important ways that related drugs differ. The text that surrounds the tables emphasi7..e5 key issues pertaining to therapeutic rationale. basic pharmacologic principles and clinical use of the drugs. The book blends the essentials of basic pharmacology and clinical pharmacology so that the transition from classroom to hospital is less abrupt. Students report that the book is most effective when lecture notes are written directly on the tables and margins, providing a single, concise guide for finals and the ational Boards. The book can then be used dUring clinical training for a rapid review of the principles that gUide rational prescribing practiCl..-'s. Clinical PI/Qrmacology Made Ridiculously Simple contains the information required to perform well on the National Boards and to answer most pharmacology questions asked during clinical rounds. It does not present historical aspects of pharmacology, ex:haus~ live lists of side effects and drug interactions, or other details that are best found in traditional texts or formularies.

I welcome comments and suggestions for future editions.

Jim Olson, M.D" Ph.D. Children's Hospital/University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center 1100 Fairview Ave N. Mailstop D-I-11O Seattle, WA 98109


Principles of Pharmacology Co-authored b Anne Bouma , R.Ph. Rational Therapeutics There afe thousands of drugs and hundreds of facts about each of them. It is unnecessary to memorize many of these facts if one learns to predict the behavior of each drug based on a few facts and an understanding

of the principles of pharmacology. This chapter presents the basic principles of phar-

macology upon which drug therapy is based. As you read the chapler, try to apply the principles to a drug with which you are familiar, like aspirin. Refer to this chapter often as you learn the drugs presented in the fest of the book. Try to learn the "story" of each drug rather than isolated facts. The best way to develop a story about a drug is to associate, ask, and predict. Associate each drug class with information that you olready know about the drugs. Think of relatives or friends who have taken medicine from the class of drugs you are studying. Remember what you have read or heard about the drugs.

Ask yourself why some d.rugs are administered as shots and others as piUs, why some d.rugs are taken four times daily and others only once, and why it is important for a health care provider to know the serum concentration of some drugs but not of others. As you read the following chapters, ask yourself "Why is this information important enough to be included in this book?". Predict the actions, clinical uses, side effects, and drug interactions of each drug based solely on its mechanism of action. If you can predict these charae路 teristics, you will only have to memorize those facts that do not make intuitive sense. Finally, envision the course of events that would oceur as a drug enters the patient's body, Continue this practice each time you prescribe, dispense or administer drugs to a patient. Your patients will benefit if your clinical decisions are determined rationally and based on a foundation of basic pharmacology knowledge.


Drug Administration • Formulation Clinically useful drugs are formulated by drug companies into preparations that can be administered orally. intra\"enously. or by another route. The fonnu· lation of a drug depends on the following factors: -The barriers that the drug is capable of passing. Intravenous drugs are injected directly into the blood stream. In contrast, oTal preparations must pass through the wall of the gastrointestinal tract and blood vessel walls before entering the bloodstream. -The setting in which the drug will be used. An intravenous preparation might be appropriate for a drug which is administered during surgery, but would be inappropriate for home administration of aspirin. -The urgency of the medical situation. The delay before onset of action varies between preparations of the same drug. Emergency situations often caU for intravenous administration of agents which might normaUy be administered by another route. -Stability of the drug. Drugs which are denatured by acid are not good candidates for oral preparations because they may be destroyed in the stomach (stomach pH = 2). • First Pass Effect. Blood from the gastrointestinal tract passes through the liver before entering any other organs. During this first pass through the liver, a fraction of the drug (in some cases nearly aU) can be metabolized to an inactive or less active derivative. The inactivation of some drugs is so great that the agents are useless when administered orally.

• Routes of Drug AdmInistration Routes of drug administration include: • Oral (POI: Most compatible with drugs that are selfadministered. Oral agents must be able to withstand the acidic environment of the stomach and must permeate the gut lining before entering the bloodstream. Absorption affected by gastric emptying and intestinal motility. • Sublingual: Good absorption through capillary bed under tongue. Drugs are easily self-administered. Because the stomach is bypassed, acid-lability and gut·permeability need not be considered. - Rectal CPR) Useful for unconscious or vomiting patients or smaU children. Absorption is unreliable. • Inhalation: Generally rapid absorption. Some agents, marketed in devices which deliver metered doses, are suitable for self·administration.

2 Principles of Pharmacology

• Topical: Useful for local delivery of agents, particu· larly those which have toxic effects if administered systemically. Used for most dermatologic, ophthal· mologic, nasal, vaginal, and otic preparations. - Transdermal A few drugs can be formulated such that a "patch" containing the drug is applied to the skin. The drug seeps out of the patch, through the skin and into the capillary bed. Very convenient for self-administration. There are three drug administration techniques which have traditionally been labeled parenteral ("around the gastrointestinal tract"). Advantages include more rapid and predictable absorption and more accurate dose selection. Disadvantages include the need for strict asepsis, risk of infection, pain, and local irritation. • Intravenous (IV): Rapid onset of action because agent is injected directly into the blood stream. Useful in emergencies and in patients that are unconscious. Insoluble drugs cannot be administered intravenously. • Intramuscular OM): Drug passes through capillary walls to enter the blood stream. Rate of absorption depends on fonnuJation (oil-based preparations are absorbed slowly, aqueous preparations are absorbed rapidly). May be used for self-administration by trained patients. • Subcutaneous (SubQ,. Sc): Drug is injected beneath the skin and permeates capillary walls to enter the blood stream. Absorption can be controlled by drug formulation. Only nonirrit.,ting drugs can be used.

• Dosing Regimens Three common dosing regimens are compared in Table 1.1. The half-life is the amount of time required for the plasma concentration of a drug to decrease by 500/<l after discontinuance of the drug. The distribution half-life (I.,p.) reflects the rapid decline in plasma drug concentration as a dose of drug is distributed throughout the body. The elimination half-life (twP) is often much slower, reflecting the metabolism and excretion of the drug. ote that several haU-lives pass before the serum concentration of a drug reaches steady state. Thus in order to obtain values which reflect the steady state, it is necessary to wait until the fourth or fifth half· life of a drug before the peak, trough or plasma level is measured. Therapeutic levels of a drug can be obtained more rapidly by delivering a loading dose followed by maintenance doses. A loading dose is an initial dose of drug that is higher than subsequent doses for the purpose of achieving therapeutic drug concentrations

Table 1.1 Influence of Dosing Regimen on Plasma Drug Levels DOSING REGIMEN Single Dose Plasma concentration of drug rises as the drug distributes to the bloodstream, then falls as the drug is distributed to tissues, metabolized, and excreted.









. ,


Drugs administered orally reach a peak plasma concentration at a later time than drugs admnistered intravenously. Oral agents must be absorbed across GI mucosa and capillary walls before entering the bloodstream.

IV Oral



o E


o .S +-~-,-~-.r-~-----, o

5 Time



Continuous Infusion (IV) c

Steady state (equilibrium) plasma drug concentration is reached after continuous infusion lor 4-5 half-lives. Increasing the rate of infusion will not decrease the time needed to reach steady state. Increasing the rate of infusion will, however, increase the plasma drug concentration at steady state.



2X mglhour






c •

X mglhour

o E

"ail:• ,

c_, " c -L~_.-~_,.-~-----, o 15 5 Time 10 Intermittent Dose A drug mJst be administered lor 4-5 half-lives belore steady state (equilibrium) is reached. Peaks are the high points of fluctuation. Toxic ellects are mostlikety to be observed during peak. drug concentrations. Troughs are the low points 01 fluctuation. Lack of drug effect is most likely to occur during troughs_ For exafT1)le, post-operative pain is more likely to return just before a second dose of morphine than midway between the first and second dose.

in the serum rapidly. The loading dose is followed by maintenance doses, which are doses af drug that maintain a steady state plasma concentration in the therapeutic range. The dosing regimen (route, amount, and frequency) of drug administration influences the onsel and duration af drug action. Onset is the amount of time it lakes a drug to begin working. Drugs administered



-1! c



. ~


"an.!! ,




5 TIme



intravenously generally have a more rapid onset than drugs taken orally because oral agents must be absorbed and pass through the gut before entering the bloodstream. Duration is the length of time far which a drug is therapeutic. The duration usually corresponds to Ihe half-life of the drug (except when the drug binds irreversibly to its receptor) and is dependent on metabolism and excretion of the drug.


Table 1.2 Drug Transport Across Membranes MECHANISM Passive Diffusion


Facllltated Diffusion


Aqueous Channels





Drugs bind to carrier by noncovalent mechanisms. Chemically similar drugs compete for carrier.


Active Transport

Pharmacokinetics • Drug Absorption As a drug is distributed in the body, it comes in contact with numerous membranes. Drugs pass some membranes but not others. Table 1.2 compares four drug transport mechanisms. • Drug~associated factors that influence absorption include ionization stale, molecular weight, solubility (lipophilicity) and fonnulation (solution vs. tablet). Small, non ionized, lipid-soluble drugs permeate plasma membranes most readily. • Patient·associated factors that influence drug absorption depend on the route of administration. For example, the presence of food in the GI tract, stomach acidity and blood flow to the Gl tract influence the absorption of oral medications.

• Drug Distribution The following factors influence drug distribution: • Membrane permeability: Ln order to enter an organ, a drug must permeate all membranes that separate the organ from the site of drug administration. For example, benzodiazepines, which are very lipophilic, readily cross the gut wall, capillary wall, and blood~ brain barrier. Because of this, they distribute to the brain rapidly and are useful for treating anxiety and convulsions. In contrast, some antibiotics are capable of passing from the gut into the blood stream, but cannot pass into the brain. These drugs cannot be used to treat infections in the brain. Poor passage of some anticancer agents across the blood-brain barrier and the blood-testes barrier results in relatively high rates of brain or testicular recurrences of some tumors. The blood~placentabarrier prevents fetal exposure to some drugs but allows passage of others. • Plasma protein binding (Fig. 1.1): The binding of drugs to plasma proteins, such as albumin, reduces the amount of "free" (that which is not protein bound) drug in the blood. "Free" drug molecules, but not protein+bound molecules, reach an equiJib-

4 Principles of Pharmacology

NOTES Rapid lor lipophilic, nonionic and small molecules. Slow for hydrophilic, ionic, or large molecules.

Small hydrophilic drugs «200 mw) diffuse along concentration gradient by passing through aqueous channels (pores). Identical to facilitated diffusion except thai ATP powers drug transport against concentration gradient.

rium between the blood and tissues. Thus a decrease in free drug in the serum translates to a decrease in drug which can enter a given organ. • Depot storage: Lipophilic drugs, such as the seda+ tive thiopental, accumulate in fat. These agents are released slowly from the fat stores. Thus, an obese person might be sedated for a greater period of time than a lean person to whom the same dose of thiopental had been administered. Calcium·binding drugs, such as the antibiotic tetracycline, accumulate in bone and teeth. The apparent volume of distribution (Vd) is a calculated value thai describes the nature of drug distribution. Vd is the volume that would be required to contain the adminstered dose if that dose was evenly distributed at the concentration measured in plasma. You could predict that a drug with Vd "" 3 liters is distributed in plasma only (plasma volume"" 3 liters), whereas a drug with Vd "" 16 liters is likely distributed in extraceliuJar water (extracellular water"" 3 liters plasma plus tD-13liters interstitial fluid). A drug with Vd > 46 liters is Likely sequestered in a depot because the body only contains 4D-46lHers of fluid.

• Drug Metabolism Drugs, chemicals, and toxins are aU foreign to our bodies. QUI' body attempts to rid itself of foreign chemicals, regardless of whether they are therapeutic or harmful. Most drugs must be biotransformed, or metabolized, before they can be excreted. In pharmacology, the word "metabolism" often refers to the process of making a drug more polar and water soluble. Although this often results in drug inactiva+ tion and excretion, it is INCORRECT to assume that a metabolite will be less active or more easily excreted than the parent drug. Metabolic reactions can transform ... • an active drug into less-active or inactive forms. • a PRODRUG (inactive or less-active drug) into a more active drug.

Drug and toxin metabolism is divided into "Phase I" and "Phase 11" reactions (Figures 1.2A, 1.26). In Phase I Reactions (nonsynthetid, drugs are oxidized or reduced to a more polar form. In Phase II Reactions (synthetid, a polar group, such as glutathione, is conjugated to the drug. This substantially increases the polarity of the drug. Drugs undergoing Phase II conjugation reactions may have already undergone Phase I transformation. The liver microsomal drug oxidation/reduction system (The P450 system) is responsible for the metabolism of many drugs. Cytochrome P450 (so named because it maximally absorbs light at 450 run) is a family of isoenzymes located in the endoplasmic reticulum of the hepatocytes. Through an electron transport chain which uses NADPH as a proton carrier, a drug bound to cytochrome P45Q can be oxidized or reduced (Phase I Reaction). Cytochrome P450 can be induced (increased in activity) by a number of drugs or chemicals. Induction occurs in response to the presence of a chemical which is metabolized by P450 (more enzyme is produced to

handle the chemjcalload). Once the enzyme is induced, it will metabolize the "inducing agent" more rapidly. Because cytochrome P450 is not specific for the inducer, however, other drugs metabolized by the induced enzyme will also be biotransformed more rapidly. Alcohol tolerance is a common example of P450 (microsomal enzyme) induction. Alcohol is metabolized by 1'450. If a person hasn't been drinking alcohol regularly, perhaps two drinks wiIJ make him tipsy. If thai same person were to consume two drinks daily for several weeks, it would likely take more than two drinks to achieve the same degree of intoxication. This occurs because the liver enzymes have been induced, causing the alcohol to be metabolized more rapidly to an inactive form. This same person would also metabolize any of a multitude of drugs more rapidly once the enzymes were induced, a common mechanism of drug interaction. Therefore, a dose of such a drug that was adequate a few months ago might have little or no effect following several weeks of increased alcohol consumption.


• •


Key Drug A Drug B

Drug B displaces 10% of Drug A from albumin

Protein-bound Drug A Inactive

Unbound Drug A (Active)

Protein-bound rug A Inactive)

•• • •

Unbound Drug A (Active)

Figure 1.1 COllseqllella of drug displaccmePlt from alb",,,;,, and otller plasma proteills. 5oml'dmgs (e.g., "Drug A ~ in figllre) are greater lI,an 90% bol/lld to plasma proteins. The "free" (1IIIbolllld) dmg 1Il0lecules, bllt not Ihe bound moiecliles, are avai/able 10 act at receplOrs. hI /III.' figl1re, ~Drug B" displaces ollly 5 lIIoll'Cl/les of "Drug A", whicll more tlwn tri1J/es tlrt serum conctmtration of free (actiw) "Drug A ". This could be Jatal if "Drug A" Illls a narrow margin ofsafety. Displacement ofdrugs wlricll are Iess-IJiglr/y protein bol/nd is less significallt. For example, if "Oms A" were 50% bolltld alld 50% free, displaceml'llt of10% oj the barllldfraction would ;'lcrease tile free fraclioll from 50% to 55%. Tllis sll1all illcrement is wrlikely to be clinically rei/'VllIlt.


• Drug Excretion Some drugs are excreted from the body after they have been metabolized to more polar congeners, while others are excreted "unchanged". Most drugs, toxins, and metabolites are excreted in the urine. Others are excreted in feces or expired air. Drugs that are excreted in the feces may be concentrated in bile before entering the intestine. In some cases, these drugs are reabsorbed into the portal bloodstream as they move through the intestines. This cycle. enterohepatic circulation, can extend the duration of the drug in the body.

A number of processes occur in the kidney which affect the rate of drug excretion. The most important processes are glomerular fiJtcation, tubular secretion, and tubular reabsorption. These processes are compared in Table 1.3. Drug excretion mechanisms are vulnerable to renal insults such as toxins, other drugs, or disease stales. Because drugs. metabolites, and toxins are concentrated in the kidney, the organ is frequently the site of chemical-induced toxicity. Undesirable symptoms in a patient with renal failure may be due to drug accumulation rather than the disease process itself.

Phase I (nonsynthetlcj Reactions • MIcrosomal (P.f5o) oxidation reactions 2. o.llkyliltion

1. Hydroxylation



microsomes O O H


3. Oxidation





• microsomes

, /


• microsomes O O H

4. Polarizing atom exchang_




• miaosomes






• Microsomal (P450) reduction reactions 1. Azo·reductlon NADPH

• O = N = O microsomes O N Hz 2. Nitro-reduction

0~ A


NADPH • }NO microsomes






NH 2

• Nonmlcrosomal orldatlon and reduction reactions 2. AScohol r-.duetion

,. Alcohol oxidation NAO' CH 3CHzOH _ CH3CHzO


~ C~CHzO

l.lA ufunpfes o{ PI,uS4! , mdubolic

6 Principles of Pharmacology




R-C-OH + NAOH + H ' _ R-C-OH + NAD + Hz{) I




renal clearance + metabolic clearance + all other

• Drug Clearance

clearance. Clearance can be calculated several ways:

The term "clearance" refers to the volume of fluid that would be completely cleared of drug (per unit time) if all the drug being excreted/metabolized were removed from thai volume (and the remaining fluid in the body retained the original concentration of drug). "Clearance" is a calculated value that cannot be directly measured in the body. It is measured in liters per hour,

but is often mistaken for "rate of elimination" which is reported as mg/hr. Clearance values can be calculated for specific systems. For example. total clearance =

Clearance '"

Elimination Rate (mg/hr) Drug Concentration (mgll)

= Liters hour

OR Clearance '"


Where k _ elimination rate constant and

\ti -=

apparent volume of distribution

Phase /I (Synthetic) Reactions catalyzed by specific enzymes rather than PUD 1. Glucuronkte conJug.Uon



00 .


glucuronyl UDPGA transferase (dooor) •

2. Ethereal sulfat. conjugation

000 . (chIg)




Ooso,' +


3. Acetylallon

Acetyl R-Q- NH2 + CH 3CQ-CoA transferase (drug)


4. Transulfuratlon (occurs In mitochondria)

glutamal9 (removed)

5. GlutathIone conjugation

OCH,c1 + GSH-[XJ (drug)


Acetylase. Acetyl-GoA


Abbrevlsl10ns of donors:



glycine (removed)

UDPGA - uridine diphosphoglucuronic acid PAPS _ 3-phosphoadenosine 5' phosphosulfate GSH _ glutathione (g-glutamyl-<:.ysteinyliltycine)

1.28 Cxnmpft's of Plw~ II metllbolic unctiOlls.


Table 1.3 Renal Processes that Influence Drug Excretion PROCESS

TRANSPORT ROUTE Drugs pass from the blood Inlo the nephron by perfusing across the fenestrated capillaries of Bowmans Capsule.

DRUGS TRANSPORTED Diffusion Process. Small. nanionic drugs pass more readily. Drugs bound to plasma proteins cannol pass.


Tubular Secretion

Drugs secreted fnto the nephron tubule from the efferent arteriole.

Active transport (drug carriers and energy). Drugs which specifically bind to carriers (transporters) are transported. Size and charge are less important.

Drugs may compete with one another for the carrier. A drug with a low margin of safety might reach toxic levels. Therapeutically, drugs which compete for transporters can be coadministered to increase plasma half-life.

Tubular Reabsorption

Drugs are reabsorbed into the blood stream from the nephron lubule.

Diffusion Process. Small, nonionic drugs pass more readily.

Because ionic agents are poorly reabsorbed, drug metabolites which are more ionic than the parent drug will be passed inlo Ihe urine more easily. Urinary pH can be purposely altered 10 increase the rate of drug excretion (e.g., administration of bicarbonate).

Glomerular Filtration

Drug Actions Most drugs bind to cellular receptors, where they initiate a series of biochemical reactions that alter the cell's physiology. In a given dose, some drug molecules Hnd their target cells, while other molecules are being distributed, metabolized, and excreted. At the cellular site of action, drugs exert their primary actions. These actions are described in the following section. The actions of drugs are studied from a number of different perspectives. Each perspective provides different information and uses different terminology. To avoid confusion over terminology, the actions of drugs are presented in three St:.'Ctions: I) pharmacology at the cellular level, n) pharmacology at the organism level. and lU) pharmacology at the population level.

• Pharmacology at the Cellular Level Drug Receptors: Receptors are generally proteins or glycoproteins that are present on the cell surface, on an organelle within the ceU, or in the cytoplasm. There is a finite number of receptors in a given cell. Thus, receptor-mediatcd responses plateau upon (or before) receptor saturation. When a drug binds to a receptor, onc of the following actions is likely to occur (Fig. 1.3): • An ion channel is opened or closed. • Biochemical messengers, often called second messengers (cAMP, cGMP, Ca··, inositol phosphates) are

8 Principles of Pharmacology

Rate of filtration depends in part on blood pressure.

activated. The biochemical messenger initiates a series of chemical reactions within the cell, which transduce the signal stimulated by the drug. • A normal cellular flU1ction is physically inhibited (e.g., DNA synthesis, bacterial ceU wall production, protein synthesis). • A celluJar function is "tumed on" (e.g., steroid promotion of DNA transcription). Very precise terminology is required when discussing drug-receptor interactions. It is also important to avoid substituting terms that describe drug actions at the organism or population level (e.g., potency, effi· cacy, therapeutic index) for terms describing drug actions at the receptor level (e.g., affinity). The Receptor Theory of Drug Action: Langley and Ehrlich first proposed that drug actions were mediated by chemical receptors. Ln 1933, Clark developed the dose-response theory which stated that increased response to a drug depended on increased binding of drug to receptors. Clark's theory was incorrect on several points. In 1956, Stephenson presented a modified dose-response theory which is more widely accepted today. • Clark's Theory 1. Drug response is proportional to the number of receptors occupied. 2. Assumed that all drug-receptor interactions were reversible.

antagonist is less likely than a low-affinity drug to dissociate from a receptor once it is bound. • Dissociation Constant (Ko >: The dissociation constant is the measure of a drug's affinity for a given receptor. It is the concentration of drug required in solution to achieve 50% occupancy of its receptors. Units are expressed in molar concentration. • Agonist: Drugs which alter the physiology of a cell by binding to plasma membrane or intracellular receptors. Usually, a number of receptors must be occupied by agonists before a measurable change in cell function occurs. For example, a muscle cell does not depolarize simply because one molecule of acetylcholine binds to a nicotinic receptor and activates an ion channel. • Strong Agonist: An agonist which causes maximal effects even though it may only occupy a small fraction of receptors on a cell.

3. Assumed that drug binding to receptors represented only a fraction of available drug. 4. Assumed that each receptor bound only one drug. • Stephenson's modified theory (generally accepted) 1. Drug response depends on both the affinity of a drug for its receptors (defined below) and the drug's efficacy (defined in the next section). 2. Described spare receptors. Proposed that maximal response can be achieved even if a fraction of receptors (spare receptors) are unoccupied. The following terminology refers only to events which occur at the cellular level: • Affinity: Affinity refers to the STRENGTH of binding between a drug and its receptor. The number of cell receptors occupied by a drug is a function of an equilibrium between drug which is bound to receptors and drug that is free. A high-affinity agonist or





/;.......v>-.....r"~'\ Adenylate



G protein


Phospholipase C


Protein kinase C figure 1.3 Examples of receptors ami associated biocllemical (second) messenger systems or iOl' dlam,els. A). Receptors sucll as the beta-adrenergic receptor (fJ) are COJ/pled with adenylate cyclase through a "G protein" (so named because it bi/lds Grp). When all agol1ist binds the receptor, tile G protein signals adellylate cyclase to synthesize cyclic adenosine mOllophospllate (cAMP) which sllbsequenl/y acts as an intracellular messenger. B). Receptors such as tlte mllscaril1ic acetylc/IO/ine receptor (M) are coupled with a G protein I/mt stimulates pJlOspho/ipase C. Phospholipase C catalyzes the breakdoum of pllOsphatidyl inositol 5,5-bispllOsphate (PiPI/o prodl/cl! inositol trisphosphate (/ P,) and diacylglycerol (DAG). 11', may ill tum stimulate other ill/race/lular messengers, such as calcium or calmod/llill and DAG stimulates protein killllS<' C. Protein kinase C aels by pllOspllorylalil1g target proteitls. C). Some receptors regulate iOIl cJJllImeis in the plasma membrane. Wllell the lIicotinic receptor (N) is stilllJtlated by acetylcllOlille, the ellal/llel opens and sodium ions PIISS into I/Ie cell. [n tile example of tile nicolinic receptor, the dmg receptor is a compOllellt of the proteins tllat form the iOI/ chmwel. III otller cases, a distinct receptor might be Ihlked to the iOIl chall/lel by a G protein or other biochemical messengers.


• Weak Agonist: An agonist which must be bound to many more receptors than a strong agonist to produce the same effect. • Partial Agonist: A drug which fails to produce maximal effects, even when all the receptors are occupied by the partial agonist. • Antagonist: Antagonists inhibit or block responses caused. by agonists. • Competitive Antagonist: Competes with agonists for receptors. During the time that a receptor is occupied by an antagonist, agonists cannot bind to the receptor. The number of receptors appears unchanged because high doses of agonists will compete for essentially all the receptors. The agonists affinity, however, appears lower because a higher dose of agonist is required, in the presence of antagonist, to achieve receptor occupancy. Because the antagonism can be overcome by high doses of agonists, competitive antagonism is said to be sumtountable. • Noncompetitive Antagonist: Binds to a site other than the agonist·binding domain. Induces a confor· mational change in the receptor such that the agonist no longer "recognizes" the agonist-binding domain. Even high doses of agonist cannot overcome this antagonism. Thus it is considered to be insurmountable. The number of agonist-binding sites appears to be reduced, but the affinity of agonist for the "unantagonized sites" remains unchanged. • Irreversible Antagonist (Non equilibrium competitive): Irreversible antagonists are also insurmountable. These agents compete with agonists for the agonist-binding domain. In contrast to competitive antagonists, however, irreversible antagonists combine permanently with the receptor. The rate of antagonism can be slowed by high concentrations of agonist. Once an irreversible antagonist binds to a particular receptor, however, that receptor cannot be "reclaimed" by an agonist. Other forms of antagonism: In addition to pharmacologic antagonism, there are two other mechanisms by which a drug can inhibit or block the effects of an agonist: • Physiological Antagonism: Two agonists, in unrelated reactions, cause opposite effects. The effects cancel one another. • Antagonism by Neutralization: Two drugs bind to one another. When combined, both drugs are inactive. Chemicals that are produced in the body and exert their actions through receptors (e.g., acetylcholine, insulin) are termed endogenous ligands.

10 Principles of Pharmacology

• Pharmacology at the Organism Level Many of the terms used in phannacology were developed to reflect the observations made foUowing administration of a drug to an experimental animal or to a person. The following terms describe the actions of drugs on whole organisms. These terms are more likely to be used in a clinical setting than terms relating to drug-receptor interactions. Efficacy: The degree to which a drug is able to induce maximal effects. If Drug A reduces blood pressure by 20 mm and Drug B reduces blood pressure by 10 mm, then Drug A has greater efficacy than Drug B. 10 this case, Drug A might be appropriate for treating hypertension that is refractory to Drug B. Potency: The amount of drug required to produce 5O'Y<I of the maximal response that the drug is capable

of inducing. For example, morphine and codeine are both capable of relieving post-operative pain. A smaller dose of morphine than codeine is required to achieve this effect. Therefore, morphine is more potent than codeine. "Potency" and "efficacy" have different meanings and are used to describe different phenomenon. The term "potency" is frequently used to compare drugs within a chemical class, such as narcotic analgesics or corticosteroids. These drugs usually have similar maximal efficacy, if a high enough dose is given. "Efficacy" is more easily used to compare drugs with different mechanisms. For example, ketorolac (a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug) has equal efficacy to morphine in controlling post·operative pain. Acetaminophen or aspirin have a lower efficacy than either of the above drugs for controlling post-operative pain. Nothing can be said about the affinity of drugs based on their efficacy or potency. Affinity is a measure of the "strength" of binding between the drug and its receptor and cannot be measured clinically. A low affinity agonist might produce a response equal to or greater than that produced by a high affinity agonist. Antagonists do not have efficacy, since they do not produce responses. Graded dose-response curves: Graphs the magnitude of drug actions against the concentration (or dose) of drug required to induce those actions. The curve represents the effects and dose of a drug within an individual animal or tissue rather than in a population. The receptor affinity, absorption, plasma protein binding, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of a drug all affect the dose response curve.

• Pharmacology at the Population Level Before new drugs can be approved for marketing, their efficacy and safety must be tested in animal and human population studies. Data derived from these studies are presented using the following terminology: • EC 5ll (Effective Concentration 50%): The concentration of drug which induces a specified clinical effect in 50% of the subjects to which the drug is administered. • lD 5CI (Lethal Dose 50%): The concentration of drug which induces death in 50% of the subjects to which the drug is administered. • Therapeutic lnde,,: A measure of the safety of a drug. Calculated by dividing the LD~ by the ED!j(f • Margin of Safety: The margin behveen therapeutic and lethal doses of a drug.

Drug Interactions Drugs may interact with one another according to the following mechanisms: • Altered absorption: Drugs may inhibit absorption of other drugs across biologic membranes (e.g., antiulcer agents that coat the stomach may decrease GI absorption of other drugs). • Altered metabolism: Clinically important drug interactions can occur when the P450 isoenzymes (chemical cousins) are inhibited or induced. CYP is the cytochrome nomenclature used to describe the human P450 isoenzyme followed by the family (an Arabic number), followed by subfamily (a capital letter), followed by the individual gene (an Arabic number).

Examples include CYP3A4, CYPIA2, and CYP2C9. Drugs and other substrates (such as smoking) can be inducers or inhibitors of the P450 isoenzymes. Other drugs can be substrates for the particular isoenzymes and thus can be candidates for drug interactions. For example, phenobarbital, a potent inducer of isoenzyme CYP3A4 can produce a c1inicalJy significant drug interaction with tacrolimus, a CYP3A4 isoenzyme substrate. Higher doses of tacrolimus and more frequent drug monitoring may be required to keep adequate serum concentrations of tacrolimus in the blood stream. An example of inhibition can be described with the two drugs amiodarone and digoxin. Amiodarone is a potent inhibitor of isoenzymes CVP2C9 and CYP2D6. Because digoxin is a substrate for one of these isoenzymes, amiodarone may produce an increase in the digoxin serum level more than two-fold. • Plasma protein competition (Fig. 1.1): Drugs that bind to plasma proteins may compete with other drugs for the protein binding sites. Displacement of a 'Drug A' from plasma proteins by 'Drug B' may increase the concentration of unbound 'Drug A' to toxic levels. • Altered excretion: Drugs may act on the kidney to reduce excretion of specific agents (e.g., probenecid competes with sulJonamides for the same carrier, increasing the risk of sulfonamide toxicity). Addition, synergism, potentiation or antagonism are the terms used to describe drug interactions. Table 1.4 demonstrates the differences between the four types of drug interactions.

Table 1.4 Types of Drug Interactions TYPE OF INTERACTION


Addition· The response elicited by combined drugs is EQUAL TO the combined responses of the individual drugs.


Synergism· The response elicited by combined drugs is GREATER THAN the combined responses of the individual drugs.


Potentiation· second drug.

A drug which has no effect enhances the effect of a


Antagonism· Drug inhibits the effect of another drug. Usually, the antagonist has no inherent activity.



Tolerance, Dependence and Withdrawal Tolerance represents a dl'Crcased response to a drug. Clinically, it is seen when the dose of a drug must be increased to achieve the same effect. Tolerance can be metabolic (drug is metabolized more rapidly after chronic use), cellular (decreased number of drug receptors, known as downregu)alion), or behavioral (an alcoholic learns to hide the signs of drinking 10 avoid being caught by hjs colleagues).

Dependence occurs when a patient needs a drug 10 "function normally". Clinically, it is detected when cessation of a drug produces withdrawal symptoms. Dependence can be physical (chronic use of laxatives leads to dependence on laxatives to have a normal

bowel movement) or may have a psychologicaJ comp<r nent (Do you HAVE to drink a cup of coffee to start

your day?). Withdrawal occurs when a drug is no longer administered to a dependent patient. The symptoms of withdrawal are often the opposite of the effects achieved by the drug (cessation of antihypertensive agents frequently causes severe hypertension and reflex tachycardia). In some cases, such as withdrawal from morphine or alcohol, symptoms are complex and may seem lmrelated to drug effects.

Cross tolerance/cross dependence occurs when tolerance or dependence develops to different drugs which are chemically or mechanistically related. For example, methadone relieves the symptoms of heroin withdrawal because patients develop cross dependence to these two drugs.

regimens are available for most drugs and are usually adjusted according to patient weight or body surface area. Pregnancy status: Before prescribing drugs for a woman of child-bearing age, it is essential to know whether there is any possibility that she is pregnant or whether she is nursing. Many d rugs are not to be prescribed for pregnant or nursing women. Olhers may be administered with caution. Smoking and drinking habits: Both smoking and drinking induce P450 liver enzymes. This accelerates the metabolism of a number of drugs. In some cases, the result is lower-than.-expeeted drug concentration, leading to decreased therapeutic effectiveness. Prod rugs, however, might be metabolized to more active forms. In some cases, the active drug reaches toxic concentrations. Liver or kidney disease: Dose reduction may be necessary in patients with liver or kidney dysfunction. Failing kidneys excrete fewer drug metabolites. Failing livers metabolize drugs poorly compared to properly functioning livers. Liver and kidney failure are particularly common in the geriatric population. Phannacogenetics: This is the most difficuH assessment in the patient profile. Briefly, there are genetic differences betw'een patients which affect the pharmacokinetics and actions of many drugs. For ex~ ample, the half-life of phenytoin ranges from 10 hours in a "high hydroxylator" to 42 hours in a "low hydroxylator" simply because the level of microsomal hydroxylation is lower in the latter patient. A number of specific pharmacogenetic traits have been described. Specific traits, associated mechanisms, and pharmacogenetic methodology are not discussed in this introductory chapter. Drug interactions Psychosocial factors: Poor patient compliance is the cause of many 'drug failures'. Before prescribing a medication, consider the cost, ease of administration, and dose schedule of the drug. Also, assess the level of patient responsibility.

The Patient Profile

• •

The importance of the patient profile: Prescribing drugs without consideration for the patient profile is substandard care. The patient profile includes each of the follOWing considerations: • Age: Drug metabolizing enzymes are often W1devel~ oped in infants and depressed in the elderly. Because drugs are not metabolized as readily, they may accumulate to toxic concentrations. Pediatric and geriatric dosing regimens are provided by most drug manufacturers. It is inappropriate to extrapolate adult doses to children. Instead, pediatric dosing

In order to thoroughly evaluate the toxicity of a drug, it is necessary to record the pre-<lrug status of the patient for comparison. Particular attention should be paid to the organs that are likely to be damaged by the drug. Particularly when administering drugs with a narrow margin of safety, it is sometimes neceSSMy to adjust dosage according to senun levels of the drug.

12 Principles of Pharmacology

Peripheral Nervous System Co-authored by Anne Bournay, R.Ph. The peripheral nervous system is divided into the autonomic and somatic nervous systems. The auto~ nomic nervous system controls cardiac and smooth muscle contraction, and glandular secretion. 111e somatic nervous system supplies skeletal muscle during voluntary movement and conducts sensory information, such as pain and touch,

The autonomic nervous system is further divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, which generally oppose one another. For example, the sympathetic system is generally catabolic, expending energy (the "fight or flight system"). It increases heart rale, dilates bronchi, and decreases secretions, whereas the parasympathetic system is anabolic, conserving energy. e.g., it decreases heart rate, stimulates gastrointestinal function (See Figs. 2.2 and 2.3 for a review of functions). In the resting individual, the parasympathetic system dominates in most organs, resulting in a relatively slow heart beat, adequate secretions, and appropriate bowel motility. In an i.ndividual under stress, however, the sympathetic system dominates, diverting energy to functions which make a person fit to fight or flee (e.g., improved oxygenation of tissues by bronchodilation and increased cardiac output). Autonomic neurotransmission involves two neurons, the presynaptic and the postsynaptic neurons (Fig. 2.1). Presynaptic neurons extend from the brain to autonomic ganglia where they transmit eNS signals to postsynaptic neurons by releasing acetylcholine into


The catecholamines norepinephrine and epinephrine transmit most impulses of the sympathetic system. Upon release from presynaptic neurons, norepineph· nne diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to postsynaptic adrenergic (al, a2, /31 or /32) receptors. During times of stress, the adrenal gland releases epinephrine (adrenaline) into the blood. Like norepinephrine, circulating epinephrine is an agonist at adrenergic (sympathetic) receptors. An exception to catecholamine neurotransmission in the sympathetic system is the sweat glands. Acetylcholine, which is often considered a parasympathetic transmitter, conveys sympathetic signals to sweat glands. Acetylcholine transmits aJJ parasympathetic signals to end organs (heart, lungs, etc.) by binding to muscarinic (M) receptors. In addition, acetylcholine plays three other important roles in neurotransmission. • Ganglionic transmission: Acetylcholine transmits both sympathetic and parasympathetic impulses from the "preganglionic" neurons in the brain and spinal cord to nicotinic ganglionic (N s) receptors on "postganglionic" neurons of the autonomic nervous system. TIlls occurs in sympathetic ganglia, which are located along the spinal cord, and in parasympa-

.f-----«~I-----«® ACh (nicotinic)


the synaptic cleft, which is the space between the two neurons. Postsynaptic neurons subsequently transmit impulses to end organs (e.g., heart, stomach) by releasing norepinephrine (sympathetic neurons) or acetylcholine (parasympathetic neurons).

Norepinephrine (adrenergic)

.~------------~<~® ACh (nicotinic)

Somatic Motor

ACh (muscarinic)


Figure 2.1 SchemMic Qj and 5Qma~ic mQ~Qr nel/rQns. Presynaptic IJeUrOIlS are depicted with solid cell bodies. Postsynplltic nel/rons are speckled. The neurotransmitter released by the presynaptic Ileuroll and the type Of receptor it activates are listed below each synapse. all~QnQmic

ACh (nicotinic)


thetic ganglia, which lie ncar the end organs. Because aLI ganglionic transmission is cholinergic, drugs which block ganglionic transmission (fable 2.8) inhibit either sympathetic or parasympathetic signals, depending on which system is predominant at the moment. • Neuromuscular transmission: Acetylcholine, released from neurons, causes muscle contraction by binding to nicotinic muscle (N.) receptors on muscle cells, causing calcium influx (Fig. 2.1). • Central neurotransmission: Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in the brain, acting predominantly via muscarinic receptors. Before learning about specific drugs which modify neurotransmission, it is helpful to consider how messages are transmitted from one neuron to another and the strategies available for enhancing or suppressing neurotransmission. First, consider the processes involved in neurotransmission (Fig. 2.4A and 2.48): 1) the neurotransmitter is synthesized from chemical precursors, 2) it is packaged into vesicles in the presynaptic tenninat 3) the presynaptic nerve is stimulated causing the synaptic vesicles to fuse with the synaptic membrane and release the

neurotransmitter, 4) the neurotransmitter diffuses across the synaptic cleft and may bind to postsynaptic receptors,S) binding of neurotransmitter to receptor results in either opening of an ion channel or activation of a "second messenger" such as cAMP or inositol phosphate, 6) the resulting ion influx or second messenger activation causes an action (e.g., depolarization) of the postsynaptic cell. eurotransmitter molecules which fail to bind to postsynaptic receptors are destroyed by degradative enzymes, are taken up into the presynaptic neuron to be recycled, or diffuse away from the synaptic cleft. Clillically useful agmts whicll enhance neurotransmission include:

• Receptor agonists • Agents which induce neurotransmitter release • Drugs which prevent transmitter degradation C1illically useful agents which suppress neurotrQllsmission include:

• Presynaptic nerve blockers • Receptor antagonists • Canglion blockers


~d /

\ \ 1\


Figure 2.2 The ~Fight or Flisht· resptmsr demonstrates the ability of tM sympatMtic nervous syslem to prouide mn-gy for vital fimctwns. DtcrMMd pulmonary S«rrtwns and lmmchodilDtion inCTtQSt' blood oxygrnalion. InCTrOSN IImr' raU and contractility improvt am/ioc output. Arteriolar amstridion shunts bloodfrom the skin and digtstit'e tract, whuras arterioles in the heart and skLlrtal mllscle dilate 10 supply morr blood to tJ~ latter organs. Glyrogrrt and lipids brNk down and glucose is synthrsiud for rnrrgy. GI motility and srcmioPls d«rm~ and urine is retained (IJtCSlU~ you am'l fight a btsr uVrrPl you'" urinating).

14 Pen'pheral Nervous System

Figllrr 2.3 The porosympalhrlic pig's hmrt &tats sluggishly dlgtstivr tract hogs 1M mrrgy. He's drooling btOUl5e' of inCTmMd S«rrllOns. He needs to brtlJth Oxygnl brmllsr his bronchioles art COPlstrictftJ. He is drfr:cating arzd urmotmg Qnd he has arl ertcliorl (you'll JUl~ to picture this as nor~ of I1wse orr drawtl,for modesty). (7'hr sympathetic system, by the way, controls tJOculalfon). Notler hoUJ tiny his pupils art oomfHlnd to 1M Salnd boy in figUrt 2.2. whi/~ his



figure 2.4A Norepinephrine sy"tJresis, release and degrndatiQ/r. 1). Norephinrphrille is synthesized from tire amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is Irydroxy/ated to dopa which is then carboxy/nted to dopamille. 2). Dopamille (ell/pty Sill/ares) diffuses into synaptic vesicles where the enzyme dopamine {J-Ilydroxylase hydroxy/ates dopamine.jorming /lorepinepJrrine (solid squares). 3). Upon 11enJ(' still/ulatioll, ca/ciwn enters the presynaptic rteurOIl and callses the synaptic tJt'Sicles to fuse with the plasma membrane and release norepinephrine into tile synaplic cleft, 4,5, 6), Norepinephrine diffilSf'S throughout the synaptic space and may bind 10 eilher a1 adrfflergic meptors, fJ1 adrenergic receptors or fJ1. adrenergic receptors. Direct sympallwmimetic drugs (adrmergic agoflists) bifid to these receptors as lvell. willlout inleracting wilh the presynaptic neuron. 7). a2 adrenergic rtaptors are located on the presynaptic 1U'uron in some cases, Stimulation of a2 presynaptic rteeptors by norepinephrine inhibits sllbsequent relttlSf' of norepinephrine from the termillJll. 8). ThL en:zyme catedlbl-o-mtthyl tralls!"ilSt' dtgrades Oltecholamines, such as lIorepinephrine. 9). More commonly, uass norepinephrine is trallsported back inlo the presynaptic neuron whÂŤe it is (10) repaclcaged III storage vesicles or (J 1) degraded by mitochondrial Il/o/loamine oxida:w. 12). Indirecl sympalh011l1metics are drugs tlml lOOrk by enten'lIg the presy1mplic tenninal nnd displacing IlOrepi"/!phri'le,

figure 2.4B Synthesis, release and degradatiQn of acetylcholine. 1). TI,e enzyme choline acetyitransfrrase catalyzes Ihe ncety/ation of cholirle by ncetyl eoA to form acetylcholine. 2), AcetyldlOline is slored in storage vesicles. 3). Upon 1lenJ(' stimulatiou, 1111 action poterllia/trave/s down tile netlron and catlses calcium influx into tile lll~rve terminal. Calcium influx causes the vesicles to fl/se with plasIl/a membrane and release acetylcholine. AcetylcllOline diffuses through Ihe synaptic cleft aud may birld to (4) Nm receptors (/licotillic receptors 01/ ml/sc/e cells, (5) Ng receptors (nicotinic receptors on ganglionic synapses of the aulollomic IIeroous system), (6) M1 muscarinic receptors, (7) M2 muscarinic receptors or (8) M3 muscarinic receptors. At least six muscarinic receptors Iuroe now bMl identified, of which Ml, M2 and MJ receptors Iuroe bml most carefully studied (Table 2.5). 9). Acetylcholine is clttlred from tilt' syrmptic cleft by active rtuplake and is hydrolyzed irlto choli/l" and acetic acid. JO). Acelylcholine breakdtr.on products are recycled into acrlylcholine.



receptors and the consequences of their stimulation are outlined in Table 2.2.

• Direct Sympathomimetics Endogenous sympathetic agonists (norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine) and other sympathomimetic drugs are presented in Tables 2.lA and 2.1 B.

Calecholamines are chemicals which contain a

catechol group and an amine. Catechol-D-methyl transferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase (MAO)

Direct sympathetic agonists bind to ai' 0. 2' 13 1 or 131 adrenergic receptors where they "tum on" second


messengers (Fig. 2.5). The second messenger associ·

aled with each receptor class mediates different effects. Thus the actions of each agonist depend on the class or


• " . "HO-1?)-~-CH2-NH2 •,



classes of receptors to which it binds and the tissue location of the receptors. The location of adrenergic


Table2.1A Direct Sympathomimetics DRUG




CatechQiamirlll.; Epinephrine (Adrenal!n)


Vasoconstriction (a' j. Vasodilation (132). Injected with localaneslhetics: a1-mediated vasoconstriction delays distribution of anesthetic away from the site of injection.

All cardiac effects mediated by_~1 receptors: Increased heart rate; contractility; conduction velocity; and automaticity 01 A-V node, HIS-Puridnje fibers and ventricles.


Cl>f31 »132

a1; INTENSE vasoconstriction leading to tt mean arterial pressure. avasoconstriClion is un~pose because drul;l fails to bin to (32 receptors - whIch cause vasodilation when stirrulated).

Intense vasoconstriction causes reflex (~arasympalhelic-med;aled) 510"";og 01 t e heart. This reflex bradycardia overwhelms the 'Weak ~1 cardiostlrrolatory effects.

Isoproterenol (Isuprel)

Only (3

Intense vasodilation ~132) reduces mean arteria pressure. Doesn't bind to a 1 receptors.

Slirrulates heart roore Ihan epinephrine due to direct effects and response to decreased mean arterial pressure.

Oobutamine (Dobutrex)


NO CHANGE in resistance because it has lowalfinity for 0.1 and (32.

Drug of choice to stirrulate heart. Preserves the hearl's efficiency besl. Minor change in heart rate.

Dopamine (Intropin)

Dopamine receptors and (31 adrenergic receptors

Lowdoses: constricts arterioles in sites other than the brain & kidneys. Thus preserves flow to these vital organs. At higher doses, constricts all vessels.

(31 effects: l' contractility, l' s~stolic pressure. less effect on rate t an Isoproterenol. Causes indirect release of norepinerrhrine which is ollset by inhibition 0 norepinephrine release via presynaptic dopamine receptors,

Intense vasoconstriction. mean arterial pressure.

J.. heart rate~eflex to t mean arterial ad clinically to treat pressure). paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.





Primarily 0.

Methoxamine (Vasoxyl)




Metaproterenol (Alupent)

Primarily (32.


Very few cardiac effects due to lack of affinity for 131 receptors.

Albuterol (e.g .• Ventolln) Bltolterol (Tomalale) Terbutaline (Brethine) Rltodrine (Y'Jtopar) Isoetharlne Salmeterol (Sereventj Pirbuterol (Maxair) Levalbuterol (Xopenex)

··... ··.. ·... ·.

··"... ·..·.. ··..


(Neo- ynephrine)

16 Peripheral Nervous Sysfem




.... ··..

arc degradative enzymes which rapidJy metabolize catecholamines and conS<.>quently shorten the duration of catecholamine effects. Despite their short duration of action, catecholamines are used clinically to treat anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest, heart failure and shock (Table 4.28 and associated text). Noncatecholamine adrenergic agonists (Table 2.1A) have longer serum half-lives than catecholamines, because they are not metabolized by MAO or COMT. Most noncatecholamine sympathomimetics are 132preferring agents which are marketed as bronchodilators (Table S.lA) or uterine relaxants (Table 10.3). Exceptions include phenylephrine and methox-


amine which are potent at vasopressors. Phenylephrine is marketed as nasal and ophthalmic deconges· tanls.

• Indirect & Mixed Agents Indirect sympathomimetics cause norepinephrine release from presynaptic terminals, but do not bind 10 adrenergic receptors (Fig. 2.S, Table 2.18). These drugs enter the presynaptic terminal and displace stores of norepinephrine from storage vesicles. Mixed sympathomimetics displace norepinephrine from presynaptic terminals alld bind to adrenergic receptors. (Fig. 2.5, Table 2.1 B).




Bronchodilation J~~' vasoconstriction (u), and decreased secretions (0:). Used therapeutically as bronchodilator (Table 5.1).

Glycogenolysis and Q!uconeogenesis (132), lipolysis (~1). predominant! insulin release (a2) but also i insulin release ((32), i renin secretion

GU1 relaxation (a,j32j; bladder sphincter contraction (a); U1erus contraction in non-pregnant 'NOmen (a 1), uterus relaxation in near-term wo=men (jl2=).


No effects. Thus it cannot be used as a bronchodilator.

Clinically used to prevent bronchospasm. Most potent bronchodilator


Relatively weak 1. insulin release (a2), lipolysis (Pl).


_ Endogenous transmitter of the peripheral nervous system. Used only when intense vasoconstriction is necessary (septic shock).

f glycogenolysis and -----rr·l:::on::.".~n-d molili·O:l'''o''I'g''ul'.----,.... ='' .' bo''lc;'z' ed'' 'b':ccCO'' MT, but gluconeogenesis, hyperglycemia, Inhibits mast cell release. it is a poor substrate lor hyperlipidemia. f insulin release. monoamine oxidase. Synthetic derivative of dopamine, but has no effect at doparrine receptors. In kidney, i glomerular filtration rate, f blood flow. l Na+ excretion.

- - - - - - - - -----fin"c'liuonu,ijQTn cola reme<:lles as a nasal decongestant. Decongestant ellects due to nasal vasoconstriction.

Clinically used to treat shock (underperfusion. reflex vasoconstriction).

USect 10 treat paroxysmalatrial tachycardia. Reflex J. heart rate is maintained alter drug is removed.




Clinically used as a bronchodilator (Table 5.1 ).


Relax uterus in near term pregnant women.



Used as uterine relaxant .

., Long-acting (Salmeterol)



Figurr 2.5 Direct, indirect and mixed actions ofsympathomimetic drugs. TOP: Dir«t agmts (opnl triangles) mimic nOn'pinephrine as agonists at adrm"8ic receptors without interacting with tIlt' pres~maptic neuron. n,l' chemical structure of the drug determilli'S its subclass sp«ificity. MIDDLE: Indirect sympatllOlllillll'tics (striprd) force epinepilrilll!' rl'lease from the prtsY7laptic terminal (solid triangles). Thus, these agl'1lts ,m}wnce /III! actions ofendogenous 1I0repinephrilll'. Illdired agents do 1101 bind to udren~"gic receptors. BOTTOM: Mixt!d sympathomimetics (speckled) induce the release of IIori'phrephrine und also bind to adrerrugic rt!cep/ors. Sympatlretic neuTOtrmrsmission is also errhmrced by inhibition of Ille degradalive e/lzyme, mmroamine oxidase. Monoalllille oxidase inhibitors are used 10 treat depression (Table3.1B).

• •

Table 2. 1B Indirect and Mixed Sympathomimetics DRUG

t - - Indirect Aqents:




Vasoconstriction (due to release 01 norepinephrine) t mean arterial pressure.

T contraction <Pl ). I heart rate (reflex to f mean arterial pressure)

Wakefulness, elation, I appetite, i"l>'"oved sirrple motor tasks, euphoria.




Vasoconstriction (a 1) t mean arterial pressure.

Similar to epinephrine, but no change in heart rate.

Clinically used to treat narcolepsy.





Metaraminol (Aramine)

Direct vasoconstriction (a), not as ellective as norepinephrine.

Indirect release of norepinephrine.

Phenyl. propanolamine



MethamphetamIne Mixed agents: Ephedrine

Hydroxyamphetamine Mephentermine (Wyamine)

18 Peripheral Nervous System

More CNS effects than ephedrine, fewer CNS ellects than arrphetamine. Few CNS effects.

Anxiety, agitation, dizziness, hallucinations.

Table 2.2 Location and Results at Stimulation of Adreneraic Receotors ALPHA






Arterioles and Veins: constriction

eNS Postsynaptic Terminals:

Urinary Bladder Sphincter:

Glands: ! secretions

eNS Presynaptic Terminals: ! norepinephrine release

Pregnant Uterus:


13 Islet Cells of Pancreas:


! sympathetic outflow from brain

t secretion

constriction of radial muscle

contraction (urine retention) contraction ejaculation

Intestine: ! motility




Heart: i heart rate (SA node) t contractility t conduction velocity i automaticity

Trachea and Bronchioles: relaxation


Kidney: renin secretion

Arterioles (except brain) and Veins dilation

Pregnant/nonpregnant Uterus: relaxation



skin or


relaxation of ciliary muscle (minimal effect) Urinary Bladder relaxation of detruser muscle (minimal effect).


Not yet determined which subclass of receptors IS responSible for these actions. 2 Arterioles in skin and brain lack 112 receptors. In olher areas of the body, the degree of sympathomimetic-indeced vasoconstriction and/or vasodilation depends on U1e druQ's affinity tor U1 (vasoconstriction) or lb (vasodilation) receptors (Table 2.1A.).





Stunts growth.

Narcolepsy, hypenlJnellC syndrome of children, attention deficit disorder, Parkinson's disease.

Hypertension, cerebral hemorrhage, convulsions, coma, confusion, anxiety, hallucinations, fever, tremor, restlessness.

I real tOXICItY by acidification of urine (it is a weak base) and administration of 0. blockers or nitroprusside (for hypertension), and antianxiety agents.


" "

" "


Bronchodllailon (direct effect, remember that norepinephrine doesn't cause bronchodilation).

Asthma, nasa! congesllon, narcolepsy. Used as a mydriatic (dilates pupil).

Less eNS tOXICity IIlan amphetamine.

Longer duration, but less potent than epinephrine.

Treatment of hypotension (pressor).

Little eNS toxicity.



Over-the-counter oral decongestant

Hypertension, anxiety, agitation, dizziness, hallucinations.




Oral agent. Longer duration than norepinephrine. False neurotransmitter displaces norepinephrine from vesicles AND is weak adrenergic agonist.


Adrenergic Blockers Adrenergic neurotransmission can be blocked either by decreasing sympathetic outflow from the brain (Table 2.3), suppressing norepinephrine release from presynaptic neurons (fable 2.3) or blocking postsynaptic adrenergic receptors (Table 2.4).

.. Central Anti-adrenergics Alpha-2 (~) adrenergic receptors j"Jribit sympathetic neurotransmission by two mechanisms. Postsynaptic ~ receptors inhibit sympathetic neurons that exit the brain. Alpha-2 receptors arc also found on presynaptic nerve terminals where they inhibit norepinephrine release. Central anti-adrenergic drugs are commonly used to treat hypertension (Table 4.3C). Clonidine and guanabenz suppress sympathetic outflow from the

brain by binding to ~ ad renergic receptors. In contrast, methyldopa is metabolized in the presynaptic neuron to a-methyl norepinephrine. When released from the presynaptic terminal, a methylnorepinephrine acts as a potent ~ agonist. 4

The extent to which donidine, guanabenz and methyldopa prevent norepinephrine release by binding to presynaptic ~ receptors is not known.

• Peripheral Presynaplic Anti-adrenergics Peripheral presynaptic anti adrenergics inhibit norepinephrine release from the presynaptic terminal. Guanadrel and reserpine deplete norepinephrine from presynaptic vesicles. As a result, guanadrel initially releases norepinephrine from the terminal causing a transient increase in adrenergic transmission. 4

Table 2.3 Presynaptic Adrenergic Nerve Blockers DRUG


Cen.traJly...AcUng.Alltka drell.e r~c s

Clonidine (Catapres)

Potent a2AG NlST.

Methyldopa (Aldomet)




1 preganglionic syrrpathetic outflowfrombrain resulting in ! blood pressure.

Orthostatic hypotension. Sedation Rebound hypertension

J. preganglionic sYrTl>athelic output, rapidly J. blood pressure' but syrrpathetic system can respond with cardiac stirrolation.

Sedation, mid orthostatic hypotension. dry mouth, lever, nasal stuffiness, Coorri:>s positive RBCs, salt and water retention, rebound hypertension.


Guanabenz (Wytensin) Guanfacine (Tenex"I



_ Oecarboxylated to a-methyl dopamne then (Hydroxy· lated to a-methylnorepinephrine, a potent a2 receptor agonist. Results in J. sYlTl\athetic outflow from -'CNS.

Peripheral PreSplSp,tlc.Anti-adce.n,;,,--======,,==__-c:======--:c==cUnknown initial effect. Later, By rapid IV infusion: ! blood Inhibits ejaculation, diarrhea, J.J. norepinephrine release, pressure, then transient orthostatic hypotension. With


GuanethIdine (Ismelin)

! norepmephrine concentration in nerve termnals. Chronically, sensitizes nerve to


hypertension, then! arterial pressure if patient is standing. T GI motility, fluid retention. Orally: hypotension.


chronic use, get profound NE depletion and nerve toxicity. _



See guanethidine. Prolongs _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _--""'f"-"oc=ardial action potential.

Bretylium (BretyJol) Reserpine

Depletes calecholamnes and serotonin in brain, adrenal, and heart. tnhibits uptake of norepinephrine into presynaptic vesicles. Chronically se~siti~es patient to sYl'fl)athommellcs.

20 Peripheral Nervous System

Gradual J. mean arterial pressure with bradycardia_ Antihypertensive effects due to J. cardiac output. Tranquilizalion, sedalion.

Nightmares, depression, diarrhea, crarrps, t risk of breast cancer, peptic ulcers, parasywpathetic predomnance.

Reserpine is long-acting, and the postsynaptic neurons respond to the paucity of norepinephrine by "upregulating" (increasing) the number of receptors on the postsynaptic membrane. As a result, the postsynaptic terminal is supersensitive to direct sympathomirnetics. Conseguently monoamine oxidase inhibitors (which prevent destruction of endogenous catecholamines such as norepinephrine and epinephrine) and direct sympathomimetics (Table 2.1A) should be avoided in patients who have received reserpine.

â&#x20AC;˘ Peripheral Postsynaptic Anti-adrenergics Alpha blockers: Alpha adrenergic antagonists compete with endogenous catecholamines for binding at u 1 and u 2 receptors. Because norepinephrine and epinephrine cannot bind to a receptor that is occupied by an antagonist, the actions of catecholamines at



a adrenergic receptors (Table 2.2) are in.hjbited. Adrenergic blockers used to treat hypertension are presented in greater detail in Table 4.3C. The vasodilation induced by alpha~blockers may result in orthostatic hypotension (blood pools in legs when the patient is upright) and tachycardia which is a [31-mediated sympathetic reflex to hypotension. Because ~ receptors regulate norepinephrine release, blockade of these receptors might result in hypersecretion of norepinephrine. Bela blockers: Nonspecific beta blockers (block both ~1 and ~2 receptors) have been used as fjrst~step antihypertensive agents. Because these agents block ~2 receptors as well as ~1 receptors, bronchospasm may occur. Newer agents are ~I-specjfic and are not contraindicated in asthmatic patients.



." . "


Severe hypertension Renal hypertension

Seldom used

Hypertension Arrhythmias Hypertension

No rebound effect because effects are long lasting. Sometimes used for nonCO~liant patients because of long hal -life.


Table 2.4 Adrenergic Antagonists ~OO

PhenOllYben"amine (Dibo;lnz""')



1"evlltSibie alky1;M_oI CIl .-~

"""""" Vas<>dol;d_



IYf'1llllhetc OUltlowlrom It.

brain and IMCI:Ieek in/libIl_ 01


'1Ol8P" ....... f8Ieltse at 0.. f8Cepl<n lne.-es insuin




.a"OI n (Milllpfess) Do.a"o,ln (CarO.rfa)







.. 0..


.. ..




J}" f),


Propranolol (Indefal)


Tera"osin (Htl/Wl)

Labelaloi ~randale) -~,





! BP (0., blcx:k")""'houIr8f1e:< ~ardia IIJ, block"), llOni'''' and .atracl<:lfY P900d slightly prolonged.

J. cardtac output, eXllfclse路 induced lachycardia, and .eHex O<'thostal!c tachycard,a; Vasodilahon, .j. pe,lphefal vascular ,nlslancewith! 8P Heart, .J. Inot'CIPI. Chronotrnpy. 0, demand and conduction veloc~y ArIenel" COITlJ8OlSat<:lfY vasoconslncl_ (~OIIer

daYS)~.!.~ fl'IlldiaIedrfll1lll

. a,;j "\0 ..... _

release. f

Lrver: 'rl,cogenoIySIS andsiQws




Panlobulol (L.....alol) 50hlol (Belapace) Nadolol (COrgardl

Tlmllol (Blocadran)


_overy 01 glucose

"no c...... 1n tf'l Of COflll'8Cliily




.. .. .. ..

.. ..

.. ..








II, spec~1C






Acebl,llolol (SocUal) Blloprolol (Z8bota)

Elmolol (Brevil:*x)


10proprarolol; less

bronchos~mWI aslhmllcs,


less nhOt_ 01 YilSodilllloonand

.. ..

.. ..

.. ..

.. ..

22 Peripheral Nervous System

liver e1leclS



...-'~ -


control h)'1*1-....




F'osI".-a1 hypct_oon (1*:lQd pooling). inl. . . rellu tiICh)'Carda and force 01

SIowonMt. bullr.>nq Iaslll'lll lUI to nevel'Silie binding to






Elflll:ts dBpllnd on aegree of a a-g.c 10fW

ollE 'MtlJK:kCOfllrol at aJ~11vTaas, IK~ se>rl.lill f1ys

o.roc:t_. nasal CongeslJDn..

TKhye;..,doa, c.u;.; Pheocl'lromoc)llorr8--l0 eonlrol hyper1ensIVe InTlyllvrlas, prolonged hypot_.... ,.sodes. nasal ==~l'IllCros,,: testier COfllIllSloon. doarrhea.

AIpd ORIel. short h;oIl-lile.

Tolerancenol obs.....ed

relln tactlycardlll; postural hypol_ion """h IltSl


No large

doH; leu -.exualdysfun<:toon. Hypeftensoon: ~ proslaloc Ityperplasl8. {relaxes Smooth rTl.ISCIes by blockade 01 (I,

rnoduced n bIaddef neck and

No large "'lex tachycardia; posluflll hypolensl()ll with !lrst OO5e: less sexual dysfunction.

GrMtere4ffICl on Elf' and I-Fl mthe .,andlng posillon.

prostate Hyper18f1sion: ooniQn

No large r.!lex tachycardia, poslUlal hypolenslon Wllh first dose: less sexual dysfurlClion.

prostatic hyperplasia

Hyp&rllll1Sion, IV lor SBVtlf. hypertension

Funher suppresses a failing

hean: lahgue. 'rTllOteoce.

dial'n-. nurrbness. orthostallc


Conlraindicaled in Oral COlTflleI~ absorbed. wllhpeakleY In 1-2hraod c.a,henlS Wlthaslh.... or steady stale in 3 dilys. adycardia due to ~~I¥'

l"pass .neel; IV

bronI::llocOl1$I rlcll()ll


HlpalotO.~. postural IIypot_l()Il. IIypoglyc_

Ess8f1llalllypertension, congeslrve~r.......

H\'pWlensoon. angna Fur11'ler~sesafa*lg peclOtl$. SVT, venlnc.... '-!: sedallOl"l and lWTllytlwnas. myocardial ~SIOl"l; fWIbound IIypeltensm lnlIOIerce. lntarcllOfl. ~ prophy~lS. essential 1,8fI'Xlf$ and Oltw lfl'IIabel8d



8I'edyclll'di:ll. ventncular arrttyllvRas. diz'lI09SS. fallg..... IIyperglycenu. hypoglycema, "'lI01eoce

Hypertension Venillcular arrl1ylhmas and lachyca'dias. Hypenanskln; angiM pecloris ~penansk:ln, myocardial fl arcnon. ~lfI8 prophylali:lS; lliamologlC agent usoolo int<aoc""'" pressure


n..,_ oc:r:


low 1:IOav1lillbilily due 10

CCnll'llII"dicatedfl pillienls 'OIIIh 8S111l1'8 due fo bronchoco:x-.lnctl()ll



pess efIect; FlNdly enlerw CNS.I-W-Cfe


3-5 tJ:lurs, lilpaftaly "*atIOliZed.


Aqu$l dos'fo< rtnaI

Hils rrtnnslC syrrpalhommallC aetlYl1y; Cont,aondicaled ., bronchospasm.


Nol mllabol''led.

ContfaondlCated In eSlhma orbronctlospasm.loog aT syndrome.


Conlraindicaled In asthma or bronchospasm.

CNS elltels lhan





Hils I1irlnslC syrrpall'lornmlMlC a::llYl1y; contl'lllndicaled fl than propranolgI:

"s likely lon;.-, ~


Cont,axldicaledfl ~'MIhastl1l1'8Ol"

than prOl'fI

~ 100001Cl1y


n-e&1 speclhc

.. .. .. ..


wei absortllod ,.Iensrv, I" PMS etleel. lermnal ekmnall()llhall.Jile1-1D hrs e.l_rvely ....aboIIzed.

,. ..:~. caaebronchoOf rIliba 11\1.. mIllaboism. ."'*10"*

..-.In Iro-odI.IaI

RNdity enter CNS


owl on TatlIlI .. 3C


and at the neuromuscular junction (N m >. Table 2.5 outlines cholinergic actions at muscarinic receptors and nicotinic receptors. Choline esters are.simply choline bound to an acetyl derivative by an ester bond. The ester bond of acetylcholine and related drugs is hydrolyzed by enzymes known as cholinesterases (e.g., acetylcholinesterase). Choline esters are more or less sensitive to cholinesterase deactivation depending on their chemical structure. Cholinomimetic alkaloids are derived from plants by alkaline extraction. They are chemically distinct

Cholinomimetics • Direct Cholinergic Agonists Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter of the para-

sympathetic nervous system, the neuromuscular junction. and autonomic ganglia. In addition, acetylcholine in the brain plays a role in memory formation, motor skills and other important tasks.

Muscarinic receptors (M) mediate postganglionic parasympathetic and CNS functions of acetylcholine, whereas nicotinic receptors are found in gangHa (Nil)

Table 2.5 Cholinergic Agonists (Cholinomimeticsj






Acetylcholine (Mlochol-E)

Muscarinic type 1 (M,)

Stomach . Ganglion.................... eNS

i acid and pepsin secretion

M, M,


t>icotinic r-.icotinic

. .

stirrulatlon neurotransmission

SA node




AV node


i K+ conduction. slow diastolic depolarization, bradycardia ./.. contractility • ./.. conduction velocity, ./.. refractory period slows conduction, AV block bronchoconslriction, t secretion t tT'Olility contract detruser, relax sphincter erectIOn




Stomach Bladder Penis

. . .

Glands ........................•......... Eye .

t secretion miosis, accornTDdation

Skeletal f.IlJscle Ganglion

contraction slirrulation neurotransmission

. .


_CholineJ[erlvatives Carbachol carbaSlat) Miostal) IsoplO Carbachol) carboti)


Methacholine (Provocholine)

M" ~ and~. Weak nicotinic agonist.

See M

Bethanechol (Urecholine) ([)Jvoid)

M" ~and~. and nicotinic agonist.

See M"

Ma. and ~ rows above.

See M ~, and ~ rows above. "

M;, M;. M; arid nICotinIC.

seeM;, M;;, arid M1 rows abOve.

see MI. ~MJ rows abOve.

-Alkaloids Arecoline





rows above.





rows above.

Pilocarpine ilOCar ) Isopto·carpine)


Ma. Not nicotinic.

see M,':;j' and Ma rows above. S'N9at a salivary glands particularly pronounced.

See M,.


and Ma rows above.


M" M;. and~. Not nicotinic.

see M" ~. and M,. rows above.

See M,.


and M,. rows above.



See nicotinic rows above

See nicotinic rows above




24 Peripheral Nervous System

from the choline esters and are not metabolized by cholinesterases. Nicotine is among the most commonly used drug. Smokers become tolerant to and dependent on its effects. Nicotine stimulates the eNS, releases epinephrine from adrenal glands, stimulates and then blocks receptors in ganglia and at the neuromuscular junction. In the latter two cases, nicotine binds to the nicotinic receptor, causing depolarization of the postsynaptic neuron. [n contrast 10 most agonists, however, nicotine remains at the receptor, preventing further stimulation of the occupied receptor. Like ganglion blockers, the


action of nicotine at each visceral organ depends on whether the sympathetic or parasympathetic system is predominant at the time.


. 9 ,"










fIotosis in cataract surgery

PeptIC ulcer

At M, receptors: G ·protein phosphatKtyl inositol

Coronary artery disease I-typerthyroldism (atrial fibnllation)

At ~receptOfS: t K condue:tiOn (SA node), .1 cAM' (atria and AV node), t cGW (other organs)


.... Ester bond


At t.\ receptors, phosphatidyl inositol

MechamcaJ bladder obstruction At nk:Ohnk: receptor: opens sodiumchannet. Influx depolarizes cell.



vvnere constnctlon


unaeslraole y resistant 10 cholinesterase degradation (long half-liIe)


Diagnostic for bronchial ahway hyperreactivi!y without clinically apparent asthma

Patients receiving ll-blockers

TOlnduce evacuation 01 NON-obstructed bladder. To increase Gr motlilty following surgery.

Above plus bradycardia, parkinsonism, epilepsy, hypolenslon, hypertension

Short duration of action due to cholinesterase degradation.



Relatively specific for gastrointestinal tract and bladder. Resistant to cholinesterase. ~nvealromaseecr­

-------!ulown as the belBlnulL-l

Cystic Fibrosis s~at test. Glaucoma (motic), Xerostoma

-----'Found in rnJShroom



agent used to characterize the fTlJscarinic receptOf

Srroklng cessation aid



-------=The drug initially used to characterize nicotinic pharmacologic responses


Cholinomimetics (cant.) • Cholinesterase Inhibitors The actions of acetylcholine are tenninated in the synaptic cleft primarily by acetylcholinesterase, which cleaves the transmitter at the ester bond. The agents in Table 2.6 inhibit acetylcholinesterase, thus preventing transmitter (acetylcholine) degradation. Cholinesterase inhibitors are classified by their mechanism of action. • The carbamyl ester inhibitors compete with acetyl· choline for the active site of the enzyme. Acetylcholinesterase becomes carbamylated as it cleaves the ester linkage. The carbamyl group prevents acetylcholine from binding to the active site of acetylcholinesterase for a period of minutes to hours. Upon

decarbamyiation, the enzyme regains its ability to cleave acetylcholine. • Edrophonium, a competitive anticholinesterasc, contains a quaternary ammonium which is attracted to an anionic pocket near the active site of acetylcho-

linesterase. Edrophonium does not act as long as other agents because the binding is rapidly reversed.. • The organophosphorus inhibitors have very high affinity for the active site of acetylcholinesterase. Once bound, these agents inactivate the enzyme by phosphorylation. Regeneration of the enzyme may take over a week. Cholinesterase inhibitors are used to treat glaucoma and myasthenia gravis. In glaucoma, aqueous humor production exceeds outflow, resuJting in increased intraocular pressure. In the presence of cholinesterase inhibitor eye drops, acetylcholine causes constriction of the sphincter muscle which surrounds the iris. The iris is drawn away from the canal of Schlemm, enhancing outflow of aqueous humor. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies bind to nicotinic receptors at the neuromuscular jWlction. Cholinesterase inhibitors prevent acetylcholine degradation, which increases the probability that remaining receptors will bind acetyl· choline.

Table 2.6 Cholinesterase Inhibitors






Physostigmine (Antilirium)

carbamyl (see text)

To reverse toxic CNS effects due to anticholinergic drugs.

Readily absorbed through GI Iract. Hydrolyzed by cholinesterases. Readily absorbed IMor IV; peak effects v.;thin minutes and persists -60 minutes.

Demecarium (Humorsol)



~drofized more slo'h1y than P ysostigmine.




lipid soluble. Absorbed through skin. rrucosa. GllracL

Neostlgmlne (Prostigrnine)


Myasthenia gravis diagnosis and Oral doses higher than IV; Frequent dOSing necessary treatment, paralytic Ileus. aton~ of detrusor 01 bladder, reversa 01 neurorruscular blockade lollo""';ng anesthesia.

Edrophonlum (Tensllonl (Reverso)

Corrpetitive (anionic site)

Myasthenia gravis diagnosis, treatment of excess tubocurarine to reverse neuronlJscular blockade.

Absorbed parenterally, destroyed in GI tract. Short acting and reversible. Not useful in maintenance therapy.

Ambenonlum (Mytelase)


Myasthenia gravis.

More prolonged action than any other antimyasthenic agent

PXidostlgmlne ( stinon)


Myasthenia Wavis; reversal of nondepolarizlng nlJscle relaxants



Pesticide precursor





iodi e)

26 Peripheral Nervous System

lipid soluble. Absorbed through skin. mucosa, Gltracl. Enters circulation and reaches all central and peripheral cholinergic synapses


Cholinergic Antagonists



Cholinergic antagonists are classified as muscarinic blockers (Table 2.7), ganglion blockers, and neuromuscular blockers (Table 2.8). At therapeutic doses, muscarinic antagonists do not bind to nicotinic receptors and neuromuscular blockers (Nm antagonists) do not bind to muscarinic receptors. Most cholinergic agonists, on the other hand, bind to both muscarinic and nicotinic receptors. Muscarinic antagonists, ganglion blockers and neuromuscular blockers are all competitive antagonists which can be overcome by adequate concentrations of cholinergic agonists.

Acetic Acid



Figure 2.6 Acetylcholinesterase illl,ibitors (ACHl) prevetlt acetylcholitle degradatiotl by itl/libitillg the em:yme acetylcllolinesterase.


DURATION 1 - 2 hours

Eye drops.

3·10 days miosis 7 - 28 days J, lOP

Eye drops.

1 - 4 weeks miosis 7 - 28 days J, lOP

PO, 1M, IV





3 - 8 hours

PO, 1M, IV

PO 3 - 6 hours 1M/IV 2 - 4 hours

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

• Muscarinic Antagonists The prototype antimuscarinic agent is atropine, an alkaloid isolated from Atropa beIladOlla (deadly nightshade) and many other plants. Atropine blocks the muscarinic actions of cholinergic agomsts (Table 2.5). Its actions are dose dependent, occurring approximately in the following order as the dose of atropine is increased: • Decreased salivary & bronchial secretions • Decreased sweating (sympathetic controlled) • Pupil dilation and tachycardia • Inhibition of voiding (constriction of sphincter and relaxation of detrusor) • Decreased Gl motility • Decreased gastric secretions Other muscarinic antagonists resemble atropine, but differ slightly in potency and specificity for various organs. These are noted in table 2.7. In addition, some antipsychotics, antihistamines, antidepressants, and opioids have anticholinergic effects. Patients receiving these agents should be told that dry mouth, tachycardia and constipation are possible side effects.

Belladonna poisoning occurs with the ingestion of anticholinergic drugs or plants such as nightshade, thorn-apple, Jimson weed, stinkweed or devil's apple. Poisoning can also occur in children receiving atropinic eye drops because of systemic absorption. Symptoms include severe antimuscarinic effects (Table 2.7), restlessness, headache, rapid and weak pulse, blurred vision, hallucinations, ataxia, "burning" skin and possibly coma. Children are more susceptible to intoxication and death from belladonna poisoning. Poisoning is treated with IV physostigmine (Table 2.6). CNS excitement or convulsions may be treated. with benzodiazepines.


• Ganglion Blockers

ganglia. Because of the complex and unpredictable actions of these agents. they are seldom used clinically (Hexamcthomium, mecamylamine). Trimethephan is, however, occasionally used to treat hypertensive crisis.

Ganglion blockers (Ng antagonists) block nicotinic receptors in both sympathetic and parasympathetic

Sympathetic and parasympathetic ganglia are dusters of synapses between the spinal cord and

Cholinergic Antagonists (cant.)

Table 2.7 Muscarinic Antagonists .~

~,~ Alropl...



£1'«1. til AI,

• $I_II-


P'f.--''''-llC: '0 I""en!


IfNl..... OI,.... ._ " " .... _ ~ peptIC '*-s, ifTlI"'boooIIl.~~."*l

Ht... oonofP"PS.,lIndkld


diWrflM. '*'bIr . _ ~..........

EJtecl. lit .... ~OI'$

· HIiM~lkl" ~ (~ed) • HMrI-:ftogh doM--t e.dia ·Q6..!~IInd~

· ~.I. SllCfWIlDl • Gl trw;l- J l'I'I:UItJ' · Ey~~.1"a.dIllw _ _ EItfICfS. ~ ~

· o.nds-.l "1Il1On lind ._""" Scopolemlne






tlIA .....


moc__ do.-I, ......... n

VOI"OI::t.intlIbIa IIlIc. .rve moc":t:.ClIIlN GI

traet In

. . . eoIon 'Y~'

oy. . ...,.~~ HomlllrOpl ...

(lsop:o~. . .1


o eyelomt,.. (8enlYlJ O.YbUI~nln


U\'ct-lIndqc~1or*fKf_..-d ,,..,..... 01 ""'" tr~ II'ItIarrfroIIJ

'" .'tel

ro.pkrlll; ~l""'_ ons_h _II, lib _ _arne .:tIVlfy 8Ild tllus Iitlll .,leel on gaslne K1dsee..oon Direc:lanllt~rrodic:

_teel on s _ h _ l e . no


anlneolJnll; .'eeIS I'S oIlIle IlfNllhe "SPM

T_ _ ~



maI"'y oll"boMl

For...., 01 ~ 11*_ . . ulllnQ WI

I.WlNf)' . . . . . 8Ild

_teet 01 atropont lOtIh 4 to 10 atlMl)'


AIIu. s _ h IfUlCIl 01 ~ 8Ild IIIao ... eIleet on IfUlCIe



Treatrrent 01 fNtfllCtIV. bladder

centrally ec:11ng. reduC. sklfl8Sl;J, tremor. end rIQk*Iy by 20%; ..... y _0 reduC. drooling

Adjuncllreatmern 0/ ,*",,,,,_m; eonlrol 01 dtug-lnduced 'lllfllPl'ranDl dilord11r1

.. .. ..

.. ..

Prop.nlh.lln. {Pro·8anltwlel

Gl l.WIery. glanclI

AdJunCtIV' t'M.rTItnf 01 peptic: ulc:er, anlltee,etory, ""ltpatmDlO::,

1Il•• hseopol.mln. b'omld P


Adjunc:'N' t,. ._

.. .. ..

.. ..







..... _ _ _ ctrvcy lor V-tne: KId ltCfllIory T...._ t * : ...._ etIct on ......., sec:NtrOn

Trlh.llylph.nldyl (Arl_l

IIp.,ld.n (Akine\onl P,oeyelldln. (KEllTlildrin)

eenltrorln. (Cogentln

Sy"",o'NlIe ..... 01 cfy....... urgency_ noel...... I ~ pwl. h~y 8Ild oncont.-...t' t!lel1M)' oecur 'Mlh ey'I~II.



Clldlnlum b,omld. M.penlol,,, nldlh. . .lhy!



01 pepro:


.. T_ _ 01


ulc:er, IV lorm lINd 10

dIoc:_ 1_.., 8Ild t,achellobronc:hlli


8Ild IObioetl eriec: inhibolory ........ dur'r4I rdl.oc:.oono/ . . .,...... 8Ild

28 Peripheral Nervous System


01 ulc:tn Wi"' __ to es"1IlJdne

visceral organs in which nerves from the brain connect with nerves which innervate end organs. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter in all sympathetic and parasympathetic ganglia. Ganglion blockers therefore reduce the effects of whichever system is predominiml. In the resting individual, parasympathetic control dominates


all organs except blood vessels and sweat glands. Thus, when ganglion blockers are administered to nonstressed individuals, one would predict a shift from parasympathetic predominance to sympathetic predominance.




Dry moulh, urinary reI anI",". lachycardla. CNS-drivan bradycardIa (generalln<:rtIase In ~agaIIOfl8) At high doses, CNS exellallon (,mlabilijy. OOIariume1C.\ resu~1ng n tolkw<ed by CNSdeprasslon. death. Conlralndiceled If'l closed glaul:orml. ~ angle glaLlCorm. proslatoc hypertrophy. heat! ease. obslNClIvebc1loeldisaase

HaH lije 2.$ hrs Ffequent dosing ne<:&Sury. E~r"lnated lhrough lhe urine.

Contrn,ndi<;aloo fn aslhma pal>enl$.

9li_s:c!~ I an atropine allOWooses ShTilar to alroplne 801 h~h doses.

~;r.;;~ma preparatIOn nas WMlr s

c.nwsIn8SS. blurred ~islOn. S90S!tJVl'ly 10 light dryness 01 rrouth. lachycardia.. headache

MDderatety long K1H'tg ophthalmc:

~~!.c. • uS ~,~ rows'nen. nervousness, dry moulh. consllpation. unnary ,e1ent",".

(l( no an ,rrusClUJOlC ac IV y eftec:t on pin<: acid secretion.



='::IV8oto barbiturates

pteparallon ~




intanlS <6mJ1l1hs old


Dec:reased swaal,ng, rash, (\I,l<:flIaSed lacnmahon, mydriasis, cyclopleQla.

.. ~~mouth. COr'l&lipal



''''''''''''he. dyspep& a. lJIUfred

Tachycatdia. rllnllion, dry moIJth, di-so.'lenlollon, consl1pation, rred .19100. urinary retllOllon, dec:reaslld SW981Ino.

.. .. ..

MllDllCa """e 'MIn lIVer rrpalrmem, '-tJre &aIe<:H~e CNS oel",lty lhan atropOnll

Does not cross blood bl'a,nbarrler; 1i111ll CNS side e1tocls; lillleeltocl on pupil; longer dUratl()l'lol actIOn


.. .. .. .. .. ..

less sldeellocts: d<y rnoulhtroSt corrmon,

80% rvoal '~CrellOn; ~1Ue dfug louncl In bflWl

.. .. ..

European ;'Og(tn1 N8W~ :t::a11()l'l ~ ..




Neuromuscular Blockers • Neuromuscular Transmission and Blockade Action potentials trigger calcium influx and the subsequent release of acetylcholine (ACh) from presynaptic motor neurons. ACh diffuses across the mem~ brane deft and binds to nicotinic receptors on the muscle end plate. Nicotinic receptors have five sub· units, two of which bind ACh. When both are occupied, the ion channel (the core of the ring formed by the 5 subunits) opens, alJowing Na' and Ca" inOux and K' efflux. The simultaneous opening of many ion channels leads to membrane depolarization and propagation of an action potential in the muscle cell. The action potential induces the excitation-eontraction coupling mechanism which causes muscle contraction. Neuromuscular blockade is classified as nondepoiarizing or depolarizing:

• Nondepolarizing blockade occurs when pure antagonists compete with agonists for nicotinic receptors. Because antagonists lack activity, there is no muscle contraction (fasciculations). Blockade is overcome by high concentrations of agonist (ACh). • Depolarizing blockade occurs when an agonist binds to the receptor (causing fasciculations) followed by slow dissociation of the agonist from the receptor. During the time that the agonist remains bound to the receptor, other agonist molecules cannot stimulate the receptor. Consequence of Blockade: Neuromuscular blockade causes paralysis of all muscles, including those of respiration. Lntubation and ventilation equipment must be prepared prior to injecting neuromuscular blockers. Reversing agents must be available. Monitoring Neuromuscular Blockade: The peripheral nerve stimulator is a device which delivers electrical impulses to nerves by way of electrodes placed on

Table 2.8 Neuromuscular Blockers (Nm Antagonists) ORUG

--C.1UDR1.l1llre Vecuronlum (NorcurOfl}

'COON Nona,&>ol'r1zln~

AI,.curlum (Tracnum)

rfll6tes Wllh ACh at rlicotinic receptors. Dc>es not aclivate receptor. Blockade can be OY8fCOIM by high concentraTion of agoms.s




Adjl.mct 10 ar'l8sthesia: muscle relaxant. eases intubation and ventllallon. eases onhopedic manlpulallon. controls respiratlOl'l Quring chest surgery

OI'IS6t: 3·511111'1. Duration: 25·40 I11In.

ldeallorpatien!s WIth kidney and liver laHure (metabolized in

Onset: 3-5 Iftn,


OJration: 20-4511111'1



Pancuronlum {Pavu'onj

•• Also has vagolyllc actions.

Onset: 1·3 mn. Used v.tIen elevatlld haan rate is desired. AdjuflCtto anesthesia. to OJration: 35-55 11111'1 laei~tate mechanical vent~allon and intubation

d·Tubocurerlne (OJrare)

··Not vBgOlyhC.

Sm8lI dose prior losuccinyl-

Onset: 3-5 mn.

choline prevents lasciculallons: Diagnosis 01 myllSltlllmia gravis

I)Jratlon: 30-90 mn.

To facilitate intl,lbation

Onset: 3·5 mn. Duration: 25·90 mn.



Metocurlne (MllIubinej Mlvecurlum ("",aerOll) Rocuronlum (lertlJron) Plpecuronlum (Arduanj Ooxecurlum (l'llfOO'lallj

·. Minimal cardIoVascular alleel.

·. ..

r----f..1!!!!p.fnYt/ve Q!ROI~rIZI~ Suec· nytchollne asculatlOns jAnectlne) (depolarization), then Phasa I QueUCln) block (4 mn block 01 vollage sensitive sodium channels). Then. Phase II block (desensillze receplor. lasts 20 mnj. ParasY"l'8thelic l\lfruralion (ttlefapeuticdose). sy~ thetlC slirtlJlallon (high e).


30 Peripheral Nervous System

Onset: 2·5 mn OJration: 20-60 mn.

Adjunct to anesthesia to lacW~ate Onset: 2-3 nino intubation and mectlanlcal OJrallon: 15-2OI11In. ven!llation Faeilitale rapid s~uence and routine Intubation: acil~ate mechanical ventilation

Onsat: 1-3I111n. OJration: t5·6O mn.

Adjunct 10 anesthesia in long surg8fY cases.

Onset: 1-3mif'l. Duration: 40·200 mn.

Adiunctlo anesthesia ill long surgery cases: racllitate mechanical vanlilallOl1.

Onset: 3·1011111'1 OJration: 40-240 11111'1.

:~~ or nl!,lbaJ~~~~use 0 rapid ollsel and shon dLlratfon. Adjunclto anesthesia and mechanical ventilallon.

~.';'~~: 3Q·60sec. 1'-

OJration: 3·5 mn.

the skin. The response to the stimulus (muscle twitch) indicates the level of neuromuscular blockade.

â&#x20AC;˘ Reversing Neuromuscular Blockade

In the operating room, the most useful stimulation pattern is the train of four. Four impulses are delivered over two seconds:

Purpose & timing: Most patients are removed from the ventilator before leaving the surgery suite. Reversal of neuromuscular blockade allows the patient to use the diaphragm and intercostal muscles to breathe. It is essential that at least a single twitch is produced in response to stimulation before an attempt is made to discontinue artificial ventilation.

Response: 1 twitch 3 twitches

What response means: Sufficient rcla"ation w /nitrous-narcotic Sufficient relaxation w /inhalation agents

4th twitch :> 75% of 1st

Patient ready for extubation

Other patterns of stimulation include sustained tetany and single stimulation. Patients who respond to a sustained (5 second) 50 Hz stimulation are ready for extubation (patient will be able to cough, inspire and raise head). Failure to elicit> 5% of normal twitch to a single 0.2 msec, 0.1 Hz stimulation indicates that the blockade is sufficient for intubation.




Pre-reversal: Atropine or glycopyrrolate (muscarinic antagonists (Table 2.7)) are often administered prior to reversing agents to prevent bradycardia, salivation and other muscarinic effects caused by the administration of cholinesterase inhibitors. Reversal: Cholinesterase inhibitors inhibit acetylcholine degradation (Table 2.6). The resulting increased acetylcholine concentration competes with neuromuscular blockers, reversing the blockade.


NOTES Very lillie hlslamne release.


IV. lrttle depei'ldence on kidney (<20%} lor elirrinatio~: dosage adjustment necessary in li~lIr il'Tllairment.

USually caidlac slable. E/(Ji induces se~ere tachycardia, bradycardia, A-V block or CHF cOlTlllicatfons in 1% 01 patill~ts.

Small rRJscles (lingers, eyes). 2. Urfbs, neck, trunk. 3. I~tercoslal rRJscles, diaphragm.

IV. Metabolism: HoUman degradation (breaks ester linkage) in bloodstream,

Moderate histarrine release (~asodilation. hypotension).


IV. 80% Hollman degradation.

Bradycardia. hypotension



IV. Depends on kidney ~-80%} for elirTInalion: nal and Ii~er IlTlIalrmenl requIres dosage adjustments.

Vagolylic (t heart rale).



IV. 40% excreted unchanged by kidneys.

Ittpotensfon (histamine), and bronchospasm (ganglion block)




Adrrinister slov.4y 10 a~oid hIstamine



Hislarrine release is rare.

Adrrinisterslowly 10 a~oid histamine


release. Twice as potenl as tubocurarine less histarrine efle<:tthan


IV continuous drip: a~ustments necessary for ki ney and li~er disease.

Flushing. tachycardia. bradycardia. hypolenslon

tV. Oeared by the li~er.

Transient hypotension and hypertension

IV. Long duration in patients Prolonged neurOm.Jscular with renaJ dyslunction. blockade; hypotension, bradycardia. "


IM'!~: ~!!.uses away rom endplate. hydrolyzed by plasma pseudocholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase.


." ."

Intraocu ar pressure 1, ~asclcu at,ons In Cllest (contraindicaled: open eye and abdomen wounds} and gastric pressure 2. N9ck. arms, legs (caution: retlux during intubation). 3, Faciai. pharynx, larynx 4. Respiratory muscles dYSrh~thrriaS. Postoperative m.Jsc pain (my~lobin release and hyper1<.alerria. May trigger malignant hyperthermia.

t:tte<:ls no re~ers.~Dy acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. I'lJmerous contraindlcalions (e.g.. hyper1<.alemia, bums. dIgOXin. myOpalhies. pseudocholinesterase deficiency, glaucoma).


" . QCH,

Local Anesthetics


Local anesthetics are used 10 block pain conduction by nerves. They are used for infiltration anesthesia, local nerve blocks. spinal nen'e blocks and epidural nerve blocks. The first local anesthetic was cocaine,

which has largely been replaced by synthetic agents. Mechanism of Action: Local anesthetics inhibit nerve conduction by reducing the permeability of the neuronal membrane to sodium. This prevents sodium influx which is required (or propagation of action potentials.

Chemistry: Lidocaine and procaine are the prototype local anesthetics (fable 2.9). All local anesthetics are composed of a hydrophilic domain connected 10 a










,C,H, '-2


Amide bond

Lidocaine hydrophobic domain by an alkyl chain. The drugs are classified as amides or eslers acrording to the type of bond between the hydrophobic domain and the alkyl chain. Bicarbonate as an adjunct in local anesthesia: Bicarbonate may be added to local anesthetic preparations to increase the percent of anesthetic in the non ionized form, This accelerates penetration of the

Table 2.9 Local Anesthetics. tnjectable DRUG Am.iftJ lidocaine (Xyloc8Jne)

IOfllZ"""8a1ormol drug lerrp:wariy reduces the

permeabllity 01 neuronal merrbranes to sodium. Thus. achon polenllals cannal be generated or pr •.:.:_~=t="=-



Ali types Ol injection and lopeal ane51hesia.sedallOl1, arrhythrrW; (Table 4.7A), intracranIal hypertension

~ineSs, cUllneSS. hear! block. arrhylhlrnD, hypotension, myocardiaf depfesSIOl1_

_ For productlOl1 01 local or fGOIOI'I8I


aroestheslalor surget}'. post.op paln and obstelncal procedures

Buplvacalne MarCaine) Sensorcalne)


- - - - - L o c a l inlillratlOl'l, Iurrbar, subarachnoid, caudal, peripheral nerve, denial block. Long duration Increases utllily lor epidural block during labof


Simlar 10 IldocaJrle IV admmstrahon may Induce ventricular arrtlylhmias,

Inllhratlon. nefVe block, and epidural anesthesia, denial inlillrallon

Less drowsiness and armesl8 than lidocaine

Etldocalne (Duranest)

Peripheral, central nervs block: lurrbar peridural, caudal, lnlraabdomlnal surgery, maxllfary in!lltratlon

See lidocaine


Most Potent. Used only lor spinal and topical anesthesia


or lnhltralion In dental


Msplvacalne camoca;ne) Polocalnej Isocainej



PrUocalne (Cilanest)

--~ Local aneslhesia by nerve block procedures

See lidocaine; melhemoglobtnerria In large

Est,,, Procaln, (t-bvOC8Jn)

Lowpolency. Inliltrallonancl Spinal anesthesia.



Lowpolency _ Infiltration, t'l8fVe block, epidural anesthesia

PERMANENT nel.Ql damage may result lromuse of ttKs aoent lor Spinal aneslhesl8.

ttgh potency. Spinal anesthesl8

Most 10XII; esler


lelracalne (Pon1.ocalO8)

32 Peripheral Nervous System


Epinephrine as an adjunct in local anesthesia: Vasoconstriction response to epinephrine causes local hemostasis, inhibiting distribution of local anesthetic away from the site of injection, decreasing systemjc absorption and prolonging duration of action. Consequences of IV injection: When injecting local anesthetics subcutaneously or intramuscularly, aspirate prior to injection to decrease the likelihood of intravascular injection. Systemic absorption can affect the cardiovascular system and the CNS. IV injection is characterized by oral numbness, light headedness, altered taste, or tinnitus. Epinephrine, if included in the anesthetic preparation, will cause transient tachycardia.

Procaine nerve sheath. Once internalized, the drug re-equilibrates to the cationic (active) form. Preferential blockade of small nerve fibers: Pain and temperature fibers (Ao and C fibers) are more easily penetrated by local anesthetics than larger neurons. The order of loss of nerve function is pain, temperature, touch, proprioception and skeletal muscle tone.






~jd «1.5min) Epidural (5-15 min)

MOderate (lew hours)

Metabolized by mixed function oxidases in liver. Some metabolites are active. Excreted in the urine.

MOst frequently used.

Rapid (1·5min) Epidural (15-30 min)



Slow (5 min) Epidural (10·20 min)

Long (several hours)


Used v.tlen long duration is desired.

Rapid Epidural (5-15 min)



Use with caution in renal

Rapid Epidural (5-15 min)






~id «2 minutes)



Short (15-60 min)

Metabolized by plasma cholinesterase. Metabolite. p-aminooonzoic acid may cause hypersensitivity.

Moderate Epidural (5-15 min)

Shan (30-90 min)


Preferred for those susceptible to malignant hyperthermia.




Motor blockade lasls longer than sensory


Substantial rootor blockade epidurally. Useful tor abdominal surl:/ery but unwanted during delivery.

Epidural (5-15 min)

Epidural (15·25 min)

Epidural (20·30 min)


Central Nervous System Thousands of neuronal signals race through OUf brains each moment, controlling our breathing. move-

drug chapter, but their mechanism of action does not appear to be mediated by neurotransmitter receptors.

ments, thoughts and emotions with admirable precision. Neuronal circuits provide the basic "road map" for brain signals. and chemical neurotransmitters carry infonnation from one neuron to another. Neurotrans-

Neurotransmitters of the Brain

mission in the brain parallels that in the autonomic nervous system (Chapter 2), but utilizes several chemicals and peptides in addition to acetylcholine and norepinephrine. eurotransmitters that have been most carefully studied are introduced below. Treatable neurotransmission diseases fall into two categories: those caused by too much neurotransmissian and those caused by too little neurolransmission. "Too much" neurotransmission may be due to:

• a focus of hyperexcitable neurons that fire in the absence of appropriate stimuli (e.g., seizure disorders). Therapy is directed toward reducing the automaticity of these cells. • too many neurotransmitter molecules binding to postsynaptic receptors (possible explanation for psychoses). Therapy includes administration of antagonists which block postsynaptic receptors. "Too little" neurotransmission may be due to: • too few neurotransmitter molecules binding to postsynaptic receptors (e.g., depression, Parkinson's disease). Several treatment strategies increase neurotransmission, including 1) drugs that cause release of neurotransmitter stores from the presynaptic terminal, 2) neurotransmitter precursors that are taken-up into presynaptic neurons and metabolized into active neurotransmitter molecules, 3) drugs which inhibit the enzymes that degrade neurotransmitters and 4) agonists that act at postsynaptic receptors. Because numerous pathways in the brain use the same neurotransmitter, manipulating transmission in a diseased pathway simultaneously affects synapses of normal neurons. For this reason, eNS drugs are notorious for causing a variety of side effects. This chapter presents CNS agents according to diseases that are treated by neurotransmission modula-

tors. General anesthetics are also induded in this eNS

34 Central Nervous System

• Norepinephrine The synthesis, release and degradation of norepinephrine are presented in Figure 2.4A. Four classes of adrenergic receptors (ai' ~ f3 l and 131 ) are presented in Table 2.2. Pathways in the brain that utilize norepinephrine have not been dearly identified. Drugs that mimic or modulate norepinephrine transmission are presented in Tables 2.1 to 2.4. A leading hypothesis suggests that depression is caused by impaired monoamine (e.g., norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin) neurotransmission. Drugs which induce monoamine release are indicated for attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. The biochemical disturbance responsible for these two diseases is unknown.

• Dopamine Dopamine is synthesized from Dopa, the hydroxylated congener of the amino acid tyrosine (Fig. 2.4A). It is degraded by monoamine oxidase A in the brain and monoamine oxidase B outside the CNS and by cat· echol-o-methyl transferase (COMT). Dopamine receptors are classified as 0 1 or D~ receptors. Both subtypes reside in numerous regions of the brain. No specific 0 1 agonists have been identified. Apomorphine is a 01 agonist. Activation of either subtype illl,ibifs the rate of neuronal firing. Particularly important dopaminergic pathways include 1) the nigrostriatal pathway (from substantia nigra to striatum), 2) neurons of the chemoreceptor trigger zone of the medulla, which controls vomiting, and 3) projections from the hypothalamus to the intermediate lobe of the pituitary, which are thought to regulate prolactin release. Antipsychotic drugs (Tables 3.3A and 3.38) inhibit dopamine-stimulated adenylate cyclase (usually associated with 01 receptor activation) and block O 2

dopamine receptors, suggesting that psychoses may

result from overstimulation of dopamine receptors. Another disorder, Parkillson's Disease, is caused by too little dopaminergic input from the substantia nigra into the striatum. Loss of the nigrostriatal dopamine neurons results in a relative decrease in dopamine input (inhibitory) compared to acetylcholine input (excitatory, Fig. 3.3). As mentioned above, impaired monoamine neurotransmission has been implicated in causing depression, attention deficif disorder and narcolepsy.

GABA receptors reside on two subunits of a foursubunit receptor complex that surrounds and regulates a chloride ion channel. GABA activation of the receptor induces chloride influx into the neuron. This hyperpolarizes the neuron, making it more difficult to fire when stimulated by excitatory neurotransmitters. Benzodiazepines enhance the actions of GABA at GABA-A receptors, but not GABA-B receptors. Agents which enhance the actions of GABA such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates are used to treat anxiety and seizures and as sedatives or muscle relaxants.

• S-Hydroxytryptamine (S-HT, Serotonin) The amino acid tryptophan is hydroxylated and then decarboxylated to form 5-HT. In neurons, 5-HT is stored (in vesicles), released, taken up into presynaptic neurons and either recycled or metabolized. 5-HT is released from inhibitory neurons originating in the raphe nuclei of the pons and midbrain. 5-HT stimulates either 5-HTJ or 5-HT~ receptors which are distinguished by the specific antagonists methysergide (S-HTj-specific) and ketanserin (5-HT~-specific). The hallucinogenic drug, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a potent agonist at both rl."Ceptor subtypes. In addition to its role as a neurotransmitter, 5-HT increases small intestine motility and modulates vasodilation. Ninety percent of the body's 5-HT is stored in enteroc.hromaffin cells of the small intestine. Depression, al/ention deficit disorder and headaches have been attributed to serotonergic imbalances. Many serotonergic agents have been developed in the last few years for the treatment of these diseases.

• Acetylcholine The synthesis, release and degradation of acetylcholine are presented in Figure 2.4B. Acetylcholine binds to both muscarinic and nicotinic receptors throughout the brain. Drugs which mimic or modify acetylcholine neurotransmission are presented in Tables 2.5 to 2.9. A cholinergic antagonist is lIsed in the treabnent of Parkinson's disease to correct the imbalance of acetylcholine and dopamine neurotransm.ission created by the degradation of dopaminergic nerves (Table 3.5). Cholinergic or anti-cholinergic drugs are not otherwise used to treat CNS disorders.

• Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)

• Excitatory Amino Acids (EAA) Glutamate or a structurally-similar chemical is an excifatory neurotransmitter in many areas of the brain. Stimulation of EAA receptors increases cation conductance, leading to depolarization, or stimulates phosphatidyl inositol turnover. Excitatory amino acids such as glutamate are thought to be important in learning, memory and other brain flUlctions. Glutamate·induced excitotoxicity is implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease, Huntington's Disease, stroke, epilepsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Al.S). Riluzole (Ri1utek'~'), protects neurons from glutamate toxicity in animals and minimally slows progression of ALS.

• The Opioids Endorphins, enkephalins and dynorphins are opiate receptor agonists that are cleaved from a protein called pro-opiomelanocortin. Opiate receptors are located along the periaqueductal gray matter. Morphine and related drugs act at opiate receptors to relieve pain (Table 3.7A, 3.78). In times of stress or pain, endogenous peptides act at opiate receptors.

• Other Neuropeptides In addition to the endogenous opiate peptides, several other peptides function as neurotransmitters (e.g., substance P, vasoactive intestinal peptide). These agents are generally cleaved from larger peptide precursors. They can assume a variety of three dimensional shapes, making it difficult to assess the chemistry of peptide-receptor interactions. For this reason, no chemical agonists (other than morphine) or antagonists have been identified for peptide receptors.

GABA is an inhibitory amino acid neurotransmitter of brain interneurons and other cerebral neurons. The enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase catalyzes the synthesis of GABA from glutamate. GABA is stored in presynaptic vesicles and binds to either GABA-A or GAllA-B receptors upon release.


The biogenic amine hypothesis suggests that

Antidepressants Major depression is characterized by intense sadness or loss of interest in usual activities, accompanied by poor appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia. psychomotor agitation or retardation, decrease in sexual drive, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, de-

creased concentration, or thoughts of death or suicide. Mania, another affective disorder. Mania is characterized by elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, accompanied by increased activity, pressure of speech, flight of ideas, grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, or involvement in activities that have high potential for painful consequences. Patients that

cycle between depression and mania carry the diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder.

depression is due to paucity of norepinephrine, dopamine, or serotonin neurotransmission in the brain whereas manja is caused by excessive monoamine neurotransrrUssion. The observation that antidepres· sants increase the synaptic concentration of the monoamines circumstantially supports the biogenic amine hypothesis (Tables 3.1A, 3.1 B). Lack of correlation between the onset of drug action (hours) and clinical response (weeks) however, draws criticism to the theory. The latency of antidepressant effects prompted the suggestion that relief from depression may be due to postsynaptic receptor downregulation (expression of fewer receptors at the synaptic membrane) in response to elevated concentrations of biogenic amines that result during antidepressant therapy (Fig. 3.1).

Table 3.1A Tricyclic Antidepressants DRUG Generally

Amitriptyline (Elavil) Imipramine (Tofranil)

Doxepln (Sinequan) Desipramine (Norpramn) Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl)

Amoxaplne (Asendin) Protrletyllne (Vivactll) Clomipramine (Analranil) Trlmlpramlne (Surmontil)

MECHANI SMI ACT I ONS Not yet clear. ~st block reuptake of monoamne neurotransmitters, increasing synaptic levels 01 the transn'itler. SUbsequent downregulation (reduction in the nurrber of receptors) of ~stsynaPtic receptors may the true mechanism of action (Fig. 3.1).




INDICATIONS First line of pharmacotherapeulies to treat major depressive episodes. Also enuresis, agoraphobia (fear 01 open s~ces) Vvith panic attacks, o sessrve compulsive neurosis, chronic pain, neuralgia, mgraine headaches.

UNDESI RABLE EFFECTS Anticholinergic effects, cardiotoxicity, sedation, orthostatic hypotension, mania, hypomania, weight gain, irrpotence, obstructive jaundice.

Most often prescribed by Most severe anticholinergic nonpsychiatrists for the disorders effects. Highly sedating. listed above. Original rCAD. Prescribed less often because of side effects. Enuresis in children.

Less sedating than amtryptiline. Sj~nificant anticholinernic ef eets. Has quinidine- ike action that may induce arrhythmias.

Commonly used for indications described above.

Very sedatin~, substantial antlcholinerg c effects.

Use increasing because of fewer anticholinergic ellects.

Less sedation. fewer anticholinergic effects. Sudden death in children has occurred.

Use increasing because there is a Both anticholinergic and more clear relationship between sedating. plasma levels and clinical ellicacy than otherTCADs. Depression.

Moderate anticholinergic and sedative effects. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome.


See generally

Least sedation, some anticholinergic effeets.

•• Very ellective serotonin· uptake blocker.

Obsessive compulsive disorder.

Very sedating.


Very sedating .


36 Central Nervous System


Presynaptic Terminal

Postsynaptic Membrane

-=!Op~ ~

Block re-uptake

initial effect chronic effect Downregulation of postsynaptic receptors


Figure 3.1 Possible mechanism of tricyclic alltidepressant action. Depressioll may be due to a relative decrease in monoaminergic IlellrotrQlIS~ mission. 1n Ullimal sllldies, tricyclic Iwtidepresso.nts initially block re-uptake of monoamines, resulting itl higher neurotransmitter concmtrations in the synaptic cleft. Over a period of time, the postsynaptic nelaon responds to tile chronic elevation of monoamines byexpressitlg fewer receptors on the postsynaptic membrane. if indeed clinical response is due to receptor doumregulatiOlI, tllen the hypothesis tllat depressioll is dlle to inadequate mQnoaminergic transmission uX)llld be lillsatisfactory. It is lurclear whether these mechanisms are responsible for relieffrom depression in hl/malls.





Well absorbed, widely distributed, highly bound to plasma proteins, half-lives range from 8 hrs to 90 hrs, metabolized more rapidly by children and more slowly by elderly patients.

Tolerance to anticholinergic side effects may develop. Physical and psychic dependence develops occasionally. Sudden withdrawal leads to malaise. chills, coryza and muscle aches.

Do not administertocraatients with monoamine ox; ase inhibitors in their system ~otentiation may be lethal}. ther drugs which bind to plasma proteins may displace TCADs. May potentiate effects of other eNS depressants. Potentiate actions of other anticholinergic drugs.

May shorten the cycle length between mania and depression in patients with bipolar disease. Patients coming out of depression are at increased risk of committin~suicide because t ey regain the ener~y 10 fulfililheir ldeallons.

POIIM. Half-lile 30-45 hrs




PO/1M. See "generally" above. Half-lile 10-25 hrs




PO. ,,"








"" Hall-Iile 18-45 hrs




"" Shortest hall-lile 8 hrs



PO. Longest half-lile (75 90 " " hrs). Thus lower daily dose than othertricyclics.






See "Generally~ above. Half-life 20-35 hrs Half-life 7路30 hrs


COO '"




Core structure of tricyclic antidepressants


Table 3.18 Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors and Other Antidepressants DRUG MECHANISM/ACTIONS Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors Tranylcypromine Blocks metabolismol (Parnale) biogenic amines (norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamne) increasj~ the synaptic concentration of these lransmillers. Suppresses REM sleep. Phenelzine (Nardil)




USed to treat depressIon i.~ Incyclic antidepressants lail and when electroconvulsive therapy fails or is refused. Also used 10 treat narcolepsy. phobic/anxiety states and Parl<inson's disease.

~palotoxicity, excessive eNS stilTlJlation, orthostatic hypo!ension. Overdose may cause agitation, hallucinatIons, hyperreflexia, hyperpyrexia, convUlsions, altered blood pressure.



DepressIon. OosesslVe corrpulsive disorder, bulirria nervosa.

urug OIscontmuoo In 15% 01 R:tients due to nausea, eadache, nervousness, isomnia. anxiety or diarrhea, altered platelet function; rash.

Depression, obseSSive corrpulsive disorder, panic disorder.

Nausea, headache, diarrhea. dry mouth, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, irrpotence, altered platelet function.

Obsessive cOrJl)ulsive disorder.

Nausea, dry mouth, asthenia.

Depression. Obsessive corrpulsive disorder, panic disorder.

Nausea, vorriting, somnolence, insomnia, dizziness. agitalion, anxiety, weakness, headache, abnormal ejaculation, altered platelet function.

Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors Fluoxetlne (Prozac)

Sertraline (ZOloft)

Fluvoxamine (luvox) Paroxetlne (Paxil)

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

·. ·. ·.


Citalopram (Celexa) Trazodone (Desyrel)



Depression. Used by some to treat aggressive disorders and cocaine withdrawal.

Rash, hypertension, tachycardia, shortness of breath, many CNS eHects reported. J. appetite, priaprism.


Nefazodone (Serzone)

Inhibits uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine.


Venlalaxlne (Eflexor)

Venl<~,1axine and

Its major metabolite inhibit serotonin and norepinephrine uptake.

Depression, anxiety.

Sustained hypertension photosensitIvity.

M-aprotlline (ludiomil)

MeChanism unclear, blOCkS reuptake of norepinephrine.

Equal 10 potency to tricyclic antidepressants.

Fewer anticholinersic effects, may induce blood yscrasias.

Mlrtazapine (Remeron)


De~ression, anxiety associated wit depression

low anticholinergic effects, orthostatic hypotension. sedation, agranUlocytosis.

Alprazolam (Xanax)

Benzodiazepine with anxiolytic activity. Mechanismof antidepressant effects unknown.

Adjunct to tricyclic antidepressants for depression and panic altacks.

No anticholinergic effects. Does cause sedation and lethargy.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Unknown mechanism.

Depression, smoking cessation.

Seizures, hepatotoxicity, agitation, antichohner~ic effects, tremor, nausea, vomillng, headaches.


38 Central Nervous System






po. Binds irreversibly to MAO causing

low likelihood 01 abuse.

Potentiale the effects of sYfTl)athorrimetics (including tyrarrine present in dairy and yeast products, afll)hetamines in diet pills, and sYfll)athomimetics in cold remedies).

ArTllhelamine-llke structure.



pharmacologic effects for weeks. It is inactivated by acetylation. Thus patients who are genetically "slow acetylalors~ will have elevated serum levels.

H3lf-lIflfTs 48-72"hrs, fhlJS one dose/day. Takes weeks to achieve equilibrium blood levels.

~---PPO:-Once caily dosln"9.

High plasma protein binding.

------t11e-lrnean"lltn~no"'n---.lnereCfsw-suTcKnrrale-possible with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) and with cisapride. Do not use within 2 weeks.

reported in patients taking fluoxetine.

------,MA"Onnteractlon. Simlar 10 tluoxetine. Does not affect levels 01 other protein-bound drugs. Contraindicated with cisapride.

PO. Reduce dose with liver _ _ _~dyslunction. PO. Once daily dosing. Reduce dose with hepatic/renal insufficiency.

â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘ Cimetidine increases paroxetine. Paroxetine reduces phenytoin & digoxin and increases warfarin.

PO. Well absorbed, extensively metabolized. Effects seen in 1-3 weeks.

Substrate for cytochrome CYP206

PO. Twice daily. Reduce dose w/liver dysfunction. Extensively metabolized by liver.

Increase effects of triazolam and aprazolam.

Po. 2-3 doses/day. Reduce w/renal or hepatic problems. Active metabolite IS O-desmethylvenlafaxine

." Substrate for cytochrome CYP206

PO. Metabolized in liver, excreted in the bile.

Hepatic enzyme inhibiting and inducing agents.

Tetracyclic structure.

PO: half-life20-40hrs: Extensively metabolized by the liver.

A substrate for cytochrome

Tetracycllc structure.

PO. 70% protein bound. half-life", t 1 hrs. More rapid onset than tricyclic antidepressants.

Contraindicated with cisapride or pimozide.

P450 206, 1A2, 3A4.

Some argue that Alprazolam has high dependency/abuse potential and a severe withdrawal syndrome.

Few interactions. Additive with other CNS depressants.

PO. Active metabolites may accurTlJlate, worse w/liver

Drugs which lower seizure threshold. Bupropion

or kidney disease.

induces P450 enzymes,

Aminoketone structure.

allerino druo metabolism.


Psychomotor Stimulants Attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children is characterized by short attention span, restlessness, distractibility, impulsivity and emotional lability. Hyperactivity is sometimes associated. Amphetaminelike drugs reduce these symptoms in >80% of affected children (Table 3.2). Many treatment plans also involve

family counseling and/or psychotherapy. Therapy is usually tailored around the school schedule, the goal being to enhance school performance and encourage behavior which is suitable for the classroom. Drug therapy is often discontinued during school vacations. The anorectic properly (appetite suppression) of d-amphetamine may cause growth retardation. These effects are less pronounced with other psychomotor stimulants. Insomnia and nervousness are common side effects of all psychomotor stimulants.

Amongst the methylated xanthines (Table 3.2), caffeine is included in some analgesic preparations because of its CNS-stimulating and cerebrovascularconstricting effects. Many people consume coffee or soft drinks, which contain caffeine, to maintain alertness and to stay awake. Caffeine is psychologically addicting and tolerance develops to CNS and cardiovascular effects. Withdrawal often results in headaches. Theophylline is a methylated xanthine which exemplifies a clinically useful drug with a narrow margin of safety. Theophylline is used to treat bronchial asthma as well as apnea and bradycardia in premature infants. Serum concentrations must be maintained between 10 and 20 Ilg/ml because it is ineffective at lower concentrations and it produces undesirable effects at higher concentrations.


Table 3.2 Psychomotor Stimulants uc no"" Amnhetamlne-1Jke druns


d-Amphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall)

~NE, dopamine, serotonin)

Narcolepsy, attention deficit disorder in children. No longer recommended for obesity.

eNS overstlmulation, restlessness, dizziness, insomnia, increased blood pressure, arrhythma, anorexia, psychotic episodes.

Methylphenidate (Ritalin)

Mild CNS stimulant. Actions similar to d-amphetamine.

Atlention deficit disorder. Narcolepsy.


Pemoline ICylert)

Mild CNS stimulant. Actions similar to d-amphetamine.

Atlention deficit disorder.

Insomnia, anorexia, liver dysfunction (usually reversible).

Insomnia, restlessness, anxiety neurosis, nausea, tachycardia, diuresis.

Releases biogenic amines rom storage vesicles. CNS stiroolant, decreases appetite, i~roves ability of trained at letes and coordination and perlormance of fatigued subjects, increases blood pressure.

Methvlated Xanthlnes Caffeine

Adenosine receptor antagonist. High dose: i ca++ permeability in sarco~lasmic reticulum and i cAM by inhibiting Phos~hodiesterase. Stimulates CN ,constricts cerebral arterioles, induces diuresis, stimulates heart, bronchodilates.

~ rolong~d apnea In pre-term infants (unlabeled use). Included in some over-the counter ana~esic preps, particularly hea ache remedies.


Cellular mech like caffeine. fv10re CNS stimulation than caffeine. Increased cardiac stimulation and diuresis. More effective bronchodilator.

Bronchial asthma. Apnea and bradycardia in premature infants (unlabeled use).


Same actions as caffeine, Much lower potency.

No indications.

40 Central Nervous System


.. ..

Fig'lre 3.2 WI,y are eNS stimulants prescribed to hyperkil/etic c1,;hlre,,? ~S/imulall/ ~ is perhaps a mis'lOmerfor tI,/' ac/ialls ofamphetamine-like drugs. Altilm/gh the drugs were first characterized with regard for their Ilbility to stimulate eNS fUllctiol/s. tile effects 0/ t1Il'SC drugs are actl/rllly very complrx. In allimal studit'S, amphelamines accelerale beluwior w1licl! is sJuw ill ti,e absence of drus and suppress rapid behavior pat/ems. 11 has oce" hypothesized llrat the sedative effects 0/ amphetamillcs ;', hyperkiuetic cllildren are due to illhibiJiol/ of ~fast-rate~ bellavior, al/d tlmt amphetall1ilw-il1dllced acceleratioll of Ns/uw-rate" bt'llrlvior ill childrell withallellliml dificit disorder lIIay accoullt for impnnlt'd leamillS alld ml'lI1ory skills.


PHARMACOKINETlr~ --PO~faEsort>ed,

enters CNS, excreted INithout under~oing metabolism, half路1i e = 4-6 hrs. Elirrination is slowed by atkalination of urine.

PO. ReadiZ absorbed. Two hour half路li e. Distributes preferentially 10 brain.



Often abused. Severe tolerance and dependence. MetharTllhetalT'line ('Speed") acts Similarl but is very addictive and often a used.

OVe~oose treatment:

, b



Mo-inhibitors: hypertensive crisis, CNS overstirrulation, Barbiturates: supraadditive mood elevation. Tricyclic Antidepressants: potentiate CNS stinlJlation, inhibit melabolismof al'll)hetamine.

Acidify urine. Give chlorpromazine to treat CNS Sy~toms and alpha路 receptor locker to lower blood pressure.


PO. 12 hOUf half-life allows once daily administration.

Lowabusecfgtential. Preferred drug in ~ad ictive environment" or parents are suspected 01 using or selling the above agents.


Onset of therapeutic actions begin alter 3路4 weeks of treatment .

PO/1M/IV. RapidcorTlllete absorption. Cross ~lacenta, Liver metab. all-life = 3-7 hrs.

Tolerance and dependence likely. Withdrawal may cause headache, anxiety and rruscle tension.

Oral contraceptives aild 85 mg caffeine/cup cimetidine: inhibit metabolism coffee, SOrng/cup 01 tea or Smoking enhances eliminacola lion.

PO. hall-life 3.5hrs in children, 8.5 hrs in adults.



Use decreasing due to toxicity and questionable efficacy.

250 rng Icup of cocoa


Antipsychotic Drugs

sodes. the patient is often withdrawn and perhaps antisocial.

• Treatment of psychoses Psychotic Disorders <lrc clinical syndromes characterized by impaired sense of reality. disturbances of thought & emotion. hallucinations (often auditory • "the voice tells me.....), delusions ("l possess the power

to..."), and confusion. The biochemical defects for these diseases have nol been clearly elucidated. The syndromes listed may represent several discrete discases which have similar clinical presentation. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder in which the patient exhibits symptoms listed above for at least six months leading to impaired ability 10 maintain interpersonal relationships, a job, or daily living skills. Active psychosis often occurs only during a small portion of the patient's life. Between psychotic epi-

Widely accepted theories suggest that pSydlOseS is due, at least in part, to excessive dopamine neurotransmission. This theory was originally based on the observation that all antipsychotic drugs blocked 02 dopamine receptors. More recently, investigators demonstrated that antipsychotic drugs inhibit dopamine~stimulated cAMP production. This action cannot easily be attributed to receptor blockade because dopamine-stimulated cAMP production is linked to 01 rather than 02 receptors and antipsychotic drugs have low affinity for 0 1 receptors.

• Undesirable Neurologic Effects As described in the chapter introduction, dopamine is the neurotransmitter of numerous pathways in the

Table 3.3A Antipsychotic Drugs DRUG

..Eben.o..thlazJn.u.. Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) Promazine (Sparlne)

MECHANISM/ACTIONS The actions of antipsychotic drugs are cOll"ple~. The ability 01 anlipsychotics 10 block 02 doparnne receplors correlates '>\ith their clinical efficacy. Animal studies have shown thaI doparnne synlhesis and ITlllabolism increase 'Mlh acute trealment and receplOf upregulation occurs atter a lewweeks of an!ipsychotic adrnnislrallon. It is likely thaI these effects occur as a regulatory response to the drug-induced decrease In doparnnergic trans rnssion.



Psychoses, including mania. acute idiopathic psychoses and acute episodes 01 schizophrenia: nausea and vomting; hiccoughs.

Acute dystonia (abnormal rruscle lone), Parkinsonism, ma~nanl syndrome, akalhlsia. tardive dyskinesia. jaundice, sedalion. orthostatic hypolensiOn. anticholinergic effects, adrenergic blocking elleets and allergic reactions 10 the drug. Decreased release of cortICotropin and padolropins. Increased prolactm secretion.

Triflupromazlne (Vespnn)

Psychases,nauseaand vOfT1ling

Ycre anticholinergic and adrenergic blocking lhan chlorpromazine, less orthostatic hypotension.

Thioridazine (Mellanl)

Psychoses. hiccoughs.

- - 7Fewer - e~ lrapyrsrndal sy fl1)toms and adrenergic blocking effeets than chlorpromazine. Ycre anticholinerfJIC effects. Petrograde ejaculatlOfl, deCreased testoslerone, retinopathy.

f;4esorldrn'~""--~ (Serentil)

Fluphenazine (Prolj~ln)


-----:krmophr9n1a, alCOholISm. psychoses.

----,p","'"".,=",-.---••; Emesis

Prochlorpera z Ine (Corrpazine)

Nausea and vorning, psychoses.

42 Central Nervous System

Less orthostatic hypolension and adrenergic blockade. but more Signs.


Perphenazine (Trilalon)

Trilluoperaz Intt (Slelazine)


---'SC~h"llophrenia. acute

psychoses. schizoalleclive disorder, paranoid syndrome, nausea and vomiting

Less orthostatic hypotension and fewer e~trapyrarnidal signs than chlorpromazme. less sedatIVe eHecls and orthostatic hypolension. but more e;llrapyrarridal elleets than chlorpromazine

brain. Because antipsychotic drugs block all 02 dopamine receptors, they suppress all 0l receptor-mediated dopamine actions in the brain. Specific neurologic side effects of antipsychotic drugs include: • Acute dystonia: Patients may develop face, neck and back spasms within a week of therapy initiation. Antiparkinsonian drugs reduce symptoms (fable 3.5). • Parkinsonism: Symptoms include "pill-rolling" with fingers, limb rigidity, shuffling gait, bradykinesia, and mask faoes caused by dopamine receptor antagonism in the nigrostrialal pathway. Symptoms develop within one month of initiating therapy. Parkinsonism is treated with drugs described in Table 3.5. • Malignant syndrome: This relatively rare, but sometimes fatal syndrome is marked by catatonia,

rigidity, stupor, nuctuating blood pressure, fever and dysarthria. Antipsychotic drug must be discontinued promptly! Malignant syndrome is treated with bromocriptine (dopamine agonist) or dantrolene (mechanism of action associated with reversing malignant syndrome is unknown), but not antiparkinsonian agents. • Akathisia: Motor restlessness occurring within two months of antipsychotic drug initiation. Decrease dose or discontinue drug. Treat with benzodiazepines or low-dose propranolol. • Tardive dyskinesia: Up to 20% of patients treated with antipsychotics for months to years (particularly phenolhiazines and haloperidol) develop involuntary movements of the face, trunk, and extremities (dyskinesia & choreoathetosis). Often non-reversible.





POt'IM'PA Absorption of orallorrt6 is erratic. thtribute 10 !Issues Wdh high blood supply and

Not addichng Some physical deoendeoce may occur Tolefancedevelops 10 sedatIVe elleets. Some cross lolerance, but drugs are not easrty subslrtuted for one another. Oloreoalhelosis may develop UJXlO abrupt 'Mthdrawal

Clllorpromazine enhaoces lhe elleels of central depressants. sedatives, ana!aesICS, antlhlStarnnes, alcohol and rrorptune_ Increases respiratory depfesSIOl'l caused by meperidine. Inhbts actiOnS

These drugs are Sorretlmes caDed neurolepl:ics because lhey reduce inrtlCltIV8 and


placenioi. haII·liIe ..

21).40 In. Metabolized by iver 10 primarity inactive 10rTT'6 Elimnahon vanes 'Mth age 01 patlElnl.

of Ievodopa and dopamne agonisls

intElfesl in lI1e environmen1. alleviate aggressive and irT1Julsive

behavIOr, and reduce spontaneous movement and c~x behavIOr In animals. Generally anhpsychotlC drugs Wdh more anticholinergic

ellects produce lewer exlrapyrarridal side ellects.

Oral only.





Oral only



Antiemetics Dopamine stimulation of D2 receptors in the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) of the medulla mediates

some forms of nausea and vomiting. Several antipsychotic agents antagonize 02 receptors in the CTZ, suppressing nausea and vomiting due to cancer chemotherapy agents and other drugs and radiation therClpy (Table 3.4). Dopamine antagonists are not the only class of drugs employed to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting. Serotonin (5-HT.J antagonists are potent antiemetics, particularly usefuJ for chemotherapyinduced nausea. A few cholinergic antagonists and histamine antagonists reduce emesis and control motion sickness (Table 3.4). The neural pathways influenced by these antagonists have not been clearly

Sites that d~fer from tricyclic antidepressants



O::C1# N



R, Core structure of phenothiazines


Table 3.38 Antipsychotic Drugs (cant.) DRUG




Less sedaflve and hypotensIve effects than chlorpromazine.

Chemically unrelated to classes listed above, but similar actions.


F~w seoatlve or extrapyrarr:-0a effects, no hypotensive effects. Some anticholinergic effects.

loxaplne (Loxitane)



Less sedative and hypotensive effects than chlorpromazine. Similar extrapyramidal effects. Sedation lasts for up to t 2 hours.

Clozap'lne (Oozanl)

Antipsychotic mechanism unclear. Blocks dopamine receptors as well as cholinergic. adrenergic. serotonergic & histaminergic neurot rans rrission.

Schizophrenia in those whom traditional antipsychotics have failed or have produced intolerable side effects.

Very fewextrap~ramidal side effects (EPS). otent antirruscarinic effects. Agranulocytosis in 2%. No tardive dyskinesia or increased prolactin release.

Olanzaplne (Zyprexa)



"": No agranulocytosis.

Quetlaplne (Seroquel)

Higher affinity for 5 HT~ receptors than D~ receptors.


No anticholinergic effects. orthostatic hypotension. sedation; less EPS

Haloperidol (Haldol)

Similar to phenothiazines.

Psychoses, Tourette's syndrome, severe behavioral prOblems in children, hyperactive children (short term). Huntington'S Disease.

Less sedation, anticholinergic ellects, and alpha-adrenergic blocking effects than chlorpromazine. Rarely h~tenslon. ElClra'XrarridaJ Sl e effects may be ramalic.

Plmozlde (Orap)

Blocks dopamine receptors.

Tourette's Syndrome.

Extrapyramidal disorder, tardive dyskinesia, sedation, headache, sensory changes. hypotension.

Resperldone (Risperdal)

Mechanismunknown. Binds as antagonist at serotonin, dopamne, alpha adrenergic and H1 histamine receplors.


Exlrapyramdal disorder, tardive dyskinesia, sedation, hyperkinesia, sormolence, constipation.






MIscellaneous "lJiollndone (Moban)

44 Central Nervous System

Table 3.4 Antiemetic/Antivertigo Drugs DRUG Prochlorpersz ins (Cofl'pazll'ltI)

r-Promelhlline {Phenergan}

REMARKS PfOChlof~106.trifluprolTliUlne,

Chlorpromazll18 and trilluoperatlne are phenothlazloEl

8flllpsyC ICS 'IAlteh are described In Table 3.3. These~nts control "orriIlng by blocking ~ doparrine receptors In the chen'oreceptor trigger zone ( ollhe bf<uostam.

BOth aD:!lSopamine antagonist aOO an H1 f1,stamne amagon,S! 'l\tilCh is useclto contrO!lT1JllOn sicknes5 as well as nausea and vomtlng. PartICularly U561ul following surgeI)' because il reduces lI"Iesth&sia-relaled nausea, Induces light slaep and rf!dLK:8S apprehensiOn.

-Usl at lopr. rnfcl",--oopamn8 (D2lanlagonlsl wtllCn ,s partICularly userunor reducing ch8fT'OtnerapY-'riduceonausea. (Reglal'l) Also used cllnically as a Gt stliTlJlant to ifl1ll'OVegaslric efTlllying

Scopolamine (Transdefm-Scop)

This anticholinergic Is available as a transoormal ~epara'ion to prevent motion sickness. Ov8ldose may cause contusion. memory aherations and ot r antICholinergIC:: alleets.

~~llc hollnergl~df8mne.dilT'lBflhYdfmat8 arid mecliZlne are antlhlStatT'ffleS

Antlhlslamlnes Ondanselron ~tran)

ranlselron hKytril) ola,lelron (AlU'emet)

AntlCholil'\9fgOc drugs rOOuce rrotJon sickness as well as emesiS.


BlOCks serotonin t~receptors. bUt not aopamine receptors. 10 contrOl ctiemottl8rapy. ably mDfe effectIVe than other agents In patients receiving chemotherapy

indl.lced nausea.



WIth anhchohnergic effects


POIIM. NOt recommended for children under 12.


PO. Rapidly absorbed and metabolized. Actions last for 24-36 hours.

' "

PO. 1M. Colll>lete absorption, extensive metabolism.

' "

PO. Rapid absorption, extensive metabolism.

Abrupt """";thdrawal may induce psychosis.











Potentiates antihypertensive and anticholinergic agents. Displaces drugs from plasma proteins.

Therapy is """";thheld if granulocyte count iS < 1500/ rnrn3 .


Substrate for P450 isoenzyme CYP1A2

PO; extensively metabolized in the liver.

Hepatic enzyme inducers and inducers of P4503A.

PO/1M/IV. Begin trealment Transient dyskinesias may be allow dose, individualize caused by abrupt 'Nithdrawal. dose for each patient.

Enhances actions 01 CNS d~ssants, alcohol, & amiconvulsants. reases actions of alll>hetamines. severe hypotension 'Nith alcohol, epinephrine, antihypenensives. AntirnJscannics: Increase intraocular eessure and reduce haloperidol effects. ilhium: encephalopathic syndrome.


PO. Serum level does not correlate 'Nith activity.

Withdraw SIOwl Dyskinesia may develop after a rupt 'Nithdrawal.

Lowers seizure threshold in patients taking seizure medications. Potentiates CNS depressams.

PO. Metabolites active. Reduce dose 'Nith liver or kidney dysfunction and in elderly patients.

VVithdraw slowly.

Metabolized by P450 enzyme that is inhibited by many other drugs.

Metabolism varies genetically aroong




Anti-Parkinson Drugs Parkinson's Disease affects a half million Americans. Symptoms include tremor (pill-rolling) at rest, bradykinesia (slow movements), and cogvl/heel rigidity. The disease is caused by decreased dopamine neurotransmission in the nigrostriatal pathway secondary to degradation of dopaminergic neurons that project from the substantia nigra (black substance) 10

the striatum (caudate and putamen). Figures 3.3 "nd 3.4 outline the neuropathology of Parkinson's Disease. Treatment consists of either increasing dopamine neurotransmission or blocking cholinergic neurotrans· mission (Table 3.5, Fig. 3.4).

~ UBSTANTIA NIGRA ~gic: _____l~~)'l



Figure 3.3 TIle symptoms of Parkinson's Disease are caused by degellerntiolf ofdopmnirlf.'rgic /leI/rOilS ill tI'l! nigrostriattd patllway. Inhibitory dopaminergic neurolls w/lld. project from llze substalllia Iligra to ti,e clludate and plal/mellilr/! most affected. Cholinergic input (excitatory) to tl/C camlall! alld putalfl/!/l appears to bt' utloffi'Ctl'd; t/IIIS Ille balance is tipped toward cllO/incrgic i/lpIII.

Table 3.5 Drugs Used to Treat Parkinson's Disease UNOESI RABLE EFFECTS Nausea, vomiting due to sliroolation of emetic center (tolerance develops to GI effects), modest orthostatic hypotension, arrhythmias in older patients, involuntary movements (dose limiting)'fsychiatric disturbances, sexual activity due to actions on hypothalalllJs.

DRUG Levodopa (e.g., l-dopa)

MECHANISM/ACTIONS Decarboxylated to dopamne (OA) in brain. Improves neurological, motor, and altered mood symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

INDICATIONS Parkinson's disease.

carbldora {Lodosyn

Diminishes deCarbOxylation of I·dopa in periphera tissues. Improve effect of I·dopa, decrease required dose of l-dopa by about 75%.

Used in conjunction """';th levodopa Reduces levodopa·induced nausea and vomiting. Does not for Parkinson's disease. alleviate mosl side effects caused by levodopa. Has no kno'NflIOxicities wtlen admnistered alone.

Tolcapone (Tasmar)

Inhibits catechol-DAdjuct to levodopa and methyltransferase, an enzyme carbidopa. that metabolizes Jevodopa.

Amantadine (Syrrrnetrel)

Releases DA Irom intact terminals.

Bromocrlptlne (Parlodel)


Pergollde (Permax) Selegillne (Eldepryl)


TrlhexYfrhen dyl (Arlane, remin)

Do! agonist.

Less effective than l-dopa lor treating Par1dnson's Disease. Also used to treat drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions.

Risk of fatal liver disease. Discontinue if liver enzymes become elevated. Dyskinesia, nausea Few side effects. At high doses may Induce hallucinations, contusion & nightmares.

Parkinson's disease, particularly wtlen tolerance develops to I-dopa or YAlen SYlTl'tom relief "swings· between doses. Also hyperprolactinemia, adjunct in treatment of pituitary tumors.

More nausea, hallucinations, confusion, and hypotension than l-dopa. Less dyskinesia. Nonspecilic CNS arousal.

01 and D2 agonist. More potent than bromocripline.

Adjunct to levodopalcarbidopa in Parkinson's Disease patienls.

Dyskinesia, nausea, rhinitis, constipation. dizziness, halluclOalions, somnolence

Irreverslb~ inhIbits mono-

Adjunct to levodopalcaibidopa in cases wtlen re~nse to levodopalcarbi opa is no longer adequate.

Nausea, hallucinations, confusion. hYPolension, dizziness, t tremor, agitation, depression.

Supplement to I-dopa for Parklnson's. Alone wtlen I-dopa is contraindicated.

Cycl0rrlegia (glaucoma), const ~tion, urinary retention, CNSdlsturbances (e.g., confusion In elderly).

amine oxi ase ty~ B (but not type A). Inhibits lOtracerebral metabolic degradation of DA.

Dru-9s Antagonists at cholinergic receptors. Lessen ACh:DA irrbalance in striatum. Less effective than I-dopa lor tremor and other sYlTl'toms.

46 Central Nervous System



Co"_~--~ olL".â&#x20AC;˘ ~â&#x20AC;˘ ....,








~ Dopamine





Figure 3.4 Synaptic view of Parkinsou's Disease (PO) and therapy. Dopamll1t'rgic terminals decay ill PD. leading to df!Creased dopamine (DA, solid triangles). L-dopa, all amino acid preCllfwr of DA crosses the blood brain barrier, filters surviving VA termil/afs and is converted to DA. Increased DA 11/'lIro!rallsmissiOll partially restores the dopamille-acetylcllOlinc nrllwtrmlsmissiol1 balance.

PHARMACOKI NETleS DRUG INTERACTIONS PO. Rapidly absorbed, half-life _ 1-3 Pyridoxine: may reduce effects ollevodopa by hrs. Lessthanl%ofJevodopa stimulating decarboxylation. Antipsychotic

penetrates eNS because of peripheral decarboxylation. This is circumvented by coadministration of carbidopa, a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor.

drugs: block DA receptors. MAO inhibitors: cause buildup of sympathomimetic amines (withdraw2 weeks before administration of levodopa). Anticholinergic drugs: synerQismwith levodopa, may delay absorption by slOWIng ~astriC emptying. Antidepressant drugs: orthostatic hypotension.

NOTES Rarely used \Alithoul coadministralion of dopa decarboxylase inhibitors (carbidopa).

Has no pharmacological action when given alone.

PO. Pills contain fixed amounts of carbidopa and levodopa (Sinemet).

PO >99% protein bound. Gastric uptake reduced by food.

Increases hatl-Iife of levodopa.

PO. Must adjust dose with renal failure

Anticholinergic agents: Enhance CNS side effects.

PO. Initiate at low dose and individualize. Rap'id, partial absorption. half-hfe = 1.5-3 hrs.

May be used with I-dopalcarbidopa

PO. 90% protein bound. Metabolized in liver, excreted in kidney.

Dopamine antagonists reduce actions of pergolide.

PO. Rapidly absorbed. Crosses blood brain barrier. Metabolized in liver. Amphetamine is a minor metabolite.

Fatal reactions between meperidine and MAO inhibitors have been documented.

Seler;liline slows progression of Parkinson's when used in conjunction ....nth levodopalcarbidopa.

PO. Individualize dosing regimen.

Levodopa: i gastric deactivation of I-dopa due to j. GI motility.

Benztropine, procyclidine, and biperiden, are other anticholinergics used for Parkinson's disease.

less effective than I-dopa, more effective than anticholinergics. Also an antiviral drug (Table 7.11 ).



agonists also reduce intestinal motility (antidiarrheals), reduce coughing (antitussives) and induce vomiting. Nonanalgesic agonists used for these purposes are listed in Table 3.6C.

Central Analgesics • The Opioid System Opium, derived from poppies, relieves pain and induces euphoria by binding to "opiate receptors" in the brain. These opioid drugs mimic the actions of three peptide families in the brain known as the

endorphins, the enkephalins, and the dynorphins. These peptides, along with sever<ll nonopioid peptides (MSH, ACfH, & lipotropin) are cleaved from the

protein precursors pro-opiomelanocortin (POMe), proenkephalin, and prodynorphin (Fig. 3.5). Three subtypes of receptors, mu, kappa and delta. mediate the effects of opioid drugs and peptides. The prototype agonist is morphine, which is a potent analgesic and sedative. Agonists with similar analgesic effects (full agonists) are described in Table 3.6A and

partial agonists are described in Table 3.68. Opioid

Patients on morphine and related agonists must be monitored for signs of eNS-mediated respiratory depression, which is the dose-limiting side effect of opioid agonists. Principles that should be kept in mind when prescribing pain relievers include: • Narcotic analgesics should be employed only when pain cannot be relieved by non-narcotic analgesics (Chapter 9). • Abuse and street-sales of narcotic agents are common. Monitor patients for drug-seeking behavior. • Remind patients that constipation is a likely side effect and that a stool softener may be necessary.

Table 3.6A Opioid Analgesics and Antagonists DRUG u ~on Morphne





Opiate receptor agonist. Induces analgesia, sedation, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting, verti?O, mas is, ADH release, G effects (decreased propulsion and secretions, tome spasm). Increases lone in bile duct, bronchi, urelers. and bladder.

severe pain Which cannot be alleviated by non-narcotic analgesics or weaker narcotic analQesics. Drug of choice for treating severe pain of myocardial infarction.

Respiratory d~sslon, constipation, disturbances. orthostatic hypotension. cholestasis, nausea and vomiting with initial doses.


Moderate to severe pain.


Also used to treat rigors such as those induced by afll)hotericin B.

Like morphine. Overdose causes convulsions due to excitatory actions of metabolite.

Full morphine-like actions, weaker sedative.

Detoxification of narcotic addiction. Severe pain in hospitalized patients.

Similar to morphine.




Fentanyl (Sublimaze)

More potent than morphine. RespIratory depression tess likely.

Preoperative medication used in anesthesia.

Respiratory depression less likely. Muscle rigidity. mild bradycardia.


Most potent analgesic.

Used in anesthesia.

Little data available.


See Fentanyl.


levorphanol (Levo-dromaran) Oxymorphone (Numarphone) Oxycodone (Oxycontin) Hydrocodone Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Meperidine (Demerol)



RemlfentanlJ (Ultiva)




48 Centra/ Nervous System




May cause chesl wall rigidity if infused rapidly.



~ ~---'~---------' ACTH



D a-lipotropin



ex-lipotropin ,




U (


~ Il-MSH



Figure 3.5 Cleavage o{ pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) illto f3-endorpl,in alld IIoll-opioid peptides. POMe servtS as a pr«:,/rsor (1lIJd {or Ihr opiate peptidl!, fJ-i!lldorpllill (~; for a-, ~ Dud r-meiallocyte-stillllllalirlS I,ormotle (MSH, -ml!lallct); for adr/!/locorlicotrophic hormolle (AeTH, ::rJ1!12; alld{or a- alld ~ lipotropi" (:illJ. Notice tJUlI tile peptides are 1I0t focated end~to-elld, but thnt soml! o{ ti,e smaller peptide SI.'qll/!/lCes are embedded ill larger sequellCt'S (I'.g., a-/ipotropin, ~MS/-I alld fj-elldorpllin are colltained Wit/lill fj-lipolropill). Two ot/ler proteill prl'Cl/rsors colltai/! cIlkephalillS alld dYIIOrphills. ProellkepIJalill colltaills seven mel-enkephalin seqrlcllcrs (Tyr-Gly-Gly-Plte·Met). Protlyl,orp',irl COlltaillS three lcr/o/!I1keplUllin scqrwllcrs (Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-uu) and the sequeIra'S for dyllorphill A, Dy"arphin B, a-m'OdyllOrphin altd fj-Ileoendorphilr.





IMlPO/PRiSC/IV, epidural, intrathecal. Poorly absorbed, metabolized by conjugation wI glucuronic acid.4-6hrduration.

Tolerance develops to analgesic effects, but nol to constipating effects. t-iQh abuse potential. WithdrawaJ'leads to insOlmia, pain, increased Gl activity, restlessness.

Enhances actions of other CNS depressants. Increases neurorruscular blockerinduced respiratory depression. Additive WIth drugs that cause hypotension.

The analgesic actions of opioids are threefold. The perception of pain is reduced (increased threshold). the unpleasan psychological response is reduced, and sleep is IndUCed even in the presence of pain.

Various. Better oral absorption than morphine.

IMiSc/POIIV. Shorter duration than morphine. Metabolite is excitatory to

.. - - - - -

CNS. IM/SC/PO. Excreted more slowly than roorphine (halflife.25h). I/oJithdrawal sYfTlltoms are less intense, but prolonged.



Cross dependent with mophine (basis for narcotic detoxification). tolerance develops readily. less psychologically addicting than rrorphine.

With MAO inhibitors, causes severe eNS excitation, respiratory depression, or hypotension. Detoxification replaces heroin dependence with methadone dependence. Then slowly reducing methadone dose to zero. Detoxification clinics may avoid sending opiates home on weekend.

PO. long half-lite permits Monday, Wed., Fn. dosing. IV. Rapid onset. Half life. 4h. Shorter duration than morphine.

No tolerance or dependence when used as an anesthetic.


little data available.

Transderrral, IransrTlJCosal preparatlOfl available for chronic pain.

IV. Fastest onset. IV.

IV tUbing rT1.Jst be cha~ged or cleared




Table 3.68 Opioid Analgesics and Antagonist (cant.) DRUG






A prodrug:10% of dose is converted 10 morphine.

fJinor pain relief.

Similar to morphine, but less intense at doses which relieve moderate pain. At high doses, toxicity is as severe as 'Nith morphine.

Relief of minor pain.

Dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting. Overdose causes convulsions. CNS depression, coma. death.

Actions are due 10 morphine. Also an antitussive (suppresses coughing).


Weak analgesic (less potent

(e.g., Darvon)

than aspirin).

..MJxed.AgP..D1$~an.t.a.gonJsts=1Pwe~'~a.b!b.i"~u..p<J~Wt~e~<Jl~t~la~I;:;:;;:::;;;:;:;:;;;==~;;;;::;;;;;;: ~===----Pentazocine Similar 10 morphine, but less Moderate pain. Also used as Similar to morphine. (Talwin)

potent. Antagonized by naloxone. not by nalorphine.

~buPhine (Nubain) Dezoclne Butorphanol Buprenorphlne

~ure--An1Bgoniss.Uts~~~~:;e<:= Naloxone Surmountably blocks opioid (Narcan)

receptors. Has no effect in narcotic-free persons.

Naltrexone (ReVia)

Similar to naloxone, but longer duration.

preoperative medication.

Moderate to severe pain. Preoperative medicine, corrtlination anesthesia.

Low incidence of respiratory depression, sedation, diZZiness, nausea, vomiting.

Treatment of narcotic overdose. Diagnostic ar;lent (forevaluation of addiction) In methadone programs. to reduce postoperative respiratory depression.

Induces narcotic withdrawal syndrome (appetite loss, rnJscle conlraclion, fever/chills, restlessness. cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms, nausea,vorTllting, diarrhea.)

â&#x20AC;˘ Also indicated for treatment 01 alcoholism. M.

Table 3.6C Nonanalgesic Uses of Opioids DRUG Diphenoxylate

REMARKS Diphenoxylate is used to treat diarrhea. It is too insoluble to escape the Gltracl. Like morphine, it causes constipation, but diPhenox~ate fails to prOduce analgesia. Antidiarrheal effects can be blocked by narcotic antagonists able 3.6).


Dextromethorphan is the dextro- isomer of codeine. It is included in cough medicine because of its centrally acting antitussive effects. Dextromethorphan actions are unaffected by narcotic antagonists. It causes little sedation or GI disturbances.



Stimulates the chemoreceptor trigger zone, causing nausea and vomitillfl. These emetic effects are blocked by narcotic antagonists. Apomorphme has few other narcotIc-like effects.

Other Central Analgesics Tramadol (UltramS ) is a non-opiate synthetic analgesic that is indicated for moderate to scvere pain. Tramadol and its primary metabolite bind to Il-opioid receptors, but is only partially antagonized by naloxone. It also reduces uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.

SO Central Nervous System

Compared to other central analgesics, it produces less respiratory depression and histamine release than opiates and less platelet toxicity than nonsteroidals. Toxicity includes constipation, dizziness, nausea/ vomiting, headache, pruritis. Tramadol-induce miosis may limit the utility of pupil examination in head trauma patients. Tolerance, depcndence, abuse are less likely to dcvclop with Tramadol than with opioids.





PO/SClIM. Rapid absorption, half-life = 3h. 10% demethylated to form morphine. the rest is conjugated in liver and excreted in urine.

Low risk of abuse.

Similar 10 morphine.

Included in a nuriiber of cough medicine rreparations because 0 antitussive effects.

PO. Well absorbed, Half metabolized in first pass. Hall-lite = 15 h.

Low risk of abuse.


IMlIV/SC. MOre rapid onset, shorter duration than morphine. Well absorbed, highly metabolized.

Lower risk of abuse than morphine. Antagonist effects can induce withdrawal in narcotic addicts.


Abstinence syndrome upon withdrawal. Lower abuse potential than morphine.

Increase CNS d~ression caused by CNS epressants.

IV. Rapid onset, short half-life ÂŤ 1h).

Induces abstinence syndrome in narcotic-dependent patients.

Reverses narcotic induced depression.

PO. Duration> 24 h.

.. ..


Overdose often leads to death, particularly in patients with history of psychiatric disorders. To prevent Iv abuse, it is mixed with naloxone. Taken orally, onl& pentazocine is a sorbed. By IV however, naloxone blocks pentazocine. Antagonist activity: Bupromorphine > Butorphanot > Desocine = Nalbuphine> Pentazocine.

Table 3.6D Selected Combination Products Containing Narcotics TRADE NAME Tylenol w/Codeine NO.3

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS 30 mg. codeine phosphate and 325 mg. acetaminophen

Tylenol w/Codeine NO.4

60 mg. codeine phosphate and 300 mg. acetaminophen

Fiorinal w/Codeine No. 3

30 mg. codeine phosphate, 325 mg. aspirin, 40 mg. caffeine, 50 mg. butalbital


5 mg. hydrocodone bitartrate & 650 mg. acetaminophen

Opium and Belladonna' Suppositories , (anticholinergic)

60 mg. powdered opium and 15 mg. powdered beladonna extract


5 mg. oxycodone and 325 mg. acetaminophen


4.5 mg. oxycodone HCI, 0.38 m!). oxycodone terephthalate and 325 mg. aspinn

Darvocet-N 100

100 mg. propoxyphene napsylate and 650 mg. acetaminophen

DaIVon-N w/A.S.A.

100 mg. propoxyphene napsylate and 325 mg. aspirin


Used for control of diarrhea.


Anti-anxiety Agents and Sedatives Barbiturates and benzociiazepines enhance the actions of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gammaaminobutyric acid (Fig 3.6, Tables 3.8A, 3.88 and 3.8C). Agents from both classes are effective sedativehypnotics (sleep-inducing agents), antianxiety agents, and anticonvulsants (fable 3.9). Benzodiazepines are prescribed more often than barbiturates because they cause fewer side effects.

The non-barbiturate/non-benzodiazepine sedatives are not listed in a table. Zolpidem (Ambien), Chloral hydrate, paraldehyde, meprobamate and glutethimide cause sedation, but are neither benzodiazepines or barbiturates. Zolpidem acts through the GABA receptor and its actions mimic benzodiazepines. It is used for short-term treahnent of insomnia. ChJoral hydrate is used for sedation in children. It is reduced in the body to trichloroethanol, a potent ethanol. Like ethyl alcohol, the side effects of chloral hydrate include mucosal irritation, light~headedness,malaise and ataxia. Paraldehyde, meprobamate and glutethimide are seldom used.

GABA Receptor

Chloride Ion Channel

Benzodiazepine Receptor

Picrotoxin Receptor

::...._--~I;:='"'lc::.--1f-Barbiturate Receptor

FigJlrf! 3.6, Sellema"'c model of tlll~ GABA1Betlzodiaz.epim.'18arbitltrare receptor complex. The rt'Crptor complex surrOlwds a chloride iot! clultwe1. Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is all inllibitory Ileurolrmlsmiltl!r. GABA binds fa IIII.' receptor elll/sing chloride influx. Tile nltroi'lI/l'Ut ofcllloride into the "eltrOIl Ityperpolarizes the lIeuronal membrane, making it /IIore diffiCliIt for excitatory neurotransmitters to depolarize the cell, Betlzodiazepi"es mId barbiturates enhance tilt' actions of CABA, bllt fail to api'll the cllloride ,hail/rei in the aWIICf! of CABA.

Table3.8A Comparison of Benzodiazepines and Barbiturates BARBITURATES Mechanism/ Actions: Bind to receptor adjacent to GABA receptoron chloride channels. Results in retention of GABA at its receptor causing increased flux of chloride through the channel. Induces sedalion, euphoria, other mood alterations, hypnosis. "barbiturate" fast waves in EEG, respiratory depression. At high doses, may cause cardiovascular depression or death,

BENZODIAZEPINES Mechanism! Actions: Bind to benzodiazepine site on neuronal GABA receptorcorrplex. Enhances GABA~ mediated chloride influx ~neuronal inhibition). At therapeutic doses may a so inhibit neurons by unknown mechanisms which are unrelated to eitherGABA or chloride influx. Cause sedation, skeletal muscle relaxation, and "barbiturate~ fast waves on EEG. Also has anticonvulsant effects.

Indications: Oinical uses include treatment of epileptic seizures and as a COll'l>Onent of anesthesia. Benzodiazepines are usually preferred 10 barbiturates for treatment of anxiett. Antipsychotics are preferred for treatment of neurot c states,

Indications: Gener~, benzodiazepines are used for treatment of anxiety a neurotic states, nervous tension, agitallon, ~~chosomatic illness, delerium tremens. Also used for s e etal muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, and sedative properties. Diazepam is the benzodiazepine of choice for muscle relaxation and intractable seizures.

Undesirable effects: DrO'NSiness, clouding of consciousness, d~arthria, ataxia, -paradoxicalslimulalion due to havioral disinhibition, CNS depression to the point of coma and respiratory arrest, laryngospasm.

Undesirable Effects: Dro'NSiness, clouding of consciousness, dysarthria, ataxia, behavioral disinhibition, dermatitis.

Pharmacokinetics: PO/PRlIMlIV. Well absorbed orally. Give 1M only if patient can't take orally. Give IV slowly because of hypotension risk. Barbiturates vary markedly in ~id solubility and plasma protein binding \Table 3.8B). arbiturates induce P450 enzymes in Ihe iver which i metabolism of phenytoin, digitoxin, coumadin and others.

Pha rmacoklnetlcs: Primary dillerence between various benzodiazepine agonisfs are their pharmacokinetlc properties (Table 3.8e).

Tolerance/Dependence: Tolerance, metabolic dependence, and psychologic dependence are likely. De~endence presents much like chronic alcoholism. Upon wit drawal, convulsions, hyperthermia, and delerium may be severe enough to cause death.

Tolerance/Dependence: High dose, chronic therapy may lead to dependence. Abrupt withdrawal may cause syndrome that mimics alcohol withdrawal (convulsions, hypert hermia, delerium). Cross tolerance and dependence occur.

Drug 1nteractlons: Barbiturates as a class interact with over 40 other dru~ These Interactions are largely due to alteration of meta lizing enzymes in the liver or Interference Vllith the absorption of other drugs.

Drug 1nteractlons: Additive Vllith alcohol.

52 Central Nervous System

Table 3.8B Comparison of Barbiturates DRUGS Long Acting Barbital Phenobarbital Mephobarbital

REMARKS Duration: 10-12 hours. Barbital is excreted primarily by the kidneys. Phenobarbital is metabolized by the P450 enzymes in the liver. Phenobarbital induces P450 enzymes, causing increased metabolismol many drugs. Phenobarbital is used clinically as an antIconvulsant.

Intermediate Acting Aproba rbital

Duration: 6-8 hours.

Short Acting Amobarbital Pentobarbital Secobarbital

Duration: 3-6 hours. Metabolized by P450 enzymes in liver. Amobarbital is sometimes adrrinisterecl by psychiatrists during analysis or therapy. Prior to some neurosurgical procedures (e.g., temporal lobectomy for Intractable seizures) amobarbital is injected unilaterally Into the carotid artery to determine the dominant hemisphere of the brain.

Ultra-short Acting

Duration: <3 hours. These drugs are deposited in fat, then secondarily metabolized by the liver.

Thiopental Methohexital Hexobarbital


•• F1umazeml (Romazlcon) IS a competitive antagonist at benzo<t!azepme receptors. Used chrllcally to reverse benzodiazepine sedation or overdose and as part of the treatment for hepatic encephalopathy. Resedation occurs in abmlll0% of reversals. Seizures infrequently occur with reversal, usually following muJti·drug overdose.

Table 3.8C Comparison of Benzodiazepines DRUG




PJ.ost rapIdly absorbed. MetabOlized in liver to active metabolites which prolong clinical duration of action. Metabolized slowly by infants, elderly and patients with hepatic disease.

IndIcated for anxiety dlsorners.

Flurazepam (Dalmane)

Active metabolites prolong duration of action.

Corrmonly used lor insomnia.


Similar to flurazepam, but much more expensive.

Long ACtfn&

Quazepam (Doral) Clonazepam (Klonopin)


Chlorazepate (Tranxene)

PRODRUG is hydrolyzed in stomach to active agent.

Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)

Longest duration of action.

Used primarily for anxiety disorders.



Shorter Acting Short acting, water soluble COrTllound. Metabolites not active.

OSoo 1requant y In anestneSla.

Alpraz ol8iTl{Xanax)

M6fa6OIlfes no ac lVe.

Ras antlde~ressant aclions as well as anxlolyllc actions. A so used to treat panic allacks. Unlike many benzodiazepines, alprazolamdoes not cause daytime dro'loSiness.

Lorazepam (Ativan)

Metabolites not active.

Useful for achieving rapid sedation of agitated patients. No daytime sedation.

Oxazepam (Serax)

Poorly absorbed, requres hiQher doses than diazepam to achieve same effects.

Useful for treati~'derty patients and patients VYith liver dysfunction cause it does not rely on the liver for metabolism.


Halazepam (Paxipam) Temazepam (Restoril) Trlaz ola m (Halcion)

For anxiety disorders. Metaoolites may De active. CorTYl'lOnry used to sedate hospitalized patients.


Table 3.9 Anticonvulsants DRUG


Barbiturate and benzOdlsz'(!/nes Phenobarbital Enhances l\SA-rrediated


chloride Influx through inhibitory neurotransmitter channels (Fig 3.6).



Generalized seizures In pedlstrrc---tNS depression, drowsiness. patients. Less ollen In adults. Associated with decreased IQ in children that have been treated chronically.


Metabolized to phenobarbital and phenylelhylmaJonarride.

Alternative therapy lor partial or tonic-clonic seizures.


Enhances GABA mediated chloride In!lux (Fig. 3.6).

Status epileptic US. Rapid onset useful for slopping active seizures. Not used for chronic seizure control.

Drowsiness, clouding of consciousness, ataxia. other signs of CNS depression.



Alternative to ethosuximide or valproic acid lor absence seizure.




Alternative for partial seizures. Alcohol withdrawal. anxiety.


Tiagablne (Ga itril)

Blocks presynaptic GABA路 uptake.

Partial seizures.

Dizziness, nervousness, tremor.

Phenytoin (Dilanlln) Mephenytoln Ethotoln Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx)

Reduces sodium, calcium and potassium currents across neuronal membranes. Unclear which effects are responsible tor seizure prophylaxIs.

All types 01 seizures except absence.

f':lystagroos, ataxia, other CNS disturbances, bone marrow suppression. gingival hyperglasia, hepatotoxicity, GI dlstur ances. IV administration may cause CNS depression, severe hy~tension, arrhythmias, and hype inesis.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol)

Similar to phenytoin. Also has antidiuretic effect. Chemical structure similar to tricyclic antidepressants.

All types of seizures except absence. Trigeminal neuralgia. manic depression, schizophrenia that fails to respond to antipsychotics.

Agranulocytosis or aplastic anema (monitor blood counts), vertigo, nausea. vomiting.

Vaiproic Acid (Depakote)

MeChanism unkno'Nll. Enhancement of GABA neurotransmssion postulated.

All seizure ?:pe~articuiarlY disorders 0 co ned seizure ~pes. Manic episodes in bipotar Isorder.

Severe/fatal hepatotoxicity, particularly in small children, rTk.lch less in adults. ThrorTbocytopenia, hyperanYl1Onema.

Felbamate (Felbatol)

Mechantsm unknown. Ma~r recorrmended beCause related to actions at the GABA of aplastic anema and liver failure or NMOA (glutamate) receptor risk. channels.

Ethosuximide Methsuxlmlde Phensuximlde

Mechanism unkno'Nll.


Headache, nausea, dizziness, vomting, fatigue, ataxia. blurred vision, confusion. rashes. hepatotoxicity, blood dyscrasias, 'LP-us-like syndrome (rare).

Gabapentln (Neurontin)

Mechanism unknown. Related to GABA, bullikely acts at distinct receptor.

Adjunctive treatment of partial seizures.

Somnolence, ataxia, dizziness, other CNS effects.

Lamotrlglne (Lamictal)

Mechanism unclear. Ma~ stabilize neurons and af eet glutamate/aspartate release.

Adult patients with partial seizures or Lenl'lOx-Gastaut Syndrome.

Dizziness, headache. nausea, ataxia, somnolence, diplopia, blurred vision. life-threatening rash in children (1 :50) and adults (1:1000).


Mechanism unknown. Ma be related to actions at GAB or kainate/AMPA receptors.

Partial onset seizures.

Psychomotor slowing. Somnolence, ataxia. dizziness, speech i~irmenl.

(Valium) Lorazepam (At ivan)

Ataxia, vertigo, olherCNS

changes, nausea, anorexia.



54 Central Nervous System


AfSl<Of ~'astic anenia~ ~~patlc failure. omnolence, headache, fatigue, nausea, photosensitivity.




IV/PO. Slow onset ~>30 min). Very long hal -life ~50 hrs). Metabolized by 450 enzymes in liver.

Stirrulates P450 enzymes which increases metabolism (decreases serum coneentration) 01 dozens of drugs.

PO. Metabolized to phenobarbital and ~enylethymalOnamide

th anticonvulsants.




IV/PO/PR. Rapid onset (IV<S min). Metabolized In liver. Diazepam has longer hall-lile.

Additive "";th CNS depressants. Many drugs inhibit metabolism of diazepam.

PO. Long acting.

Additive 'Nith eNS depressants.

PO. Inactive until hydrolyzed in stomach.


PO. litrate dose over 6-20 'Weeks until effective.

Cleared faster in patients taking other anticonvulsants.

PO/IV/1M. Therapeutic serum level is 10-20 mcp'/m1. Slow onset, long hal ·liIe. rvtetabolized in liver.

Many dru9s alter metabolism and protem binding of phenytoin and vice-versa. Consult a cOflllrehensive list of druq interactions prior to changing medications in patients on phenytoin.

PO. Induces its own metabolism by stimulating P450 enzymes in liver.

Do not administer tocraatients with monoamine ox! ase inhibitors (Table 3.1 B) in their system (potentiation may be lethal).

PO/IV. Metabolized in liver, highly protein bound, halflife longer in children and patients with liver damage.

Additive "";th other anticonvulsants. levels decreased by aspirin and cimetidine.

PO. Well absorbed, largely unmetabolized. Serum levels do not correlate with ellicacy.

Alters serum levels of other anticonvulsants.

PO. Metabolized in liver, not protein bound. Therapeutic level. 40-1 00 meg/mi.

Ethosuximide increases phenytoin levels and decreases primidone.

PO. Excreted unchanged by kidneys. Reduce dose w/ renal dysfunction.

Gabapentin absorption decreased by antacids.

PO. Induces its own metabolism

Reduce dose if patient is on valproate. Other anliconvulsants may reduce serum levels.


Generalized seizures involve both hemispheres. They occur either as a result of hyperexcitability throughout the brain or because an epileptic focus spreads to both sides of the brain. By the latter mechanism, focal seizures may become generalized.

• Types of Seizures and Drugs of Choice • Partial Seizures: Sill/pIe partial seizures consist of a single detectable motor, sensory or psychological dysfunction which does not change during an episode. Consciousness is retained throughout. Partial complex seizures begin in a focal area, usually in the temporal lobe or Ilmbic cortex, and spread. Focal signs are often followed by automatisms (e.g., lip smacking, sweating) and dulled or lost consciousness. Effective drugs include carbamazepine, phenytoin, clonazepam and primidone. Valproic acid is sometimes added. • Absence Seizures (Petit mal}: Generalized seizures in children or teens which present as brief episodes of blank staring but no convulsions. Effective drugs include ethosuximide, valproate, donazepam and trimethadione, • Generalized Tonic-Clonic Seizures (Grand mal): Begin with prolonged contractions of muscles in extension foUowed by cyanosis due to arrested breathing. Patients then experience whole-body clonic jerks. Treatment options include phenytoin, diazepam carbamazepine, phenobarbital and primidone. • Status Epilepticus: Continuous series of seizures without reawakening. May cause permanent brain damage. Lntravenous, diazepam, phenytoin or phenobarbitol is recommended for treatment.

• Principles of Anticonvulsant Therapy

-PO. Excreted unchanged by kidneys. Reduce dose With renal impairment.

Seizures occur as a result of hyperactivity or hypersynchronicity of neurons in the brain. Focal seizures involve a cluster of neurons and present with unilateral symptoms. They are often due to structural abnormalities such as scars, tumors or inOammation.

Reduces levels (efficacy) 01 oral contrac~ives. Enhances C depressants

• Increase dose of suitable single ngent until desired effect is achieved or unh[ toxicity prevents further increase. • Follow serum drug levels. • A second drug may be added if maximal doses of the initial drug filiI. The initial drug should then be tapered and discontinued. • Abrupt discontinuance of an anticonvulsant may induce status cpiJepticus. Always taper doses. • Inform female patients of association with birth defects.


General Anesthetics Inhalation anesthetics arc inert vapors used during surgery to achieve sedation, muscle relaxation and analgesia. The first anesthetic, ether, was introduced in 1846 by a second-year medical student at Massachusetts General Hospital Ether has since been replaced by non-volatile agents. Inhalation anesthetics do not appear to work through a receptor mechanism and the mechanism of action remains a mystery. Theories suggesting that anesthetics work by altering the lipids in cell mem· branes stem from the observation that the potency of anesthetics correlates extremely closely with the solubility of the drug in oil.

The measure of potency is the minimum alveolar concentration (MAC). MAC is the concentration of anesthetic that causes immobility in 50% of subjects exposed to the agent at onc atmosphere. The MACs of commonly used anesthctics are: • Halothane - 0.75 • Enflurane· 1.68 • lsoflurane - 1.15 • Nitrous oxide - 105.0 Note that the MAC of nitrous oxide is greater than 100'%. This means that less than 50% of exposed subjects would be anesthetized even if 100% nitrous oxide was admjnistered. Thus nitrous oxide is a poor anesthetic when used alone.

3. 10 General Anesthetics DRUG Thiopental rentothal . see ables 3.8A and B)

REMARKS 1 CNS: Sedation, hypnosis, eNS depression. decreased cerebral blood flow and metabolism (reduced intracranial pressure). CV: 10-20% drop in blood ~ressure. Resp: Apnea, bronchoconstriction. Tax: Hypotension, tachycardia, resp depression, ronchospasm, anaphylaxis. Kinetics: IV. Onset 40 seconds. duration 30 minutes, drug released from fat stores may prolong anesthesia.

Propofol (Diprivan)

CNS: More potent than thiopental. CV: BradJccardia, hypotension,decreased myocardial perfusion. Resp: Apnea. Tax: Pain on injection (use Ii ocaine first), eNS stimulation, severe cardiovascular depression in elderly and hypovolemic patients. Kinetics: IV. Onset 1 min. Very rapidly cleared by metabolism and tissue distribution. Constant infusion necessary to maintain anesthesia.

Etomidate (Amidate)

CNSJCVlResp: Similar to thiopental, less cardiovascular and res~ralory depression. Tal(: Myoctonus, vomiting, adrenal insuHiciency Irom chronic use. Kin: V. Onset 1 min, Duration 3-5 min.

Ketamlne (Ketalar)

eNS: Dissociative (disconnected Irom surroundings) anesthesia, analgesia. increased Intracranial pressure. CV: Increase or decrease in blood pressure, heart rate. Resp: Apnea, bronchodilation. Tax: Hallucinations (Adults::. children), nightmares, increased secretions. Kinetics: IV/1M. Onset 30 sec. Duration 15 min.

Volatile Organics -Halothane (H)' tluothane) - nflurane (E)' (Ethrane) -Isoflurane (I)' (Forane)

CNS: Anesthesia, skeletal muscle relaxation. CV: Myocardial depression (·E::.H::.I). decreased vascular resistance, sensitize heart to catecholamlnes ('H::.E>I). Resp: Respiratory depression, bronchodilation ("H::.E::.I). Tax: Malignant hyru;rthermia ~ssible wilh all. Halothane associated with hepatotoxicity and infrequent liver failure. Enf urane: nep rotoxicity Kinetics: Isoflurane is least metabolized. lack of metabolites credited for hepatic & renal safety. All stored in lal. Newer agents include Desfturane and Sevollurane.

Nitrous Oxide

CNS: 100% Nitrous oxide falls to induce anesthesia in ::.50% of people - usually used with other agents. CV: When combined with halothane or enflurane, less hypotension at equivalent deruth 01 anesthesia. Resp: Little effect. Tax: Transient hypoxia following use. Kinetics: Least so uble in blood. Thus, excreted rapidly by expiration of unmelabolized gas.

1 The molecular mechanism of action is unknown for most anesthetics. A~ents often used with an anxiolytic (Table 3.8) and/or paralytic (Table 2.9). Drugs are rapidly dislribuled, metabolized in t e liver and excreted by the kidney unless noted.

Migraine Headache Therapy Sumatriptan (lmitrexe), naratriptan (Amerge), rizatriptan (Maxaltt and zolmitriptan (Zomig) are vascular 5HT) (serotonin) receptor agonists that causes vasoconstriction of the basilar artery and dura mater vessels. Pain reHef occurs in 15 - 80% of patients.

56 Central Nervous System

Onset of relief is 10-120 minutes. Toxicity includes; dizziness, tingling, flushing, chest discomfort, weakness, neck pain. Propranolol and timolol are used to prevent onset of migraine headaches (Table 2.4).

Cardiovascular and Hematology Drugs Co-authored by Eric Hockstad, M.D. In simple terms, • The heart is a pump. • It pumps blood through a system of blood vessels that has a limited volume capacity. • An electric conduction system maintains regular rate and rhythm. • Myocardial cells require oxygen. When heart function is considered in these terms, heart malfunctions and therapeutic interventions can be predicted: • Heart failure occurs when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the metabolic demands of the body. The most common cause is myocardial injury from ischemia, inOammation and chronic hypertension. • Hypertension develops when blood volume is great compared to the space available inside blood vessels. Mean arterial pressure is equal to cardiac output times

peripheral resistance. lncreased heart rate, decreased vascular resistance and myocardiaJ contractility, enhance cardiac output. Vasoconstriction elevates peripheral resistance. • Arrhythmias occur when usuaUy electrically quiet myocardium becomes active. • Angina (chest pain) is the heart's way of signalling that some of its cells are not getting enough oxygen (too little blood flow). Myocardial infarction occurs when oxygen-starved areas of the hearl begin dying. An understanding of the pathophysiology of each disease and the therapeutic goaJs of each treatme.nt strategy will make learning the individual drugs much easier. Table 4.1, which follows, describes the pharmacologic approach to treating heart malfunctions. Note that some drugs are used to treat several malfunctions.


Table 4.1 A Strategies for Treating Cardiovascular Disease THERAPEUTIC GOALS

PHARMACOlOGIC STRATEG'ES PI'(Uype (h.g liS1lld, "tllrnallve d'ug$ hsaed In kj!arNIIll~.


Dlur.lle. deereaseblood volume by increasing tlMl vo/u,. of water e.cretlld in tlMl unne.

Reduc. SYrTllllthehc oulflow rrom the bram

Clonldlnl ill.., agonISt 81 Q2 receplOl'll, OooOne Irlhobltl lurther releaseoltlMlsyrrpathalic agonlSl, norepInephnne, and Inhibits sy~thetlc oultlow rrom the brain

Block adleneJglC receptOfS In the heart

Alenolol Is a ~, adrenergic receptor antagonlslthal reduces hean rale and myocardialllOrll



Pr'2 o.ln blocks Q, adrenergIC receplOl'll. causH'lll vasodilallon. Nlledlplne blocks calc'umenlry into smooth IfllSCIe cells 01 artenel walls. pr.-ven\lng coniracllOl'l Hydr,II,-ln. relBx_artenoles C,ploprll reduc. producllDl1 of llr'IIQIOt_1n n, causes vasodilallOl'l


• Sllbll Angln. Nllroglyclrln reduces prBbad by venodilahDn Allnolol dec_mrocanial ~ (til arcagcnsl) DIIII'2Im deerees_ blood pressure through vasodilallOl'l. by clllclUmllfllry • Unllabll Angln, BIll blocke,. reducl heart rate and myOCardial or.orte. Alplrln prltllents plotelel oggregotlon In myocordlo! arteries Heplrln inhibits clotting In myocardial arterie5, NltroglyClrln rlduces preload EptlflbaUdl


T1ro'lb'n Inhibit plallllet aggregatIOn

AeducllOOO<. 01 hoart and inllrOVI cardlal corculahon

Myocardial Infarction

AeperlUSI ischernc IISSue

Streploklnl.1 conver1S ptasmnogen toptaslTlln, Ptamn dige$l5ltlOn and hbrlnogen, thus dissoN"'ll CIoIS Ant'lnglnl' Iglnt. Seeabove. Not nIl8dipone, whlch .. dangerous 11'1 s... tlOQ 01' myocardial ,",arc11On

58 Cardiovascular Drugs

Table 4.1 B Strategies for Treating Cardiovascular Disease (cont.) THERAPEUTIC GOALS

PHARMACOlOGIC STRATEGIES PrctOlypEl drug listed, a1ternalive (hqs listed in follOW'ing ~es

Heart Failure Reduce workload.

Diuretics decrease blood volume. Captoprll causes vasodilation. Atenolol

(~blocker) reduces

heart rate and work load.

Nitroglycerin reduces venous tone (It also dilates coronary arteries, enhancing blood delivery to the heart). Hydra lazine and Nitroprusside relax arterioles.

Irrprove myocardial contractility.

Dlgox In increases calclum influx into myocardial cells. Amrlnone inhibits cAMP degradation (cAMP is a biochemical messenger that stilTlJlates the heart. Dobulamlne increases cAMP production by adrenergic receptors.



Restore synchronous myocardial contraction

Several classes 01 agents described in Tables 4.7A & B.

Vascular Occlusion Prevent coagulation

Hepa rln and Warfs rin inhibit coagulation pathway.

Prevent clot formation

Aspirin inhibits platelet aggregation. Tlclopldine inhibits platelet binding to fibrinogen.

Destroy clots that have already formed

Streptokinase converts plasminogen to plasmin.



• Loop diuretics are more powerful than thiazides and must be used cautiously to avoid dehydration. These

• Diuretics Diuretics reduce blood pressure and edema by increasing urine production. All diuretics enhance water and sodium excretion, but the effect of diuretics

on other salts depends on the mechanism of action

agents may cause hypokalemia, so potassium levels should be followed closely. • Potassium-sparing diuretics enhance sodium and water excretion while retaining potassium. These

agents are marketed in combination with potassiumwasting diuretics in order to minimize potassium

(Table4.2A, Fig. 4.1).

• Thiazide diuretics inhibit sodium and chloride reabsorption in the distal tubule, resulting in mild diuresis. Potassium supplements may be necess..1ry because of potassium-wasting effects.

imbalances. • Osmotic diuretics draw water into Ule urine, without interfering with ion secretion or absorption in the


4.2A Antihypertensive Agents - Diuretics DRUG MECHANI SMI ACT I ONS Thiazide Diuretics Chlorothlazlde l~~iblts ~.~ium a~~~hloriae (e.g., Diuril) reabsorpion in the distal tubule. loss 01 K+-, Na+, and CI- causes increase in urine output. Sodium loss results in J. GFR.

Loop Diuretics Furosemide (lasix)

Ethacrynic Acid (Elhacrynale)

Inhibits chloride reabsorption in thick ascending loop of Henle. High loss of K+ in urine.


INDICATIONS !,:,~al starting agent for hypertension, chronic edema, idiopathic hypercalcuria.

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS ~??I{.~lema:_n~ponatrerTlla,

hyperglycerria, h~peruricemia, hypercalcerria, 0 iguria, anuria, weakness, decreased placental flow, sulfonamide allergy, GI distress.

Preferred diurelic In patients with low GFR and in hypertensive emergencies. Also, edema, r.ulmonary edema, and to mobilize arge volumes of fluid. Sometimes used to reduce serum potassium levels.

HY~natrema, hypokalema, de ydration, hypotension, hypergrrccemia, hyperuricemia, hypoca cema, ototoxicity, sulfonamide allergy, hypomagnesemia, hypochloremic alkalosis, hypovolemia.

Orally for edema. IV lor pulmonary edema.

Most ototoxic, more GI distress, less likely to cause alkalosis. Otherwise like furosemide.

Torsemlde (Demadex)

Blocks Na+, K+, cr carrier in thick ascending loop.

Hypertension, edema.

Headache, dizziness.

Bumetanlde (Bumex)

Most potent.

Orally for edema, IV for pulmonary edema.

Similar to furosemide. Ototoxicity has not been reported. large doses may cause severe myalgia.

USed with other diuretics because K+-sparing effects lessen hypokalemic ellects. May correct metabolic alkalOSIS.

HYPERkalemia, sOdium or water depletion. Patients "";th diabetes mellitus may develop glucose intolerance.

Potassium SparlntDIUretiCS Amllorlde 'reclly increases Na+ (Midamor) excretion and decreases K+ secretion in distal convoluted tubule. Spironolactone (e.g.. Aldactone)

Antagonist of aldosterone (aldosterone causes Na+ retention). Also has actions similar to amiloride.

Used with thiazides for edema (in congestive heart failure), cirrhosis, and nephrotic syndrome. Also to treat or diagnose hyperaldosteronism.

As for amiloride. Also causes endocrine imbalances (acne, oily skin, hirsutism, gynecomastia)

Trlamterlne ([)yrenium)

Directly inhibits Na+ reabs0d'tion and secretion of K+ an H+ in collecting tubule.

Not used for hyperaldosteronism. Other'Mse like spironolactone.

May turn urine blue and decrease renal blood flow. OIher'Mse like amiloride.

Acute renal failure. acute closed angle glaucoma, brain edema, 10 remove overdoses 01 some drugs.

Headache, nausea, vomiting, chills, dizziness, polydipsia, lethargy. confusion, and chest pain.

Osmotic Diuretic Mannitol OSmotically inhibits sodium (e.g.. Aesectisol) and water reabsorption. Initially increases plasma volurne and btood pressure.

60 Cardiovascular Drugs

Amiloride ~'I/=<~rTlSpironolactone Triamterine

Furosemide Ethacrynic Acid Bumetanide

Figure' 4.1 Site of diuretic IIctions. Thiazide diu,..tics inhibit sodium lind chloride reP.bsorption in 1/11.' distal tubulI'. Loop diuretics inhibit chloride reP.bsorption in tilt' thick QSCC'flding loop of Hm/e. Potassium sparillg diurt'lics jnhibit potassium SC'C1rliOIl and influeTICt' sodium ucrt'tion in lhe distal convoluted tubule. Manllitol osmotically illhibits wllter arrd sodium reabsorption throllg/IOUI lhe Ilephron.





PO. Absol'bed rapidly, eliminated primarily as unchanged drug.

Pregnant women (unless clearly indicated for pathologic edema). Anuria.

Increases toxicity of digitalis or lithium; hypokalemia with corticosteroids or ACTH; orthostatic hypotension with alcohol, barbiturates or narcotics. Decreases effects of vasopressors.

There are over a dozen thiazide-like diuretics which differ primarily in dosage reguirements and duration. onsull a drug index for these details.

PO/IV. 95% prote'n bound. eliminated unchanged by kidney.

Anuria, electrolyte depletion.

Increases toxicity of ototoxIC and nephrotoxic drugs and lithium. Probenecid and indomelhadn inhibit diuretic effects of furosemide. Enhances effect of antihypertensive drugs.

S.i.gns of hypochloremic alkalosis include tetany; increased bicarbonate, heart rate BUN, and hematocrit; decreased blood pressure, sodium, and skin turgor.



Similar to furosemide. Narrower dose-response curve than furosemide. PO/IV. Metabolized in liver. PO/IV. 95% absorbed, 95% protein bound, half metabolized, half-life = 1.5 hrs.

·. ·.

PO. Excreted unchan3ed in kidney, 6 hr half-life. an be used in patients with hepatic insufficiency. PO. Metabolized extensively in liver to an active metabolite. Metabolite is 98% protein bound, half-lile • 1-1.5 days. PO. RapKlly absorbed. highly metabolized. rapidly excreted.


Ethacrynate sodium is used intravenously to Ireat acute pulmonary edema.

Anuria, substantial renal insufficiency, hypentalemia. Avoid in diabetics.

·. Heart failure, hypertension, pulmonary edema because of transient Increase in blood pressure.

Twice as potent as furosemide.

Severe hyperkalemia wifh potassium supplements. Increased hyperkalemia with other K+-sparing diuretics.

M9re rapid onset tnan spIronolactone.

As lor amiloride. Also increases risk of digoxin toxicity and decreases vasopressor action 01 norepinephrine.

The metabolite canrenone is primarily responsible for the actions of this drug.


Manteted in combination with thiazide diuretics.


Inifially increases central venous pressure, therelore may induce heart failure in susceptible patients.


Antihypertensives (cant.) â&#x20AC;˘ Antiadrenergics Adrenergic agonists increase blood pressure by stimulating the heart ([!1 receptors) and/or constricting peripheral blood vessels (al receptors). In hypertensive patients, adrenergic effects can be suppressed by inhibiting release of adrenergic agonists or by antagonizing adrenergic receptors (Table 4.2B & C).

â&#x20AC;˘ Presynaptic adrenergic release inhibitors are divided into "central" and "peripheral" antiadrenergics (Table 4.2B). Central antiadrenergics prevent sympathetic (adrenergic) outOow from the brain by activating inhibitory a2 receptors. By

reducing sympathetic ouWow, these agents encourage "parasympathetic predominance". Thus, the list of undesimble effects resembles the list of parasympathetic actions (Fig 2.3). Peripheral antiadrenergics

Table 4.28 Antihypertensive Agents - Presynaptic Adrenergic Release Inhibitors DRUG


Central sntl-adrenerglcs (See Table 2.;.lJ CTOiiTdlne Acts Inbrain as postsynaphc a2(Catapres) adrenergic agonist causing a reduction 1n sYrTl1athetic nervous systemactivlly (decreased heart rate, cardiac ouput and blood pressure). Exact mechanism unknown.



Mild t~ Tno~_erate hypertension.

~~~, drowsmess, ~ary IT'()~~~, cons~~atlon, headache, lrT'f)aired ejaculation. Rebound hypertension II y,.;thdra'Nl1 abruptly. To limit toxicity, start with low dose and increase slowly.

Methyldopa (Aldomet)

As for clonidine. Also, synthesized to methylnoreplnephrlne which acts as a 'NEIak sympathomimetic "false neurotransmitter" wtJich decreases sYflllathetic outflow from the eNS.

As lor clonidlne. Used to treat hypertension in pregnant women.

Dry mouth. sedation. sH9ht orthostatic hypotension. Some patients experience if1lXltence, psychic disturbances, nightmares, involuntary movements. or hepatotoxicity.

Guanabenz (Wytensln) Guanfaclre (Tenex)

As lor clonidine. Also depletes norepinephrine stores in peripheral adrenergic nerve terminals.

Mild to moderate hypertension.

Dry mouth, sedation. Rebound hypertension is observed less frequently.

seldom used for mild to moderate

"ParasYfT1)atnetlc ~redommence (bradycardia, diarr ea, bronchoconstriction, increased secretions), decreased cardiac contractility and output, postural h~potension (depletes norepinep rine inhibiting vasoconstriction), peptic ulcers. sedation and suicidal depression, illlj)aired ejaculation, gynecomastia. low risk of rebound hypertension because 01 long duration of action.


antl-adrenerglcs (See Table 2.3) eserplne partially depletes catecholamne stores (e.g., Serpasil) in peripheral nervous system and perhaps in the CNS. Decreases total peripheral resistance, heart rate, and cardiac output.


Guanadrel (Hylorel)

Sequestered into adrenergic nerve eOOI"9s. Initially releases norepmephrine (increase BP and HAl. Then depletes norepinephrine from terminal and interferes ""';th release. Reflex tachycardia is then impossible because of depletion 01 norepinephrine. like guanethidine, but works faster, releases norepinephrine initially (transient increase in blood pressure), and has little CNS activity.

62 Cardiovascular Drugs


longer recorrmended for pSJ;chiatric disor ers.

Severe ~pertension

en other agents fail. Rarely used.

Mild to moderate hypertension.


Initial increase in heart rate and blood ~ssure (due to release 01 norepinephrine). sting and orthostatic hypotension. Bradycardia, decreased cardiac output, dyspnea In COPO patients. severe nasal congestion. Nodepression (poor CNS penetration) As for guanethidine, but less severe.


prevent norepinephrine release from peripheral nerve terminals (e.g., those which terminate on the heart). These agents deplete norepinephrine stores in nerve terminals. â&#x20AC;˘ Alpha and beta blockers compete with endogenous agonists for adrenergic receptors. Antagonist occupation of al receptors i.nhibits vasoconstriction and occupation of ~l receptors prevents adrenergic stimulation of the heart.

Selective al or ~ 1 blockers are replacing nonspecific blockers, because they produce fewer undesirable effects. Several ~ blockers have intri.nsic sympathomimetic activity (act as weak agonists at some adrenergic receptors). These drugs stimulate P2 receptors, which reduces the likelihood that rebound hypertension (sympathetic reflex to fall in blood pressure) will develop. Activated P2 receptors dilate large central arteries which provide a reservoir for blood. ~





PO. Readil~ absorbed, 75% bioavailabi ity, eliminated largely unchanged by kidney. Must decrease dose wlrenal insufficiency.

Hypersensitivity to clonidine.

Tricyclic antidepressants reduce antihypertensive effects. Alcohol, barbiturates, and sedatives increase CNS depression. Concomitant ""';thdrawal of P-blockers t rebound hypertension.

If blood pressure drop is too great, reflex renin production may cause sodium and water retention. Diuretics may counteract this.

PO/IV.Although 63% excreted unchanged by kidneys, it can be used in patients with renal insuffiCiency.

If signs of heart failure (due to fluid retention as a result of decreased renal blood floW) occur, discontinue drug. Contraindicated in those with liver dysfunction.

Similar to clonidine.

Antibodies to methyldopa may cause hemolytic anemia (fairly rare, but potentially lethal). FollowCBC.

PO. Decrease dose with renal or hepatic dysfunction.

Similar to clonidine. Thiazide diuretics increase antihypertensive effects.

PO. Well absorbed, extensively metabolized. Plasma half-life IS shorter than therapeutic halflife, suggesting that dru~ may be retained at its site of action.

Because of "parasympathetic predominance", contraindicated in patients with con~estive heart failure, asthma, ronchitis, peptic ulcer disease. Patients with family history of depression.

Actions of direct-actIng catecholamines are sharply increased. Reduces effectiveness of mixed or indirect sympalhomimetics. Causes severe hypertension with MAO inhibitors. Causes severe bradycardia, heart block or failure ""';th digitalis, quinidine, or beta blockers. Potentiates actions of antihypertensive agents or CNS-depressants.

PO. Incompletely absorbed, 30% bioavailability, half eliminated unchanged, half as metabolites. Because of very long half-life (5 days), maximal actions may not develop for 2 weeks.

Patients with pheochromocytoma will experience severe hypertension.

Tricyclic antidepressants inhibit uptake into neuron decreasing antihypertensive effects. Other interactions similar to reserpine (above).

Po. Incompletely absorbed, excreted unchanged (50%) and as metabolites (50%). Shorter half-life (12 hrs) than guanethidine.





~ :::!,::~aomifllster

MAO inhibitors and reserpine within two weeks of each other.

Because of long halflife, effects may persist up to two weeks alter discontinuation.


ntl ypertenslve Agents - A P a and Beta DRUG I--!!~drenergic

Prazosln (Minipress) Teraz oslo (Hylrin) Doxazosln



antagonists (also described in Table 2.4.) Peripheral alpha-1 adrenergic Hypertension and antagonist. Dilates both arteries and hypertension lNith veins. congestive heart failure.


tamsulosin (Romax)



Blocks at, PI and

(e.g., Trandate)

lower blood pressure (a 1) wthout reflex tachycardia (PI blockade).






fJ adrenergic Atenolol (Tenormn) Beta xolol (Kanone)

Ca rteolol (Cartrol) Penbutolol (Levatol) Bisoprolol (lebela)

ant8.110nlStS ~/so described In Table 2.4f) Preferentially blocks pI adrenergic Good starting therapy receptors. Decreases heart rate and for mild to moderate output and J,. renin release. Less hypertension bfonchoconstriction than agents which bind 10


Hypotension (postural hypotension on firsl dose is sudden and severe). Sodiumdeplelion (often caused by diet or diuretic therapy in hypertensive patients) worsens the hypotensive episodes. Edema, dry mouth, congestion, headache, nightmares, sexual dysfunction and lethargy may also be observed. Further suppresses failtng heart. Fatigue, il11lOtence, diarrhea, nurTbness, orthostatic hypotension. Further suppresses failing heart. CNS sedalion and depression.

P2 receptors

Melaprolol (Lapressar) Acebutolol (Saolral)

Has some intrinsic syrrpathomimetic activity as well as III blocking activityc;. _

Esmolol (Brevibloc)

Similar to atenolol (no syrrpathomimetic activity).

Propranolol (e.g., Inderol)

Blocks both III and Il2 adrenergic receptors. Decreases heart rate and output and!. renin release. Bronchoconstriction via antagonism of receptors.

路. Cardiosuppression in acute MI and unstable angina.



Nadolol (Corgard)

.. Transient hypertension due to antagonism of j32 receptors (which dilate large arteries) and reflex response to decreased cardiac output, bronchospasm, otherwise like atenolo1.


Tlmolol (Blokadren)

Plndolol (Visken)


Has some intrinsic syrrpathomimetic activity as well as 131 and Il2 blocking activity.

64 Cardiovascular Drugs


Intrinsic sY"l'athomimetic activity decreases likelihood of rebound hypertension (by dilating large arteries via 132) or bronchospasm.



PO. 50%bioavailability, >90% plasma protein bound, eliminated as unchanged drug and as metabolites. Terazosin, Doxazosin, and Tamsulosin have longer half lives than Prazosin. which permits once daily dosing.



Phenobarbital shortens its half-life. Enhances actions of other antihypertensives, may produce severe hypotension.

Because of severe ortOOstatic hypotension, patients should be lying down and observed for at least two hours after initial doses.

PO/1M/IV. Well absorbed, high first pass metabolism, metabolized in liver. Reduce Carvedilol dose w/renal or liver dysfunction.

Contraindicated in patients \oVith asthma or bradycardia.

Labetalol: Myocardial depression w/halothane. Blocks [}agonist induced bronchodilation. Carvedilol: Increases effects/toxicity of calcium entry blockers, clonidine, digoxin, insulin, antidiabetics.

PO. lon~half-life allows once/day dosing. oor penetration into brain (felN8r CNS effects). Excreted unmetabolized. Decrease dose w/renal dysfunction.

Severe diabetes, bradycardia, partial heart block, severe heart failure, asthma, efllJhysema.

AI~P~broc!<ers may enhance effects of digoxin and lidocaine

PO. Shorter half-life. metabolized by liver, enters brain. PO. Moderate half-life, administed oncetwice/day. I V. Short duration (half-life = 9 min) because it is metabolized by erythrocyte esterase. PO. Good CNS penetration (more severe side effects).

PO. Poor CNS penetration. Decrease dose w/renal dysfunction. PO. lon~ half-life than propranolol (it is not meta lized). Enters CNS, but causes fewer side effects that propranolol. PO. W1etabolized by liver.


Levels of metaprolol may be t by verapamil, cimetidine, or ora contraceptives.


See Atenolo!.



路. 路



Cirnetidine increases serum concentration of propranolol.

Under investigation for use in hypertensive emergencies. Abrupt discontinuation may cause rebound hypertension and tachardia. Increases risk of stroke, angina, arrhythmias, infarction.

See atenolol.





r:$ 65

Antihypertensives (cont.) • Vasodilators The previous table pn:.-sented drugs that caused vasodilation by blocking al-mediated vasoconstriction. Vasodilation can also be induced by inhibiting other endogenous vasoconstrictors or by activating a vasodilation pathway (Tables 4.20 & 4.3). Examples of vasodilators incJude:

• Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors suppress the synthesis of angiotensin U, a polent vasoconstrictor. In addition, ACE inhibitors may induce production of vasodilators in the body. • Calcium entry blockers prevent calcium influx into the muscle cells of blood vessel walls. Smooth muscle relies on the influx of extracellular calcium for contraction. Blockade of the calcium influx prevents contraction, causing vasodilation. Smooth

Table 42D Antihypertensive Agents - Vasodilators DRUG


ACE Inhibitors Captoprll ffpote~~" lislnoprlt e.g., Prinlvlt) Enalaprll ( asotec) Ramlprll (Anase} Benazeprll (Lotensln) Foslnoprll (Monopril} QulnaprJl lACCUPril Moexlprll Univasc Trandolaprll (Mavi )

:~~\I~~ts angiotenSin convertIng enzyme (ACE) In the lung, which reduces synthesis ot the vasoconstrictor, a~otensin II. Suppresses al stefOne, resulting In natriuresis. Potentiates other vasodilators (e.g.. bradykinin, prostaglandins).

~/ot&nsln II .nt.gon/sts -losa rfai,(COzaar) --Antagonist at angiotenSin It Valsartan (Diavan} receptor of vascular fn.Jscle. I rbesarten (Avapro) Candesarlan (Atacand) Telmlsartan (Micardis)




~pertensJOn: !:.artlCu a"y AI ."_"'..."',~~~I~tors~ Arst useful for high-renin dose hypotension, hypertension. Preterred drug dizziness. protelnurla. lor hypertensive patients 'Nith rash. tachycardia, diabetic nephropathy because headache. glucose levels are not Captopril in'requently alfected. Heart 'allure - used with diuretics and digitalis. causes agranulocytOSIS Ol' Myocardial infarcllon· to neutropenia. enhance heart repel1uslon.


M)'potens,on. (JIZZlnBSS.


Hydralazine (Apresoline)

Mlnoxldll (Lonlten)

Relaxes arterioles (not veins) Moderate hypertension. May be used in pregnant women Independent 0' syfllllthetic Interactions. Decreases are hypenensive. blood pressure Ieadi~ to rellex tachycardia a Increased cardiac output. Direeny increases renal bloOd flow.


Hypertension not controlled by other drugs. Marketed for male pattern baldness.

Reflex tachycardia, palpitations, fluid rel8f1tion. systenic lupus erythemalosis·like syndrome. Chronic therapy may lead 10 peripheral neurilis (due to Intel1erer'ICe with vitarrin 86 metabolism in neural tissue). As for hydralazine, Also. cardiac fn.Jsc!e lesions. ~~~~i~~ damage. Sodium and water retention and Ihe resulting cardiovascular elleets. t:l:Yperglycenia, GI distress, hirsutism. eXlrapyrarndal side elleels.

Dlnoxlde (Hyperstat)

Decreases peripheral vascular resislance, possibly by antagonizing calcium. Su~esses insulin release and Increases hepatic glucose release.

Shorltermcontrolo' severe hypertension in hospital selling. Hypoglycenia seeondary to hyperinsulinism which is refractory to other forms ot treatment.

ISOll8uprlne (Vasodilan)

Skeletal fn.Jscle vasodilator.

Peripheral or cerebral vascular insufliciency.

Dizziness, hY8ftension, tachycardia. I distress.

Papaverine (e.g" Pavabid) Ethaverine (e.g.• Ethafab)

Smoolh ITIJscle dilator. Mechanism not defined.

Peripheral, cerebral and myocardial (With arrhythrrias) ischerria

Tachycardia sedation. Gl distress. chronic hepatitis.

Epoprostenol (Rolan)

Pulmonary and sr;slenic arterial vasodilal on. .j. platelet aggregation.

Primary pulmonary hypenension.

Rushing, headache. GI distress, hypotension, Jaw pain.

NltrfcerusSlde (Nipr' e)

Convened to nitric oxide, Continuous intravenous which induces cGMP. cGMP Infusion used in hypertensive stlfn.Jlates a phosphorylation! crisis. dephosphorylation cascade, Relaxes smooth fn.Jscle by dephosphorylating myosin.

Tolazollne (Priscollne)

Reduces pulmonary arterial pressure and vascular resistance.

66 Cardiovascular Drugs

Persistent PUlmo~ hypertension of n

severe hypotension. cyanide toxicity. hepatotoxicity.

Hypot8flsion. ar~lhnias. pulmonary hemo age. oliguria. edema, ulcers, throrrbocylopenia

muscle is also responsible for propulsion in the GI tract. Inhibition of propulsion by calcium channel blockers causes constipation, a prevalent side effect of calcium channel blocker therapy. Cardiac muscle and conducting tissue rely on rapid influx of sodium and slow influx of calcium through separate channels for contraction. The slow calcium channel is particularly important in the 5-A and A-V nodes. Blockade of these channels slows the heart. Skeletal muscle



contraction is induced by rapid influx of sodium, which triggers the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Because these cells do not require extracellular calcium for contraction, calcium channel blockers fail to affect skeletal muscle. • Direct vasodilators relax smooth muscle cells which surround blood vessels by a mechanism which is not yet clear, but likely involves production of nitric oxide by vascular endothelium.



PO. prolo~ed duration in patients wit renal dysfunction. Gaptopril requires 2-3 doses per day. others one.

Pregnancy. May cause fetal death or injury during second or third trimester. Bilateral renal artery stenosis.

Increased antihypertensive and hypotensive effects with diuretics. sYl1llathetic blockers. Increased serum potassium with potassiumsparing diuretics. Decreased antihypertensive effects with indomethacin.

PO. Metabolite is 40 times rmre potent than parent.


Phenobarbital reduces level ot Losartan and metabolites.

PO/IV/1M. Excreted unchanged and as acetylated metabolites. Rapid acetylators have lower plasma levels than slowacetylators.

Patients with ischemic heart disease.

Potentiates other antihypertensives. Reduces vasoconstriction b~ syrrpathorrimetic rugs.

Beta·blockers are usually used concorTilanlly 10 reduce reflex tachycardia. Diuretics are also used adjunctivel to reduce sodium an water retention.

DJralion _ 24 hours, metabolized by glucuronide conjugation.


Causes protound orthostatic hypotension in combination 'Mth guanethidine.

Cardiac or pulmonary tunction il1llairrnent may require cessation of drug.

IV/PO. Onset <5 min, duration 3·12 hrs. with rapid IV administration. Hgh plasma protein binding. Crosses brain & placental barriers.

Use with caution in patients with Effects are enhanced by carbohydrate metabolism other diuretics. Profound disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus) hypotension occurs with and patients with irrpaired cardiac other antihypertensives. function. Diazoxide dlspiaces warfarin and phenytoin from albumin.

PO May inhibit Levodopa.

Left ventricle·based congestive heart faHure.

Metabolized to cyanide and cyanmethemoglobin inside red blood cells. Fulleffect within t'M:) rrinutes and rapid loss of effect ....nen infusion is discontinued. IV. Onset within 30 rrinutes of continuous infusion.

Chemically related to thiazide diuretics.

Discontinue if rash develops.

PO. Twice daily dosing

Continuous infusion IV. Requires PUf11l for home use.

Often used in conjunction with a thiazide diuretic. Irrrnediate cessation is indicated upon signs of potential anp,ioedema (swelling of ace, lips. eyelids or difficulty breathing or swallowing).

Dramatic changes in blood pressure occur with small Infusion rate changes.

Mitral Stenosis.

Extreme blood pressure fluctuation with epinephrine.

Adrrinister in leu setting only.


Neutropenia is much less common in patients treated with c1opidogrel than patients treated with ticlopidine.

Beta-blockers (Table 4.2C) reduce the frequency of angina and increase treadmill time in patients with

chronic angina. There is less evidence that betablockers reduce death in this setting, unJess the patient has had a previous infarction.

Angina and Heart Failure Treatment of Stable Angina Aspirin reduces the rate of cardiovascular events by 1/3 in patients with stable angina, and should be given to all patients unless they have a clear contraindication. Patients with aspirin allergy should be placed on either tidopidine or dopidogrel (Table 4.10). These drugs have not been specifically studied in patients with stable angina, but are effective antiplatclet agents.

Calcium channel blockers (Table 4.3) are equally effective as beta-blockers in reducing anginal symptoms in stable patients. Some studies have suggested a higher cardiovascular event rate with short acting dihydropyridines (nifedipine) and these drugs should not be used. without a beta blocker. Calcium channel blockers are recommended in patients with vasospastic angina. Similar to calcium channel blockers and beta blockers, nitrates improve excercise tolerance, and time to onset of angina in patients with exertional stable angina (Table 4.4). Nitrates are contmindicated in

Table 4.3 Antihypertensive/Anti-anginal Agents - Calcium Entry Blockers DRUG

MECHANISM/ACTIONS t:S1~~S c~,:~uml~llux. LJllates peripheral arterioles, reducing alterJoad. Slows AN node, prevenls reenlrant rhythms, protects myocardium during bnef ischemia. Has alpha-adrenergic blocking activity.

INDICATIONS ~~es Irequeocy 0 angma and tile need lor nitrates. Drug of choice for acute paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia. Stows ventricular response to atrial fibrillation. Hypertension.


Diltlazem (Cardizem)

less pronounced heart rate reduction. Reduces afterload by dilating peripheral arteries. Increases oXY£len supply to myocardium by preventing SYr'll)atheticInduced coronary artery spasm

Reduces angina episodes. Increases exercise tolerance In stable angina. Also used as an antlhypel1ensive.

Edema, headache, dizziness, asthenia, nausea, rash.

Nifedlplne (Procardia)

More potent peripheral vasodilation. Ultledepresslon of nodes. Fails to dilate coronary arteries. Causes reflex Increase in heart rate and output.

No longer used as single agent Myocardial infarction. periphdue to toxicity. eral edema, dizziness, nausea, transient hypotension, reflex tachycardia, pulmonary

Nlcardlplne (Cardene)

Simlar to nifadiplne

~~~Ic, stable angina.

•• Fewer myocardial infarctions, more-Palpitations.

fsradlplne (Oynaclrc)

selecllvely inhibits vascular srrooth rruscle contraction and S-A node conduction with lillie effecl on heart contractility or A-V node conduction.

Angina, hypertension.

Uttle tachycardia because of selective actions. Headache, peripheral edema, and lIushillQ.

Nimodiplne (t-imolop)

Calcium entry blocker with the greatest effect on cerebral artery vasodilation.


subarachnoid helllOrThage.

Carcinogenic and teratogenic in animal experiments. Headache and diarrhea are most corrrnon.

Beprldll (Vascor)

little vasodilation. Reduces rate and contractility. Slows conduction.

Angina, .....nen other drugs fail. Not indicated for hypertension

V-tach & other arrhylhrnas, headache, nausea, dizziness.

fFelodlrlne Plendit

Peripheral vasodilation, enhanced myocardial contractility and output.


Peripheral edema, flushing, headache, dizziness.



Hypertension, chronic stable angina, vasospastic angina.

Headache,edema. palQitations.






~'S~~ldlplne Sular

68 Cardiovascular Drugs


bradycardia, ema, congestive heart failure, A-V node block (rare), GI upset. dizziness.

by vasospasm following


Table 4.4 Anti-anginal Agents - Nitrates a DRUG



Actions: Dilates large myocardial arteries to increase blood supply to heart. Reduces cardiac preload by reducing venous tone. This allows blood pooling in the periphery. I ndicallons: Most corrmonly used antianginal agent. Useful in treating al1lorms 01 angina. May be used inmediately before exercise or stress to prevent ischerTic episodes. Undeslra hie ellects: Hypotension and rebound tachycardia. bradycardia, cerebral ischemia. contact dermatitiS may occur with transdermal preparation, aggravation of penpheral edema. Pharmacokinetics: sUblingUal~aklevels at 1-2 mo, duration .. 30-60 min. IV: Onsel by 2 min, duration 3-5 min. Transdermal: pe levels at 30-60 mo, duration = 1 day. Topical paste: Onset by 1 hour, duration. 2-12 hours. Once absorbed, liver rapidly metabolizes drug 10 InactIVe lorTT'6. Tolerance may occur with continuous transdermal administration. Drug Interactions: Alcohol, antihypertensive agents and vasodilators increase risk of orthostatic hypotension.


dlnltrate (lsordil)

~~ lor prop~Ylaxls 0 angina. ~tLI~r acute attacl( .. _::su.~~I.ngu~I.:.onsel_~~?_rT'In~_~ratlon Oral: onset _ 30 min, duration = 4-6 hours (up 10 8 hours with sustained re ease fomula.)

"C~ a ~loCl\er:d ~ ~~Ie ~:.~! ca!Clum en ry _ulo.c,:,,~rs \ laUle angina IS treate WIth asplrm, heparin (Table 4.9,4.10)



are a so useu In me reaunen 0 slaUle angina. UnslaUle

PHARMACOKI NETI CS PO/IV. Well absOfbed, 80% metaboHzed in first pass. 90'% protem bound. Metaboliles are active. Hall-life is 5 hrs bul may be up to 20 hrs in patients wth cirrhosis.

CONTRAIND. Pal lent on I~:t. blockers or digitalis. A路V node block, sick sinus syndrome, cardiogenlC shock, hean lailure. hypotension.

DRUG INTERACTIONS Bela blockers Of digitalis: Increases likelihood 01 br~cardia or A-V blockade. Dum me or prazosin: Increases hypotensIOn. Digoxin levels are increased. Cimetidine reduces verapamil clearance. Galcium supplements may inhibit aCllOrlS of verapamd.

PO. 50% bioavailability aller oral dose. 75% protein bound, hall路 Iife-3 hrs, metabolites are aclive. Reduce dose in patients with renal dysfunction.

AV node block, sick sinus syndrome,

Beta-blockers and digoxin increase A路V conduction time. Diltiazem increases propranolol levels. Ometldine and d~s metabolized by P-450 Increase dlttlazem levels.


pu mcnary congestion.

PO/sublingual. Rapid, cOfTl)lele absorption of sublingual dose. 98% protein bound. Metabolites are inactive, half-life .. 3 hfs.


PO/IV. Well absorbed. Reduce dose wlliver-kidney dysfunction.

Severe aortic stenosis.

,1-4 nours.

Bela blockers Increase risk of severe hypotension, heart failure, and angina. N:fedipine increases effects of oral anticoagulants.

NOTES DepolanzatlOfl (leading to conlractioo) of vascular smooth ITI.JScle is depeodent on caJciumentry. Vasodilation is induced by calcium entry blockers because lhey inhibit calcium influx.

Intlial dOses may exacerbate angma. Reduce dose in patients with Iiverdyslunction.

PO. Well absorbed, high firstpass metabolism.

Irwtlate tMthin Ihree days 01 herrorrhage and conllnl.lEl for 3 weeks.

PO. very~iliC, easily crosses brain barrier. PO. Use cautIOUsly in pahents WIth renal dysfunctlOfl.

Ventricular arrtlythrnas In past.

IS-blockers further suppress contractility & A-V conduction.

SlOw onset of achon (2-5 hours).

Increases digoxin levels.

PO. Slovoest oosel, longest half1ife.

Increases digoxin and beta blocker effects


less acute hypotensIOn dl.lEltoslowonset.



patients taking sildenafil (Viagra). SiJdenafil potenti路 ates the hypotensive effects of nitrates and increas.'\s the risk of life threatening hypotension. The drugs discussed above have been tested in combination, and combination therapy is more effec路 tive than single drug therapy.

Treatment of unstable angina Rupture of an unstable plaque, and resulting thrombus formation leads 10 unstable angina. Treal路 menl is targeted toward reducing myocardial demand, improving oxygen delivery, reducing coronary spasm, and halting thrombus formation. Heparin has been the primary anticoagulant. Recent trials have revealed the importance of antiplatelet therapy. Oxygen therapy improves oxygen delivery in the subset of patients who arc hypoxemic from CHF or underlying lung disease. Morphine reduces the pain and anxiety that can worsen symptoms in many patients. Treating these symptoms can reduce the myocardial demand, reducing the total amount of ischemia. Medications that directly decrease cardiac workload are effective in unstable angina. Beta blockers reduce ischemic burden by decreasing heart rate and blood pressure (Table 4.2C). Thjs class of medications may reduce further myocardial infarctions

by 10-20%. Nitrates are extremely effective in redudn symptoms by decreasing blood pressure and indllcinl coronary vasodilation (Table 4.4). Although nitrates clearly reduce symptoms, there is no convincing evidence that they reduce mortality or the rate of myocardial infarctions. Calcium channel blockers mu: be considered as two classes: dihydropyridincs (i.e. nifedipine) and non'"CI.ihydropyridines (Le. diltiazem, Table 4.3). 11 is important to note that nifedipine can b hazardous in this setting, leading to a higher ratc of myocardial infarction or recurrent angina if given withoul a beta blocker. Non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (i.e. diltiazem) can be safely used ani may reduce the rate of death or recurrent myocardial infarction. This class of medicines is an excellent choi( in patients with absolute contra indications 10 bela blockers. Heparin has proven effective in the setting of unstable angina in many studies, reducing the rate of myocardial infarction or dealh by up to 35% when used in addition to aspirin (Table 4.9). Weight based protocols have become marc popular in the wake of studies that have demonstrated their superiority over non weight based treatment. More recently, low molecular weight heparin (i.e. enoxaparin) has prover more effective than unfractionated heparin in the setting of unstable angina. ALI 10w路molecuJar weight heparins are nal equal. Other I..MWH's have not proven superiority over heparin in the setting of unstable angina.

Antiplalelet therapy has also bt..~n studied carefull) Aspirin therapy has reduced the rate of recurrent ischemia, infarctions and death by more than 50%. Two newer antiplatelets, derivatives of thienopyridines, have recently been added (Table 4.10 Ticlapidine (Tidid) has been mosl extensively studied in the field of ischemic cerebrovascular events, and

Table 4.5A Drugs used lor stable congestive hea1laikJre/ca'diomyopmhy DRUG Bela blockers (Tables 2.4 & 4.2C)

MECH/ACTIONS Agents that prelerentially blocklH adrenergic receptors decrease heart rale and output and reduce renin release.

ACE inhibitors

Reduces penpherai

(Table 4.20)

arlaria! resislMce in

hypenensive pallents. by

INDICATIONS Metaprolol is indicated for congestive hean failure. Metaprolol, alenolol. propralolol iYld limolol ' " Indicaled lor postmyoeatlial infarction pallents. M<trly <Ve indicated for hvoertension. Chronic congestive he<Vl failure. Mild to modernle hypenenSIOn.

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS CNS sedalion and depression. Nollndicaled for acute or severe heM failure.

See Table 4.20.

inhib~ing angiotensin

convening enzyme

'ACE!. Spironolactone (Aldaclone)

70 Cardiovascular Drugs

Aldosterone antagonist is adiuretic: thal reduces blood volume (Table 4.2A).

Congestive heart failure. cirrhosis. nephrotic: syndrome.

Hyperkalemia, sodium or walerdep!etion. endocrine lf11baialces.

reduced the rate of vascuJar events compared to aspirin. It does carry an increased risk of neutropenia and rarely can cause thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Clopidogrel (Plavix) has been compared to aspirin and was more effective in preventing recurrent ischemic events in patients with vascuJar disease. Although neither thienopyridine has been studied specifically in unstable angina, they are accepted substitutes for those patients that cannot take aspirin.

Adjunctive treatment of myocardiat infarction Thrombolytic therapy reduces the relative risk of death by 20% if given within the first 12 hours of an acute infarction. There are several types of thrombolytic agents available (Table 4.10). Accelerated dose alteplase reduced mortality further than streptokinase in a very large study (GUSTO). Since then, other tissue plasminogen activators have been developed that are easier to dose. These drugs should only be used in the setting of ST elevation. Thrombolysis is not effective when the patient's ECG shows only Sf depression or no diagnostic changes. In fact. there is evidence that thrombolysis is dangerous in non-ST elevation ischemic syndromes. Aspirin by itself reduces the risk of death from an infarction by 23%. It has an additi\'e effect when used in combination with a thrombolytic medication. Aspirin should always be used in the setting of an infarction unless the patient has evidence of an active gastrointestina bleed, or a true aBergy to aspirin. In the setting of an allergy, ticlopidine or c1opidogrel can be substituted for aspirin. Bela blockers (Table 4.2C) reduce chest pain, myocardial wall stress and infarct size in the setting of an infarct. Over 50,000 patients have been enrolled in studies designed to evaluate the effects of beta blockers during or

after an infarction. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that beta blockers reduce death after myocardial infarction, and these drugs should be given in all patients with acute myocardial infarction who do not have clear contraindications such as pulmonary edema, hypotension, bradycardia, advanced heart block or asthma. Angiotensin inhibitors (Table 4.2D) have been convincingly shown to dramatically decrease death rates in patients with reduced left ventricuJar dysfunc路 tion after an infarction. These drugs also reduce death in all patients after myocardial infarction but the relative risk reduction of death is much less powerful. ACE inhibitors also reduce the rate of progression to heart failure. ACE inhibitors should be given in all patients presenting with an acute myocardial infarction, unless they have contra indications such as renal failure, bilateral renal insufficiency, hypotension, or angioedema due to previous ACE inhibitor use. Nitrate therapy has not consistantly reduced death or recurrent infarction in these patients (Table 4.4). This class of medications does reduce ischemic chest pain and should be used (or symptomatic patients. Calcium-ehannel blockers do not reduce mortality during or after acute myocardial infarction. Diltiazem may reduce the rate of recurrent infarction after a non Q wave infarct, but any advantage over aspirin and beta blockers is not known. There may be an adverse effect of short acting dihydropyridines (nifedipine) and these drugs should be avoided in this setting. Antiarrhythmic drugs have been studied in the setting of acute infarctions. Class I and Class In drugs have increased the rate of death compared to placebo when used to supress ventricular cetopy after myocardial infarctions, especially in patients with reduced left ventricular function.



CONTRAINOICATIONS Sinus bradyeatlia, severe heartlailure. Agents WIth b2 blocking actIVity contrandicalled in aslhmaor COPO palJ8nts

INTERACTIONS SeeTables2.4& 4.2C.

See Table 4.20.


Seelable 420.

po. Metaboued extenSIVely in liver to active metabolite. Metabollle is 98% protem bound. therefore the h~life is 11.5 days.

Anuria. renalinsulliciency. hyperMlema, dl<ibeles

"eteases nsk 01 digoxin toxicity and decreases vasopressor action of norepinephrine.


The metabolite, ca-lrenone. is pnmaily responsible for drug actions.


venous return and ease breathing and (2) administerin hwnidified oxygen to increase Pa02• Drug therapy consists of (1) furosemide or bumetanide, potent diuretics which reduce vascular volume, leading to a shift of fluid from the lungs into t vasculature; and (2) morphine, a venodilator which decreases preload and reduces anxiety through its acti. on opiate receptors in the brain (Tables 4.3A & 3.6A). Nitrates and/or bronchodilators may be added to rOOl ischemic damage and improve ventilation, respectivel) (Tables 4.4 & 5.1).

Heart Failure Drugs (cant.) • Acute Pulmonary Edema Acute pulmonary edema usually accompanies left heart failure. Successful treatment of pulmonary edema reduces the risk of secondary right heart failure. Early interventions in patients with pulmonary edema include (1) sitting the patient upright to decrease

• Management of Shock Shock is a potentially fatal condition in which tisSll( are poorly perfused and, consequently, become ischem

Table 4.58 Other Heart Failure Drugs DRUG

/ ::,go.~~.?





~Ibrt~~.~,":~~,:;ase (sodiumpulTll) and t inward

current 01 ca"". Contraction enhanced by l' Intracellular Ca++. i cardiac outpul and J. heart Size, venous return, and blood v~me Causes diuresis by renal parfUSIOO ~ ventricular rate in atrial librillatlon or Huller by i sensitlvily 01 AV nodes to vagal inhibilion. l' peripheral vascular reslslance.

~~n al ure. a~~.l ibfiIlalion. attialllutl9f. =Mysmaltach Ycardia. Also . sted 'Of h~ventilallon, Cardi~H:

s k and thyrotoxH: s k. Often aloadl~ dose is adn'inlstefed I rSl to achieve the<apeutic coocentrations mo<9 rapKlly.


br~cardla, AVorS node bloc • armythnias. Also anoraxla. nausea. vonitlng. diarrhea. tleadache. 'atigue, malaisa. visual dIsIUrbi!nces, and gynecomastia Increased ~aI resistanca may ncreasethe hearl's ¥IIOrldoad, ¥IIOrsening Ischerne damage.



Setdomused becausa 01100Q hell·lifa (il loxicity cl9velops, Ills ditlH:ull to nd the body 01 active drugl' Uselulln patients with rena failure becsuse they are unable to excrete digoxin.


Amrinone (lnocor)

Inhibits pho~Jl!':?d~terase {Ihe enzyme that breaks down cAMP). cAMP Increases caH:ium uptake Increases contractility, stroke volume. ejection fraction. aod SIOUS rate. Decreases penpheral reslslance.

Added to d~~~ I~~~y \'>tIen

GI intOleranc~j ..~totoxicity. fever. Reversible thrOfl1locytopenla (20%). Nol armythmooen ic .

hean failure persists despite


Mllrlnone (Primacorj

Tv.enty times more potent than " " allYinone. Same acllons.

Very 'ew slda effects. Headache and I'oOrsen~ 01 arlQlna have beenrepon .

Dobut.mlne (Dobutrex)

~!at receptor·praferring adrenergic agoms\. At moderate doss. increases contractility without increasu'lll heart rate or bloodtCsura Minimal enact Otl vessels

o incraase cardiac output in chronH: hean failure. May be used with atterload reducing :r:nts. Also used tor traatment o shock.

Tachycardia, hy~ension. nausea, headac a, palpitations, anginal sYlTlltoms, dyspnea, v8nlricular srmythnias.

Teru:osin (Hytrln)


Heart failure,

Lightheadedness.latigue. headache, GI distress, nasal congestion, tachycardia, edema


Described indeta~ in Table 4 3D

72 Cardiovascular Drugs

Treatment consists of maintaining oxygenation, supporting blood pressure and treating the metabolic addosis if it is severe. The type of shock must be diagnosed so that the underlying problem can be treated. Vasopressors constrict blood vessels and improve cardiac function by stimulating adrenergic receptors (Table 2.1). They are employed when intravenous fluids alone fail to increase central venous pressure. Peripheral vasoconstriction shunts blood to the heart and lungs. It may seem odd that vasoconstrictors are used to treat a condition marked by poor tissue perfusion. lndeed, improvement in central venous pressure is frequently at the expense of ischemic damage to peripheraJ tissues. Low-dose dopamine is the preferred agent for treating shock. At "renal doses", dopamine dilates renal vessels


;;;:~ in G"';~;~s~

distribution due to latge apparent volume or dlslri· bUlion (reduced In elderly). e~creled uncha:;9ed In unne (but dose Justment unnecess:q wi renal dysrunction .25% prOlein

CCWTRAlNDCAnoHS eotnc~~~~~.I, atlOfl. severe

~cardla. allergIC reaction

Dobutamine and isoproterenol are aJso used in cardiogenic shock because they improve myocardial contractility. These agents are contraindicated when shock is due to hypovolemia rather than cardiac insuf· ficiency, because they have no direct vasoconstrictor effects (weak u\ agonists). Dobutamine must be used with caution in patients with systolic blood pressure less than 100 because it can worsen hypotension.



cardiac glycosldes.


PO/IW1V.. seven day half· life, 100% GI absorploon. 97% proleir'l bound. distributoon sJrnlar to

(dopamine receptor-mediated) while constricting vessels in other tissues. Norepinephrine and highdose dopamine constrict all vessels including those of the kidney and brain. In addition, both of these agents improve cardiac function by stimulating P, adrenergic receptors. Dopamine is more potent than norepinephrine in this regard.


ncrea~~?~~.~~o,ocIlY Wlln

drugs lhat aher serum electrolytes {potasSlUmdepleting dlurellCs, corticosteroids, thiazide and loop diuretics, a~hoterlcln B. quinidine. arriodarone), BIocklf'S of Il adrenergic receptOfS, calcium channels. or acelylcholineslerase II1Crease lisk of cOfTll!ete AV block 0nJgs wtuch aher Gl absorption may aher bIoavatlablldy.


~xir1.liYer metabolism.


IV 6 hr halHile. partially metabolized In liver. loW plasma porotein binding

Arrrlnone increases diureSis In patl8l'1ts on diurelics. Digitalis Inotropy and risk 01 toxicity increased (arrrinone causes hypokalerria). E~cessive hypotension With dlsopyranide.

"""" ~~~~~ts: wave (lo"rrinished in ar\1lli!uoe or Inverted, P·A interval porolonged. Q. TinteNal stlortened. Tests lor serumdigo~in ~vels may be altered by eleclrolyte irrbalance, renal Irrpillfm6nt, age. thyroid Disease. otherd~ substances III lhe 'fttlich irritate digoxin in radto!rRnJllOilSsay

II takes severallOl88ks 10 reach s1eady state knttlCS ~ Sl~lhe drug and severw S 10 clear the ~ upon dlsconllr1uallon due 10 long half-life.

It cellular supplies 01 cAMP are d9pIeled. arTl"lnone will not be eflective. Capable or increasing myocardial COntraclion even in lhe presence olll-adrenergic ., Con!eracts negatIVe lnotropoc efleels of calcIUm entry blockers

IV Well absorbed, short half-tile (1.5 tnl·

""''''''''''IV. 2.4 rnn half-Ide CorttII'lUOUS onIusoon IS necessary to rremtllfl lherapeu11c 'fleet

PO. All palients MUSTstan WIth t rrg dose belore bed. lhen Increase dose siowiy il hypotension is not a problem.

t=lIO$i!lYn y todobutamne I tr-.c hyperlrophc subaortlC stenosIS.

None ldentlfoecl.

Because of short hall-Ide, can only be usecllor short·termtherap;'



Arrhythmias The following tables present arrhythmias based on the anatomical site of the underlying abnormalityatrial, ventricular or supraventricular (A-V junction) accessory pathway. Arrhythmias occur because one or more regions of the heart are 1) beating

too slowly (sinus bradycardia); 2) beating too fast (sinus or ventricular tachycardia, atrial or ventricular premature depolarization, atrial flutter); 3) beating automatically without regard for impulses originating from the SA node (multifocal atrial tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, ventricular fibrillation), or 4) allowing impulses to travel along an accessory pathway to areas of the heart which should not be depolarized at that particular moment (A-V reentry, Wolff-ParkinsonWhite syndrome).

Table 4.6A Arrhythmias CLASSI FICATI ON/pATHOLOG y ArrhyJhmlas Originating In the Atrium Sinus Bradycardia: Increased parasYrT1>athetic (vagal) tone causes heart to beat at <60 beats per minute. Depolarization originates from sinoatrial node (hence the name




Slow, but regular rate on rhythm strip.

Not treated if asyrrptomatic. II patient develops angina, hypotension, heart faiTure or othersYl'flltoms, treat with Atropine Isoproterenol Epinephrine



Sinus Tachycard1a: Increased sYfTll3.thetic tone causes heart to race (100160 beats per minute). Depolarization originales Iromsinoatrial node.

sympathetic predominance) (Each 01 these drugs induces

regu'l:a:'='"~te::-:Co:n--~No;::-t "'treated il asyrrptomatic.

Rapid, but rhythm strip.


If treatment is necessary: Propranolol (because it decreases catecholarrine-induced firing rate of SA node and slows conduction through A-V

_ _ _ _...:::::~~_ _-;;-___, -,---,-..,..,--c:-c:---,----,--;c:node.I_----,P waves are present, but are Correct precipitating Multlfocal Atrial morphologically dillerent lactor(s). Once underlying Tachycardia: fromoneanolher. P-R Depolarization originates cause is corrected, may Iromseveral atrial foci at interval varies. initiate: irregular intervals. Rate is verar,amil Quln dine rapid (100-200 beals per (Both slow conduction mnute) and irregular. velocity of cells which are abnormally pacing.) Premature Atrial Depolarization (PAT): Heart beats prematurely because a locus of atrial cells fires spontaneously before the SA node is ready to lire.

Interruption of regular rhythm by an early P wave. P wave may be lollowed by a normal QRS if the SA node and ventricle have had lime to repolarize.

Not treated if asymptomatic. II symptomatic, treat with Class la antiarrhythmics: Quinidine Procainamide Olsopyramide

Atrial Flutter: Atrial impulse reenters and depolarizes atrium. Generates 250-350 impulses per mnute. The ventricle responds to every 2nd or 3rd irT1>ulse. Both alrial and ventricular rhythm are regular.

Series of 2-4 closely spaced P waves lollowed by a normal QRS complex.

1) Control ventricular response by suppressing AV node conduction. Suitable agents are: Digoxin Propranolol Verapamil 2} Conven atrial rhythm to SInus rhythm IV Procainamlde

74 Cardiovascular Drugs


Table 4.68 Arrhythmias (Cont.) ECG FINDINGS


Arrhrthmlas OrlglnatinfL.!.t2..!.!!e Atrium (cont.)

P waves can not be

discerned, Baseline is irregular with unevenlyspaced QAS c0rlll1exes.

~ Ar h thmlas Involving the A-V Junction A-V Reentry; A-Vnodeis split Into a pathway v.tIich

Generally normal QAS


1) rrheiTlOdynamcally s a s, control ventricular response by suppressing A-V node: Digoxin Propranolol Verapamll 2)Convert losinus rhythm: Is antlarrhythmics IV Procainamide Sotol01 Propafenone Amlodarone Carotid sinus massage may

cOITfllexes following normal P suppress tachycardia by

waves. The inverted P wave increasing vagal tone. - - " ' " (retrowade atrial contraction) Alternatively: VerapamU is bUried in the QAS. Rate is Propranolol 150-250/minute. DIgoxin

conducts toward the ventricle and a pathway which conducts the irrpulse BACK to the atrium. Reentry of the irrpulse into the atrium

causes the atrium and ventncle to contract



Wolll·Parkinson-Whlte: A strip of conducting tissue (other than the A-V node) connects the atrium and ventricle. Il'Tl)Ulses reaching thevenlricle via the A-V node circle back 10 the atrium via the accessory pathway. Alternatively. the circuit may be reversed.


Each P wave is followed rapidly by a QRS. A "della wave" leads Inlo the ORS. Rate can exceed 300 beats/mnute.

thmlas Originating In the

Ventricular Premature Depolarization: Spontan.eous depolarization of ectopic locus In the ventricle. Considered benign if fewer than six per mmute.

Ventricular Tachycardia; Usually secondary 10 reentry circuit. Both AN reentry and WoIIIParkinson-White may progress to ventricular tachycardia.

Ventricular Fibrillation: Erratic discharge from many ectopic foci In the ventricle. Rate is 350 - 450 beats/mn. Rhythm Is irregular.

ve"n'''CI~cfl.S:c~ ~\

I {








If sYl'Tl)tomatic, either slow A-V conduction 'Nith: Propranolol' Dlgoxtn or slow accessory pathway conduction: Lidocaine Procalnamide •Avoid propranolol if wpw in atriaillbrillation.

"M;:-; Wide. tall QRS cOl'Tl)lexes Usually not treated il which are not associated WIth aSYl'Tl)tomatic. II treatment a P wave. A promment is necessary: Twave often points in the I V lidocaine opposite direction as the I V procainamlde QAS cO~lex.Long term sUpp!"ession may be achieved WIth: Class I agents Wide QAS COrT'plexes 'Nith Acute treatment involves one abnormal S-Tsegment and T olthe lollowing: wave deflections (opposite in I V Lidocaine direction to QRS). AV IV Procainamide dissociation and right bundle I V Bretylium branch block are often Oral drugs are used lor associated. chronic iherapy Amlodarone Quinidine Procainamide Disopyramide Flecanide, Encalnide, Tocalnide, Mexlletlne _ _Solalol Life threatening. If cardioCol'Tl)letelyerratic. Gannot version lails, Epinephrine distinguish normal waves or cOl'Tl)lexes. is given I?'"ior to defibrillation. If this lalls conbine 1V lidocaine anddelibrillation. Either additional doses 01 lidocaine or Bretylium can then be used 'Nith defibrillation. Amlodarone is also effective.


Antiarrhythmic Agents The sinoatrial node paces the heart by spontaneously depolarizing and stimulating the conducting nerves of the atrium. The impulse rapidly spreads through the atrium, causing myocardial cells of the atrium 10 contract in unison. The impulse reaches the atrioventricular (A-V) node, which in tum transmits the conduction signal to the His路Purkinje conduction pathway. The His-Purkinje system carries the impulse to ventricular myocardial cells, causing a powerful contraction thai propels blood throughout the body. Interruption of this magnificent system, by the mechanisms described in Table 4.6, jeopardizes tissue oxygenation and may lead to death. Antiarrythmic

drugs influence cardiac conduction properties (usually by modifying ion conductance) and may revert an abnormal rhythm to sinus rhythm. An understanding of the mechanism by which action potentials are propagated through conducting cells facilitates learning about the mechanism of antiarrythmic action (Fig. 4.2). Antiarrhythmic drugs have been divided into four classes to facilitate comparison and discussion_ Since the time the drugs were classified, however, it has become clear that drugs within each class may differ significantly and cannot be substituted for one another. The original classification scheme (bold-face print) and other generalizations include:

Table 4.7A Antiarrhythmic Drugs DRUG



Oepresses automaticity of ectopic loci. Slows conduction velocity in atria & His-Pur1l;injecells. Prolongs refractory period throughout hean (except nodes) and accessory pathways. Has anticholinergic effects which may actually enhance A-V conducfion In patients with rapid atrial depolarization.

MJhifocal atnaltachycardla, premature atrial depolarizatIOn, premature ventricular depolarization, atria! fibrillation (these result from increased automaticity of ectopic loci), and ventricular tachycardia.

Torsaaes de POlntes (recurrent, terrporary armythma), increases ventricle response to atrial tachyarrl1ythma, nausea, vomting. diarrhea, hypersensitivity, cinchonism, Ihrorrbocytopenic purpura.

Premature atrial depolarization, atriallibrillation, Woltl-Par1l;inson-'Nhite, ventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter, premature ventricular depolarization.

Fewer Gl effects and weaker anticholinergic effects than quinidine, but sirritar cardiac toxicity. Lupus-like syndrome and other hypersensitivity reactions.

Premature atrial depolarization, Atriallibrillatlon, Ventricular tachycardia

Potent anticholinergic effects. Otherwise similar to quinidine.

Depresses automaticIty of ectopic loci, increases conduction velocity of A-V node and His-Purkmje.

Wolff-Parldnson-V"''fnte, Ventricular tachycardia, Premature vent. depolarization, Ventricular fibrillation.

eNS: parestheslas, drOWSiness, confusion, restlessness (at low doses). At hiQh doses, seizures or disorientation. cardiac depression (if given by rapid IV), arrhythmias.

Mexlietine (Maxitil)

Decreases automaticity of AV node and ectopic foci. Prolongs refractory period of His路Purkinje, ventricle, and accessory pathway.

Premature vent. depolarization, Ventricular tachycardia (1IIethreatening ventricular arrhythrrias).

May worsen arrl1ythrrias, hepatotoxicity, rarely convulsions

Tocainide (Tonocard)

Decreases automaticity of AV node and ectopic foci. Shortens relractory period in atrium, AV node, and ventricle. Prolongs refractory period in accessory pathway.

lass Is QuinIdine

Procainamide (e.g., Pronestyl)

Oisopyramlde (e.g., Norpace)

Class Ib rraocaine (e.g., Xylocaine)


76 Cardiovascular Drugs


Dizziness. tremor, paresthesias. nausea, vorriting, pulmonary fibrosis, bone marrowsupression.


• Class I drugs are Na+ channel blockers. Class la drugs have little effect on SA node automaticity, while most other antiarrhythmics reduce SA node automaticity. Class la drugs slow conduction velocity and tend to be more effective than other classes in prolonging the refractory period. No dear generalizations can be made of Class lb agents. Class Ie drugs slow conduction velocity most effec-

tively. • Class II drugs antagonize adrenergic receptors. • Class III agents tend to prolong repolarization. • Class IV agents block slow inward (calcium driven) current. • Automaticity is suppresst.'C! in ectopic foci by every antiarrhythmic except bretylium.


figure 4.2 Example of action potl'1ltial in cnrdiac conducting cells. Phase 0: Voltage-d1?pl'7Idef/1

so 2 ol-----f-------.::~--

Na' charllle/ opens and rapid sodilml influx depolarizes cell. PIlt!St' 1.3 RApid plUlse of repolarizaliOn causM by i,Uldroulion of Na' influx and the -100 4 ad;MtiOIl of a trallsil'1ll outu.'Ilrd K' current. Plutse 2: Plateau phase, c/lQraclerized by low membralle cOlldllctallce aud 1111" activation ofa slow illlL'llrd Ca" CIIrrmt. Phase 3. Repolarizalion to nstitlg polelltial r/'Srills from olllu'Ilrd K' curnllt. Plrase 4. Olltword K' current is dL'Qctiooted and an illll'llrd Na+ cllrre"t redllces trmrsnrembranl' potential.





,Prolongs OASan<fQ~ Intervals.

PO best71M pamfuVIV causes hypotension. 90% protein bound. Pnmarily metabolized in liver, excreled by kidney. Adjust dose by monitoring plasma level. Extended duration forrroia allows BID dosing.

Phenobarbital arid phenytOin increase metabolismof quinidine. Quinidine increases plasma levels of digoxin, enhances vasodilator-induced hypotension and potentiates warfarin.



No interaction 'Nith digoxin or POIIM/IV. low protein biochng, otherwise like quinidine. The warfarin. metabolite. N-acetylprocainafTide (NAPA) is active and toxic. NAPA levels should be monitored. POonly.500/0metabotizedby liver, 50% excreted unchanged. Must follow serum levels.

No interaction with digoxin.

IV. rarelyrM-:-Rapialy metaootized by liver (2 metabolites are active). excreted by kidney.

Serum levellncreaseaoydrugs which reduce blood flowto liver (P blockers) and by cimetidine.

ECG changes nol detectable.

PO. Maintain dose < 1.2 glday to reduce risk 01 CNS toxicity. Extensive metabolism in liver.

P450·inducing drugs (rifal'Tl)in, phenytoin) reduce of mexiletlne.

May shorten aT interval.

PO. Well absorbed (100%). Hall metabolized by liver. half excreted unchanged by kidneys.

Additive toxicity 'Nithoul therapeutic benefit Ywtlen corTbined with other class Ib antiarrhythnlCs.

=====-'May sfiorten a r Interval.


'-:;V -~






Table 4.78 Antiarhythmic Drugs Continued DRUG Class Ie

~ecalnlde (Tarrbocor)


Reduces 1) automat Icily 01 SA node & ectopic foci, 2) con-


Chromc therapy for ventricular

May 'hOrsen armythmas.-Rarely


induces A-V block in patients wllh A-V conduction delay.

auction velocity throughout. Prolongs refractory period in His-Purkinje, ventricle. and

accessory pathways.

Propalenone (Rhylhmel)

Slows conduction throughout, prolongs atrial and ventricular



Esmolol (Ker1one)

~ aorenerglc


antagonist. J. heart rate, cOnlractility and automaticity. PrOlonPrs A-V conduction time and re ractoriness.


adrenergic receptorpreferring anlagonls!. Similar to propranolol in action.


'NOrsen heart failure or

j} adrener~iC and calciumentry bloc ing effects .


Nausea, dizziness. conS~lion. altered taste sensation.

refractory period, has weak




Smus faCfiycarata,

Heart rai1'Ui'e;'Cfepressed A-:V

atrial flutter, atrialfibriltation. A-V reentry,

conduction, bronchospasm. hypotension.



Class III

less likely to cause bronchospasm than propranolol. Otherwise sirrilar.

Breryrlum (Bretylol)

Reduces polasslumertrux. Prolongs refracto~riod and action potential in s-Purkinje and ventricles.

Ventricular lachycarola, With electric defibrillation as last resort for ventricular fibrillation.

~.p<?tenslon, nausea & vornllng (I Infused too fasl). Inrtlal release of norepinephrine may i heart rate.


Reduces potassiumelflux. Reduces automaticity of SA node and ectopic fOCI, reduces conduction velocity and increases refractoriness.

Effective inhibitor 01 ventricular fibrillation, vent ricular tachycardia, Wolff-Parkinson-YVhite

COrneal deposits (reversible), hypo- or hyper-thyroidism (T4· like structure). photosensitivity, pulmonary fibrosis, bradycardia (rarely severe).

Ibutilide (Corvert)

Enhances sodium influx. Prolongs action potential and refractoriness.

Atrial fibrillation or flutter.

life-threatening arrhythmias (may require cardioversion). heart block.

Clsss IV erspsmll


educes , ) C"a'F+ ent~ Into--rvtUrtiroean!iJrlartachycarala, myocardial ceUs, 2) S node atriaillutler and ectopic foci automaticity, 3) conduction and increases refractory period of AV node.

Sinus braClycarrna::-AV"biOCK, hypotension, GI upset, constipation. If infused rapidly into elderly patients, may cause lell ventricular failure.


decreases conduction in A-V node and His·Purkinje system.

Pi'~lol'IQs refi'Rt~loa.

Premature lJemncular C~lf1)lexes and Iile-threatening arrhythmias.

Ort~tiC"Oilliness. euphona, perioral nurrbness. Fewreports of drug-induced arrhythmias.

Digoxin (lanoxin)

Only drug v.t1ich increases automaticity 01 ectopic pacemakers. Slo'NS conduction velocity throuPrhout. Complex actions on re ractory period.

AlrialfibrillaliOn, atrial flulter, paroxysmal atrial tachycardia.

See Table 4.2A. di~ilalis intoxication, arrhyt nias, vomiting. headache, visual disturbances.

Adenosine (Adenocard)

Decreases conduction velocity, prolongs refractory period and decreases automaticity in A-V node.

Paroxysmal supraventricular tac hyarrhythlTlas.

Dyspnea, flushing, chest pain, arrhythnias.

Sot8tol (Betapace)

Bela adrenergic blocker that slows refractory period of Purkinje fibers & heart muscle

Ventricular tachycardia.



78 Cardiovascular Drugs




Prolongs PR, ORS and OT.

PO/IV. GI absorption varies widely between patients. 10% of the po~ulation metabolizes the drug s owly (4 times slower than remaining 90% of POPulation.)

Effects additive with other drugs which affect heart conduction. Clmetidine increases half-life of encainide.

Po. 10% of the population metabolizes the dru\1 slowly, prolonging the half-hfe substantially. Titrate doses carefully.

Propafenone increases plasma levels of propranolol, digoxin and warfarin. Cimetidine increases propafenone levels.

PO/IV. 90'% protein bound. Metabolized by liver, excreted by kidney.

Possibly fatar A---:.'IJ n.oo.~ ~I~'" when combined with digitalis.

IV. Metabolized by erythrocyte esterase. Metabolite excreted renally. Serum levels unaffected by liver or kidney failure.

No s~nificanl inferactions with igoxin.

ECG changes not detectable.

IV: ~?rum 1~)Vels do not correlate wI efficacy (binds tightly in heart). Excreted unchanged by kidney.

uther antlaa!.nythmics suppress actions of bretylium. Bretylium increases hypotensive effects of vasodilators.

Prolong PA, ORS and OT.

PO/IV. Maximal response may take weeks. Serum levels correspond poorly w/efficacy.

Increases serum levels of digoxin, warfarin, flecainide.

Slows heart rate. Prolongs OT interval.

IV. Single 10 minute infusion recommended. Rapidly cleared from blood.

~~ow heart rate, prolong Interval.

P-CJlJ'iT.""GoiXfGl absorpilon, but 80% is metabolized in Ilrst pass through liver. Hall路lile increases ~ to fourfold in cirrhotic patients. etabolites are active.

Increases serum dIgOXin levels. Enhances A-V node suppression 01 digoxin or pr~ranolol - may progress to A- block.

prolonfs pRancr-ORS interva s slightly.

PD. WeIT ab.s~,?ed. ex enSlVe y metabolized. Plasma level correlates poorly with effects.

No slgnl Icantlnterac Ions noted to date.

Slows rate, prolongs PR interval, shortens T interval, diminishes amplitude of T wave.

POIIV. 36 hour half-life, excreted unchanged in urine, 25% protein bound.

See Table 4.2A.

Increases heart rate and prolongs PA inlerval.

IV. Rapidly 芦30 seconds) deaminated In serum to active agent, inosine.

Theophylline and other methylxanthines antagonize adenosine.

PO. Reduce dose with renal dysfunction.

Increased risk of arrhythmias with other antiarrhythmics.


Slow heart rate. Prolong PR and OT interval.




Contraindicated In Wolff-'""" Parkinson-White (may induce potentially fatal arrhythmia.)

,., -',"


~. 'I'



-' .....



Lipid-lowering Agents Lipoproteins arc serum transport vehicles for lipids and triglycerides. There me six classes of lipoproteins. which differ with respect to lipid and protein content, transport function and mechanism of lipid delivery. They tire named according to their size and density. Chylomicrons and chylomicron remnants carry lipids

Ihat are absorbed through the intestine (exogenous pathway). The other four lipoproteins form the endogenous transport pathway that delivers cholesterol and triglyceridcs secreted by the liver. The four lipoprotcins of the endogenous pathway are very low density lipoprotein (VLOL), intermediate density lipoprotein (IOL), low density lipoproteil' (LOL) and high density lipoprotein (HOL). Elevated Upoprotein concentration contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and in some cases pancreatitis. Treatment strategies focus first on diet and correction of underlying metabolic diseases. Diets that are low in cholesterol and saturated animal fats reduce lipoprotein levels. In addition, overweight patients should reduce their total caloric intake. Exercise increases serum concentrations of HDL, which is associated with reduced risk of coronary artery

disease. Secondary hyperlipidemia frequently subsides upon treatment of the underlying metabolic disease or cessation of aggravating factors. Drug therapy is generalJy reserved for patients who fail to respond to diet or other measures described. above. Lipid·lowering agents are described in Table 4.8. Strategies for reducing lipid levels include: 1) reducing endogenous cholesterol synthesis, 2) enhancing cholesterol excretion, 3) inhibiting synthesis of lipoproteins, 4) enhancing degradation of lipoproteins. Drugs that work by different mechanisms are sometimes combined to achieve a greater reduction in lipoproteins than possible by monodrug therapy. All drugs are administered orally. Side effects indude GI distress and rash. Most agents potentiate oral anticoagulants.

Anticoagulants, Antithrombotics and Thrombolytics Anticoagulants inhibit blood coagulation, antithrombotic agents prevent platelet aggregation, and thrombolytic agents degrade clots that have already formed.

Table 4.8 Drugs Used to Treat Lipid Disorders DRUG Cholestyramine (Oueslran) Colestipol (Colestid)

MECHANISM! ACTIONS Forms insoluble corrplex with bile salts, excreted in feces. Body c0rJ1>ensates by increasing LDL receptors and oxidizing cholesterol 10 bile acids.

Niacin (Nicobid)

Not clear. May reduce VLDL synthesis and secretion.

Lovastatin (Mevacor~ Pravastatin (Pravac 01) Simvastatin (locor) Fluvastatin (Lescol) Cerevastatin raYCOI) Atorvastatin ( ipitor)

Inhibit Hrv1G·CoA reductase in liver. This enzyme catalyzes the rate-limitin~ step in cholestero synthesis.

Gemfibrozll (LOPidl Clofibrate (Atromid

Inhibits VLDL synthesis, increases lipoprotein lipase activity. Thus, reduces triglyceride levels.

Probucol (Lorelco)

Fenofibrate (Tricor)

LIPID PROFILE EFFECTS INDICATIONS lDL> 190 mg!dl (160 with 2 J.. Cholesterol, lDl i Triglycerides, VLDL, HDL risk factors) provided thai 6 monlh lrial of low lipid diet has failed.



molest., triglyc., VLDL, IDL, LDL; i HDL

J. Cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, trig't;;:. TH


J. Cholest., triglyc., VlDL,

Increases LDL. degradation and cholesterol excretion.


J. Cholesterol, LOt., HDL.


Hypert riglyceridernia

101. J.. ori LDL T HOI.

J. Cholesterol, Triglycerides


All drugs are admllllstered orally. Side effects Include GI distress and rash. Most agents potentiate oral anticoagulants.

80 Cardiovascular Drugs

Blood coagulation occurs as a "cascade" of proteolytic factors are activated. Each factor is proteolyzcd into an active protease. The newly~formed protease in turn proteolyzes the next factor into an active protease. The cascade produces fibrin, which forms an insoluble network that entangles blo<x:l cells and platelets. Several clotting factors require vitamin K for activation. Lnhibition of vitamin K is therefore a pharmacologic strategy for preventing coaguJation (Table 4.9). The other clinically useful anticoagulation strategy involves inactivating coagulation Factor 1lI, which

prevents activation of the coagulation cascade from the extrinsic pathway (Table 4.9). Thromboxane and some prostaglandins serve as mediators of platelet aggregation. Antithrombotic agents inhibit prostaglandin and thromboxane synthesis (Table 4.10). Alternatively, prostaglandins that inllibit platelet aggregation may he used to prevent thrombosis. Once a thrombus has formed, the only clinically-useful pharmacologic strategy involves degrading fihrin with thrombolytic agents (Table 4.10).

Table 4.9 Anticoagulants Heparin

Warfarin (Coumadin)

Mechanism! Action:

Binds to antithrorTtlin 111. This cOfTlllex then binds to and inhibits activated clolling factors (factor Xa). Larger amounts inactivate throrTtlin and clolling factors to prevent conversion 01 fibrinogen to fibrin.

Antagonize vitamin K. Interfere with the synthesis of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors (11, VII, IX, X).


Preventing postoperative deep vein throrrbosis and pulmonary errtlolism. Maintaining extracorporeal circulation during open heart surgery and renal hemodialysis. Achieving immediate anticoagulation.

Deep venous throrTtlosis, ischemic heart disease (selected patients). rheumatic heart disease. pulmonary erTt>olism. Lifelong use in patienls 'Nith artificial heart valves.

Undesirable Effects:

Bleeding, hemorrhage, thrombocytopenia, hematoma or necrosis at injection site.

Bleeding. hemorrhage. necrosis. GI upset.


POfSubQJiV. Only anticoagulant corrmonly used parenterally. Dose-dependent kinetics. Metabolized in liver to inactive products.

PO. Well absorbed rapidly, 99% ~Iasma protein bOund, half-life .. 37 hrs, melabo ized by liver.

Drug Interactions

Risk 01 bleeding or hemorrhage is increased with concommitant admnistration of aspirin, ibuprofen, anticoagulantsfthrorTtlolytics. dextran, phenylbutazone, indomethacin. dipyridamole. several penicillins and cephalosporins. val~roic acid, plicamycin, methimazole, propy thiouracil, probenecid, hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine. Decreased anticoagulation effect with digitalis. tetracyclines, antihistamines. nicotine.

lkokinase and streptokinase increase risk of bleeding. Anlicoagulation effects are increased by aspirin, phenylbutazone. oxyphenbutazone, disulfiram, cimelidine, sullinpyrazone, metronidazole. trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, dextrothyroxine, anabolic steroids. heparin, and many others. Antico~ulation ellects are decreased by drugs ich induce P-450 enzymes. rifampin, cholestyramine, high dose vitamin Cor K.


Because of hemorrhage risk. check hematocrit and tesl for blood in stool. Administer with caution to menstruating women, or patients with subacute bacterial endocarditis, severe hypotension, liver disease. or blood dyscrasias. Protamine sulfate inactivates hepan'n and can be used as an anlagonist if severe bleeding occurs.

Prothrorrbin time should be monitored carefUlly in ~atients taking warfarin. However, ecchymoses, ematuria, uterine and intestinal bleeding. and other signs 01 hemorrhage may occur even YkIen prothrorrbin time is IMthin normal range.

Related drugs:

Lowmolecular weight heparins lDaitrepa rin (Fra~min). Ardeparin (Normflo)] and heparlnolds [Enoxaparln Lovenox)] are use for prophyloxis or treatment 01 deep venous throrrtlosis and pUlmonary erTt>oli. Aldeparin and Enoxaparin also reduce risk 01 ischemia in unstable angina or non路Q-wave myocardial infarction. These do not alter PT or PTT. Increase risk of spinalfepidural hematoma following lurrbarpuncture. Leplrudln (Refludan) is a recorrbinant hirudan (leech polypeptide) that is used for anticoagulation in patients with heparin-induced throrrtlocytopenia.


Table 4.10 Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Agents DRUG

at c agents ~llt1f:{tm splrln Ibuprofen


liffiiblts cyclooxygenase. Thus prevents formation at throrrtloxane ~ and prostaglandins (which induce platelet aggregation).



Aspnn: reauce n-sK 01 recurrent

GI ulcerafton, bleeding, herrorrhage.

transient ischerric aUacks or stroke. Reduces risk 01 myocardial infarction in patients

"WIth unstable angina or prior infarction. Both used for antiinllanmatory and analgesic purposes.

Ticlopldlne (TlCIid)

Clopidogrel (Plavix) <:lIoslazol (Plelal)

Dipyridamole (Persantine)

IrreversiblYi blocks platelet Reduces risk of stroke in binding to ibmgen. May block patients who are adversely platelet degranulation. affected by aspirin.

Neutropenia, increased bleeding tendency, rash, diarrhea, nausea.

Blocks platelet aggregation by inhibiting ADP receptor

Reduction of atherosclerotic events.

Simlar to aspirin.

Inhibits phosphodiesterase 111. Dilates lo'Ner exlrerrity blood vessels.

Intemiltent claudication.

Headache, heart palpitations.

Inhibits phosphodiesterase, increasing cAMP levels to potentiate PGl r (platelet aggregation inhibitor). i levels of adenosine (a coronary artery vasodilator) Has lewdinical effects alone.

'Nith warfarin, prevents entJoli fromanificialvalves. 'Mth aspirin, enhances lifespan of platelets in patients with throntJotic disease.

May worsen angina. dizziness, headache, syncope, GI disturbances, rash.

ActlYatesf1lasrrinogen to lasrrin digests ibrin and fibrinogen foming degradation products. These products also act as anticoagulants by inhibiting the formation of fibrin.

To lyse throrrbi In IscherTIc, but not necrotic, coronary arteries alter infarction. Pulmonary entJolism, deep venous throntJosis, occluded A-V cannula in dialysis patients, and peripheral anery throntJosis.

Bleeding, bruising. Rarely irTmJne or anaphylactic responses even though it is a foreign protein.

Thrombolytic IJgent.L: Streploklnase


.. .





Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA)

Binds to fibrin, then activates fibrin-bound plasminogen to plasmin.

To reperfuse coronary arteries that are ocduded.

Hematoma at catheterization site.

Alteplase (Activase) Reteplase (Aetavase)

Recombinant forms of tissue plasminogen activator.

Acute myocardial infarction (both). Ischemic stroke, pulmonary errbolism (Altepase).


Abclxlmab (AeoPro) Eptlflbatlde (Integrltin) Tlrofiban (Aggrastat)

Inhibit glycoprotein III B, a necessary molecule for platelet aggregation.

Acute coronary syndrome.


Urokinase Anlst re pia s e (Eminase)

82 Cardiovascular Drugs







Well absorbed primarily in upper small intestine. Distributes to CNS. Metabolized in liver, hall路life = 15min.

Increased risk of bleeding with anticoagulants. Increased risk of GI ulceration with alcohol, corticosteroids, phenylbutazone, oxyphenbutazone. Decreases uricosurea effects of ~rObeneCjd and sUlfinpyrazone and diuretic e1 ects of spironolactone. Decreases absorption 01 tetracycline. Increases plasma levels of methotrexate.

PO. Absorption, 98% plasma protiein bound, hepatic metabolism.

Potentiates aspirin efriects on platelets (may be harmful). Absorption is impaired by antacids. Elimination is reduced by cimetidine.

Monitor neutrophil and platelet counts during therapy.

PO. Metabolized to acfive drug.

Increased bleeding risk with other antithrorrootic agents.

Consider stopping prior to surgical or dental procedures.

PO. Absorption increased by lally meals.

Levels increased by omeprazole, macrolides diltiazem.

Contraindicated in patients with congestive heart failure.

Enhances risk 01 bleeding caused by aspirin, heparin, or other anticoagulants.

Isolated Irom Group C beta-hemolytic streptococci

.. ..

Currentl~ isolated from cultured human renal ce Is. Very expensive.

Pharmacokinetics are not well established.

In patients with antibodies against streptokinase (reSUlting Irom streptococcal infections), haif-lile is 12 min. In others, half -life. 83 min. IV. Administered as infusion over many hours. IV. Hall路life is 90 minutes. IV infusion. Half-liIe.8 min. Metabolized by liver.

Contraindicated in cases of recent bleeding.



Increased bleeding risk with anti-coagulants.

Contraindicated in cases of recent bleedinQ.


Hematopoietic Agents The agents listed in Table 4.10 differ from all the other drugs in this chapter. These are not chemicals, isolated from plants or synthesized in a lab. They are glycoproteins prcxluced by cultured mammalian cells, into which the gene for erythropoietin, C-e5F or GMCSF has been introduced. Because they are identical or nearly identical to endogenous hematopoetic agents,

there are relatively few side effects. These agents are extremely expensive to develop and produce. The investment has led to exciting new

therapeutic interventions, however, which were impossible with conventional drug development techniques. Recombinant DNA technology is now

being applied to numerous medical problems, particu路 larly those due to paucity of an endogenous substance (e.g., insulin in diabetes mellitus). The agents listed below reduce the need for blood transfusions in patients with chronic anemia, reduce the incidence of life-threatening infections in patients with low neutrophil counts, and improve the success of autologous bone marrow transplantation in cancer patients.

Table 4.11 Hematopoetic Agents DRUG


Epoetln alpha (e.g., Epogen)

Epeetin alpha Is recorroinant human erythropoietin. Erythropoetin, v.t1ich is synthesized in the kidney in response to hypoxia or anemia, stirTlJlates erythropoiesis. Epeetin alpha is indicated for anemia in patients ""';th chronic renal failure, because these patients are unable to synthesize erythropeetin to correct the anemia. Additional uses include correcting zidovudine (AZT)路lnduced anemia in HIVinfected g:tients and chemothera~.indUCed anerria in cancer patients. Several weeks of therapy are required fore the hematocrit lev s rise, therefore, this drug cannot replace transfusions for the acute treatment of severe anemia. Epeetin alpha should not be used in patients ""';th uncontrolled hypertension because the elevation in hematocrit may exacerbate hypertension.

Fllgrastlm (G-CSF) (Neupogen)

Rlgraslim is human recorrbinant granulocyte colony slirTlJlating factor (G路CSF), lMlich induces synthesis of neutr~ils from progenitor cells. It is indicated lor replenishment of neutrophils in cancer patients treated wit myelosupPf8Ssive anticancer agents. The goal is 10 prevent neutropenia, which is associated ""';th life-threatenrng bacterial infectIons. In the past, neutropenia-associated infection was the dose-limiting toxicity of many chemotherapeutic agents. Now, filgrastim perrrils the development of chemotherapy protocols that include higher doses of myelosuppressivedrugs. This ""';1] likely resuh in higher treatment success, but will also result in the development of toxicities that 'N8re previously rarely seen, because the toxicities are produced only at high doses. Filgrastim should not be used within 24 hours of the adrrinistration of anticancer drugs because the effect of cytotoxic agents on r~dlY dividin~ myeloid cells is not clear. The theoretical concern that filgrastimrright act as a growth actor for ma ignancies has nol been substantiated clinically. Filgrastim is indicated for the treatment of severe cyclic neutropenia and severe chronic neutropenia. The most frequent undesirable effect is medullary bone pain. likely due 10 rapid cell proliferation within the marrow.


Sargramostim is human recorTtlinantgranulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). 11 stimulates the proliferation of all lines of blood cells. It induces maturation of granUlocytes and macrophages, but not erythrocytes or megakaryocytes. Sargramostim also activates mature wanUIOCytes and macrophages. The principle indication is to accelerate bone marrow replenishment ollowing autologous bone marrow transplantation. It is under investigation for the treatment of several other myelosuppresive disorders. As With G-CSF. the possibility that GM-CSF might act as a growth factor for some types of cancer has not been ruled out.

IG -CSF) leukinej

Oprelvekln (Interleukin II, Neumega)

Oprelvekin is a recorrbinant growth factor that stirrolates platelet production. It is indicated for maintaining platelet counts following chemotherapy. Clinical trials show limited efficacy. Toxicity includes fluid retention, tachycardia and other cardiovascular reactions.

84 Cardiovascular Drugs

Respiratory Drugs Obstructive Lung Disease

their use is at the expense of systemic side effects (Table 5.18).

Bronchoconstriction, inflammation and loss of lung elasticity are the three most common processes that result in bronchial obstruction. Therapy for obstructive lung disease is aimed at preventing or reversing these

Loss of lung elasticity results in terminal bronchi~ ole enlargement, changes in lung compliance and the collapse of airways which are normally tethered open by surrounding lung tissue. It has been suggested that cigarette smoke stimulates proteases and inhibits antiproteases. The relative abundance of proteases degrade normal lung tissue leading to a loss of supportive lung tissue. Specific therapy to reverse or prevent proteolytic destruction of lungs is not readily available.

processes. Bronchoconstriction results from the effects of acetylcholine, histamine, and inflammatory mediators released within the bronchial walls. The vagus nerve releases acetylcholine in response to stimulation of upper ainvay mucosa by irritants. Acetylcholine also triggers release of pulmonary secretions whkh further reduce air flow by plugging airways. Syrnpathomimetks (adrenergic agonists, cholinergic antagonists),

methylated xanthines and corticosteroids reverse or reduce bronchoconstriction (Tables S.lA and 5.18). Chronic Inflammation is caused by prolonged exposure to airway irritants such as pollution and cigarette smoke. Bronchiolar inflammation results in narrowed airways, increased secretions, epithelial proliferation, loss of ciliated epithelium and fibrosis. Corticosteroids inhibit the inflammatory response, but

For diagnostic and treatment purposes, obstructive lung disease is subclassified as either reactive airway disease or chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). Reactive Airway Disease (RAD, asthma): The trachea and bronchi of patients with reactive airway disease are particularly sensitive to stimulants such as cigarette smoke, dust, cold air and aUergens. Patients present with wheezing, coughing and chest tightness. Decreased oxygenation of the lungs secondary to tracheobronchial constriction, mucus production, inflammation and edema cause these symptoms.


Treatment Options

Therapeutic strategies are discussed below. Hospitalization, oxygen supplementation, nebulized bronchodilator therapy. corticosteroid therapy and occa~ sionally intubation are required for severe episodes.

The method of treatment depends on the severity of the episode and the patient's response to previous therapy. Therapeutic options include:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Patients with chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema experience chronic dyspnea as a resuJt of airway obstruction and inflammation. COPD patients complain of persistent cough and dyspnea on exertion. On physical examination, use of accessory respiratory muscles and expiratory wheezing are commonly noted. Expiratory wheezing is due in part to bronchiolar collapse which traps air distal to the constricted site.

• Beta-adrenergic agonists bind to ~l receptors on bronchial smooth muscle, causing an increase in the biochemical messenger, cyclic AMP (cAMP). In~ creased levels of cAMP cause relaxation of bronchial muscle ceUs, resulting in bronchodilation. ~2-selectjve agents are preferred to nonselective ~-blockers because they are less likely to cause tachycardia (mediated by ~Ireceptors). These agents are first line for prophylaxis and treatment of asthma.

Table 5. 1A Drugs Used in Bronchial Disorders DRUG MECHANISM/ACTIONS Bronchodifators • Sympathomfmetlcs:



[)fug ofchOice for trealmenl of Though prorroled as a P2·selective agonists, side effects acute asthma SYl'll'lOms and 10 prevenl exertion-induced asthma. parallel "nonspecific· agonists (vasodilation, tachycardia, CNS stirrolation (Table 2. 1). Inhalalion preparations have fewer side effects. W

Metaproterenol (e.g.. Alupent) Terbutallne (e.g., Brelhaire) Isoelharlne Plrbulerol {Max air) Bltolterol (Tornalate) Levalbuterol (Xopenex)

S a Ime~17e7,o~I'---'L~o~n~g'a~cCting j32 > ~c,7ag7o~n"is"I'.---'Ch=m~n";c="=e7al~rre=n='~o'f7as"t=h=ma""'o~r---'Na=sopharyngitis, headache, (Screvent)

Epinephrine (e.g., Primalene Mst)

Adrenergic agonisl causes bronchodilation (j}2 receptors), vasoconstriction (0.1) and! secretions (0.1). ~re detail in Table 2.1.

bronchospasm in adults. Not for acute exacerbations.


Used emergenlly for severe bronchoconstrictionlvasodilation (anaphylaxis). less potent than albulerollor maintainance, but available without prescription.

Tachycardia. metabolic and GI abnormalities, CNS slirT'lJlation (See Table 2. 1).

:::CO:Il2 agonlsl-.~SeeC:-:~T~a~bl~eC--;-U7k7e~e~",C·-nephrine, but requires I sopro7'e7,~e~n~O~IC--a~~,7and (e.g.,lsuprel) 2.1. prescription.

Ipralroplum (Atrovent)

M.Jscarinic antagonist. Reverses acetylcholineinduced bronchoconstriction.

86 Respiratory Drugs

Bronchospasm associated wilh COPD in adults.

..Fewsyslerric anticholinergic side effecls because it is a quaternery arrmonium COrrp::lund which crosses Into systemic circulation poorly.

• Corticosteroids decrease peribronchial inflammation. Inhaled steroids are recommended in conjunction with beta agonists and cromolyn for asthma prophylaxis. Corticosteroid "bursts" (high doses for a few days) are sometimes used when maintenance therapy fails to control asthma. • Cromolyn is a prophylactic agent. It inhibits the release of mediators from inflammatory cells, such as mast cells. It is used exclusively in asthma. • Methylxanthines increase cAMP and inhibit adenosine-induced bronchoconstriction. Oral theophylline is used for outpatient management of asthma less frequently than in the past. An intravenous bolus of


aminophylline, the water-soluble salt of theophylline, produces therapeutic serum levels faster than oral theophylUne. Aminophyline is therefore used in acute management. • Cholinergic Antagonists reduce bronchoconstriction and secretions caused by parasympathetic transmission. Ipratropriurn bromide is preferred for the treatment of non-asthmatic COPD in adults and is a secondary drug in the treatment of asthma. Most of these agents are administered by inhalation. Consider improper administration of bronchodilators as an explanation for therapeutic failure.




alnh: Ons < 15"iTl,"'"~ po: Ons < 30m, OtJr 4-8h. Time of onset and duration are most i~rtant points of distinction tween these drugs.

MAOTnni'6ltors, tncycllc antidepressants and other sympathomimetics enhance sympathomimetic effects. may induce toxicity. I>blockers inhibit activity.

Bronc <:,~ilatlon severe:ly reduced in hypoxic and acidotic patients. Physician should be consulted if increased frequency required for sYfl'l)tomatic relief.

Inh: Ons <5m, Dur3-4h PO: Ons 15-30m, Our4h



SC:Ons 5-15m, Our 2-4h PO and Inh like albuterol.


High first pass metabolism.

Inh: Ons < 5m, Our 1-3h.



Inh: Ons < 5m, Our 4-6h.


lnh: Ons < 5m, Our 5-Bh.






lnh: Ons 20m, Our 12h. Twice a day dosing.


SCllnhalation. SC works immediately. Short acting regardless of route of administration.

Hypertension, hyperthyroidism, cerebrovascular insufficiency, narrow angle glaucoma.






Withdrawal may induce reflex bronc hoconstriction.


Narrow angle glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy.

Additive effect with adrenergic agonists.

8Abbrevialions: Inh - inhalation, SC .. subculaneou5, Ots .. onse!. Our .. duralion. m .. minutes. h .. hours.


Table 5.1 B Drugs Used in Bronchial Disorders (cant.) DRUG MECHANISM/ACTION INDICATIONS Bronchodllators - Methylxanthlnes The0Et:;ylline The mechanism by YotIich Used for mainlainance therap~ in (e,g., eo-Our) melhylxanlhines dilate rn:x::Ierale 10 severe asthma. low bronchioles is unkno'M1. At onset limits effectiveness in toxic doses, Ihese agents acule situations. Theophylline is inhibit phosphodiesterase, the being replaced by iprBlroprium enzyme which breaks down bromide and/or syrJ1)al homimetic cAMP (the second messenger agents for non-asthmatic COPO. thai mediates adrenergicinduced bronchodilation). Methylxanthines block adenosine receptors Vttlich may account for CNS and cardiac stilTlJlatlOn. Methylxanthines also induce diuresis by an unknown mechanism. Aminophylline






IV loading dose lor severe, acute bronchoconstriction. (Theophylline cannot be administered IV.)

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS Nausea, vorTiting, headache, insormia, tachycardia, dizziness, neurom.Jscular irritability,

seizures. Side effects are dose

related (it risk when serum concentration> 20 lJ,glmI), serum levels can be easily monitored.


less polent than theophylline.

less palpitations, nervousness and dlzzu'19sS than theophylline.

Asthma Vttlich can not be controlled by sy~lhorrimetics (bronchodilators) alone.

Sodium'water retention and subsequent cardiovascular problems, weakness, osteoporosis, peptic ulcers.


Cortlcos_teLolds Systemic (listed in Table 10.2)

Decrease inllalT'WTlation and edema in respiratory tract. Enhance activity of SYrTllClthomimetlCs in hypoxic and acidotic slales.


Beclomethasone (e.g., Beclovent)

Flunlsollde (Aerobid)


Triamcinolone (Azmacort)


Dexamethasone (Decadron)




Cromolyn (Inial)

Prevents the release of inflalT'WTlatory mediators (e.g., hislarrine) from mast cells, macrophages, neutrophils and eosinophils.

Nedocromll (Tilade)



J.Jlilk.o1IJe.ne_8eC.J!PLoLAnta{JlHI1S1 $ Zafirlukast (ACColateL Montelu ast (Singulair)

CorJl)etitive antagonist of leukolriene D4 and E4 receptors. Inhibits branchoconstriction and inllalT'WTlation.

Zileuton (Zyflo)

Inhibits 5-1ipox~enase, an enzyme requir for leukotriene synthesis.

88 Respiratory Drugs



·. . ·. "

Usually do not induce systemic toxicity. Actions primarily in lungs. Increases risk of oral Candida albicans infection (thrush).

·. ·. ·.

Prophylaxis of asthma aUacks. Not useful against an ongoing aUack.

Minimal side effects such as throat irritation.



Prophylaxis and chronic asthma treatment.

Headache, GI distress. Increased respiratory infection in older patients.


Headache, GI sY"lltoms. liver enzyme elevation.





PCJ7PF1.Wel1 absorbed, liver metabolism, kidney excretion. Dozens of standard and long-acting preparations available.

Patients With seIzure dIsorder, cardiovascular disorder or peptic ulcer disease.

sYrT'4)athorTllmetlcs 1 risk 0 heart and eNS toxicity, Cimetidine, oral contraceptives and several antibiotics t half-life of theophylline -thus i toxicity. Phenobarbital and phenytoin induce metabolism of theophylline, thus.t. half-life. Oehdydration results from t diuresis with concurrent use of furosemide.

am patients: doubling a dose, even if one is missed, is very dangerous. Intoxication may cause seizures. Treat overdose with ipecac, activated charcoal, and a cathartic.

I V/PO/PR. Increased solubility allows IV administration.



Aminophylline is the water soluble salt of theophylline. It is 79% theophylline.

POIJV/IM. Rapid urinary excretion of unchanged drug. Half-life prolonged by probenecid (Fig. 7.13).



SterOlos are adjUnct agents and should be discontinued as soon as possible,


Inhalation. Rapid inactivation in lungs.

Treatment of status asthmaticus (drug does not adequately relieve sYrT'4)toms), patients wi systemic fungal infechons.

Inhalation agents must not be substituted for systemic steroids without first tapering systemic steroids.











Inhalation. Slow onset 01 action. Effective prophylaxis may require several weeks of therapy.

al ow patient to re uce maintenance dose of bronchodilators or corticosteroids.


PO. Well absorbed. Peak levels in 3 hours. Inhibits P450.

Not indicated for reversal of bronchospasm in acute asthma attacks.

TheOPh~ine, erythro~cin



Increases serum theophylline level.

reduce firlukastleve s. Phenobarbital decreases Montelukast.

Efficacy similar to cromolyn.


Table 5.2 Miscellaneous Respiratory Drugs DRUG Surfactant (Exosurf, Survanta)

Dornase Alta

DEseRI PTI ON Infant respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS) is caused, in part, by surfactant deficiency. Surfactant decreases surface tension in the lungs, permitting alveoli to open roofe readily. Exosurf and Survanta are surfactant replacement ~rOdUCIS administered endotracheally to reduce the incidence and severity oIIRDS. Survanta is Iso ated from bovine lung and supplemented to rasemla natural surfactant. Exosurf is a synthetic surfactant analog. Toxicity includes desaluration and bradycardia during administration and risk of pulmonary hemorrhage.


Recombinant human DNase cleaves DNA strands. It is administered by inhalation to patients INith cystic fibrosis to decrease the viscosity of bronchial secretions. The viscosity is due to strands of DNA from lysed inflammatory cells. DNase treatment reduces the frequency of respiratory infections, presumably by reducing barriers to bronchial clearance.

N.Acetylcystelne (e.g., Mucomyst)

Mucolytic agent reduces viscosity of mucous by cleaving protein cOlTlllexes. Used in patients 'Nith chronic bronchopulmonary disease.

Alp ha 1' Proteinase Inhibitor (Prolastin)

Patients with alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency develo~ pan acinar emphysema due to degradation of elastin by neutrophil-produced elastase. Alpha1- roteinase Inhibitor is purified from pooled human plasma and is administered intravenously each week. The primary toxicity is fever.

Pallvlzumab (Synagis)

A humanized monoclonal antibody targeted against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). It provides passive immunity for high risk infants (prematurity, bronchopulmonary dysplasia) when given as monthly 1M injections during 'Ninter and early spring months when RSV infections are prevalent in the community.

Intranasal Steroids Beclomethasone (e.g., Becanase) Budesonide (Rhinocori) Flunisollde (Nasalide) Triamcinolone (Nasacortj Flutlcasone (Ronase) Mometasone (Nasonex)

Inhibit inflammatory cells in nasal mucosa. Reduce sy~toms of rhinitis. May increase risk of thrush (oropharyngial candida) and prevent healing of damage nasal mucosa.


Presented in Table 9.7.


90 Respiratory Drugs

Gastrointestinal Agents Drugs for Stomach Disorders Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that causes mosl cases of gastritis and duodenal ulcer disease. H. pylori ulcers are in some cases precancerous. Prior to the identification of H. pylori as a causitive agent, peptic ulcers were treated with agents that reduced or neutralized gastric acid. Current practice utilizes alleast two antibiotics with an antisccretory agent and/or bismuth. Although H. pylori is readily suppressed by a single antibiotic, monotherapy is suboptimal because it fails to eradicate the organism and leads to selection of resistant organisms. Antibiotics typically used for H. pylori disease include amoxacillin, c1arilhromycin, metronidazole or tetracycline. These are reviewed in Chapter 7. Antisecretory agents include proton pump inhibi路 tors (e.g., omiprazole) and H2 histamine receptor antagonists (e.g., ranitidine) which are described in Table 6.1. These agents reduce gastric acid production and promote mucosnl henling. Bismuth reduces bacterial adherence to mucosal cells and damages bacterial ceU walls. It is also the active ingredient in Peplo-Bismol, an anti-diarrheal agent.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERm and Dysmotility Reflux esophagitis is an inflammation of esophageal mucosa caused by reflux of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. The underlying defect is usually an incompetent lower esophageal sphincter. The disease is exacerbated by obesity and smoking (nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter). Nonmedical treatment includes elevation of the head of the bcd, avoidance of eating before sleep, loose fitting clothing and surgical procedures that restore the competency of the lower esophageal sphincter.

1-4 histamine-receptor antagonists are effective (or short-term treatment of CERO (Table 6.1). Similarly, agents that increase the rate of gastric emptying, inhibit the prolon pump of gastric parietal cells, form a protective coat in the stomach or augment endogenous prostaglandins to promote bicarbonate and mucin release are are used for GERD, dysmotility, or stomach mucosa protection (Table 6.1). Antacid salts, available over the counter (e.g., TUMS), provide transient symptomatic relief of gastric acid irritation. Drugs which alter stomach or duodenal pH frequently aIter absorption of other oral drugs. Review potential drug interactions before prescribing.


Table 6.1 Acid Reducing Agents and Dysmotility Agents DRUG




Amoxacillin Clarithromycin Metronidazole

See chapter 7

H. pylori ulcers

See chapter 7

Tetracycline H~


Histamine Recwtor Antagonists; metldlne 2R!stamlne-Aeceptor



DUodenal/gastnc ulcer, hypersecretion of acid, GEAD.


.. "


.. "

.. .


Famotidine (Pepcidj Nizatidlne {Axid)


Duodenal ulcers, benign gastric ulcers.

Well tolerated. Diarrhea, dizziness, rash, headache, confusion, somnolence, decreased libido, ifll)OlenCe, gynecomastia. Rarely, blood dyscrasias, hepatotoxicity and renal toxicity.

Sirnilarto cimetidine. Possibly less eNS and sexual disturbance than cimetidine.




Aluminum Salts

Calcium Carbonate

Magnesium Salts Na+ Citrate (Bicitra)

Neutralize gastric acid. Thus, mucosal irritation is reduced. Pain relief precedes healing.

Symptomatic relief of gastric acid irritation.



.. "



.. ..

Preferred pre-op antacid .

Horrible taste. Less likely than others to cause aspiration ~eumonitis in sedated patients cause it is nonparticulate.


Constipation, hypercalcemia, hypophosphatemia.

Constipation, hypercalcemia, metabolic alkalosis, hemorrhoids, bleeding anal fissures. Rarely, milk-alkali syndrome (if taken chronically with milk or bicarbonate). Diarrhea, hypermagnesemia (nausea, vomiting, hyporeflexia, decreased muscle tone).

Miscellaneous: $ucralfate (Carafate)

Sucrose and polyalummum h~droxide polymerize at low p to form protective coating.

Prophylaxis and treatment 01 duodenal ulcers.


Metoclopramlde (Reglan)

Increases rate of gastric efTl)tying by unknown mechanism.

Reflux esophagitis. gastroparesis, pre-op gastric emptying.

Diarrhea, constipation, drowsiness, depression. Occasionally, extrapyramidal side effects due to dopamine antagonism.

Omeprazole (Prilosec) Lansoprazole (Prevacid)

Inhibits W/K+ ATPase (proton pump) of parietal cell. Thus, reduces acid secretion.

Reflux esophagitis, duodenal utcers, hypersecretory states.

Few side effects. Constipation. Causes gastric carcinoid tumors in rats after prolonged use.

Misoprostol (Cytotec)

Increases HC03 and mucin release. Reduces acid secretion.

Prevention of ulcers caused by aspirin and other NSAIDS.

Abortion (uterine contraction), diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, flatulance.

92 Gastrointestinal Agents





See chapter 7

See chapter 7

See chapter 7

EffectiYe therapy requires at least two antibiotics and ~nn~~~~~~~tory anAnl, i .

USe 'Mlh cautIon In patients oyer 50 years old 'Mth kidney or liyer failure.

~.U/.'.Vfl~:.~lttle P'~S~ protein binding, httle metabolism.

Increases conce~Hatlon l?' anticoagulants, theophylline, lidocaine, phenytoin, benzodiazepines. niledipine, propranolol, others by Inhibiting liver P450 enzymes. Alters serumtevel of many other drugs. Consult Dfug Index.

PO/IV. High first pass metabolism, uncha::9ed drug and metabolites excret in urine.

Less inhibition of P450 metabolizing enzymes than cimetidine.


No P450 inhibition.



Osteomalacia (soft bones), obstructive bo'N9l disease, constipation.


Binds and inaclivates tetracycline, reduces absorption of warfarin, digOXin, and other dru~s. Increases risk of quinidine toxicity.



"" Decreases absorption of drugs v.ttich are preferentially absorbed at low pHs Increases gastriC absorption of druj;ls normally absorbed in small Intestine.

Diarrhea, ! renallunclion (result: hypermagnesemia) malabsorption syndrome.

PO. WeH absorbed, quickly excreted by kidney.

Congestive heart failure, hypertension.



PO. 3-5% absorbed.

May interfere with absor~tion of 0lherdru9s, especial y fluoroquinollne antibiotics.

PO/IVIIM. Well absorbed, 50% metabolized in liver, excreted in urine.

Sharply Increases risk of hypertension with MAO inhibilors. Increases toxicity of antipsycholics. Reduces absorption of many druos.

PO. Acid labile capsule contains enteric-coated granules, short half-life (1-1.5 hr).

Inhibit cytochrome P450. Omeprazole interacts with warfarin, phenytoin and diazepam.

Elderly patients and children are more susceptible to extrapyrarridal effects.


PO. Prodrug is de路esterlfied to active acid.


Magnesium antacids are coadministered to prevent constipation.

Used with aluminum or calcium antacids to prevent constipation.

Use cautiously in dialysis patients. May increase aluminum concentration.

Misoprostol is a prostaglandin E analog.



intestinal motility are contraindicated in parasitic

infections and some bacterial infections (e.g., shigello-

Diarrhea is usually caused by infection, toxins or drugs. Antidiarrheal agents are described in Table 6.2. Several of these drugs are sold over-the-counter and are used more frequently than medically indicated. Viral or bacterial-induced diarrhea is usually transient and requires primarily a clear liquid diet and increased fluid intake. Antimicrobial therapy may be indicated by the presence of specific pathogens in the stool or fecal leukocytes. Intravenous fluids may be required if dehydration occurs. Parasitic infections are treated with agents described in Table 7.14. Antidiarrheal agents that decrease

sis) because they suppress expulsion of the organisms. Drug or toxin-induced diarrhea is best treated by discontinuing the causative agent when possible. Chronic diarrhea may be due to laxative abuse, lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption syndromes, endocrine disorders, irritable bowel syndrome and other disorders. Treatment with nonspecific antidiarrheal agents such as those listed in Table 6.2 may mask an lmderlying disorder. Treatment of chronic diarrhea should be aimed at correcting the cause of diarrhea in addition to than alleviating the symptoms.

Table 6.2 Antidiarrheal Agents DRUG Opiates: Dlphenoxylate and Atropine (Lomotil)




Diphenoxylate is an agonist at opiate receptors in GI tract and atropine blocks muscarinic receptors. Both actions inhibit peristalsis.


Few, minor side effects include constipation, abdominal and bowel distention, nausea.




Bismuth Subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)

Adsorbs toxins produced by bacteria and other GI irritants.

Diarrhea. Prophylaxis for traveler's diarrhea. Large dose requirements limit utility for long trips.


Kaolin/Pectin (Kaopectate)

Adsorbant and protectant of questionable efficacy.


May t K+ loss or interfere with absorption of drugs and nutrients.

Cholestyramine {Quest ran)

Absorbs bile salts (which cause diarrhea) and C. difficiletoxin.

Diarrhea caused by C. difficile or bile acids.


Muscarinic agonists. Inhibit GI secretions and peristalsis.

Diarrhea due to peptic ulcer disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

Decrease memory and concentration, dry mouth, urinary retention, tachycardia.


Antiinflammatory agent.

Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, other inflammatory bowel diseases.

See Table 10.6.


See Antibacterial Agents, Chapter 7.

Loperamlde (lrnodium)




O1!lers; Antlchollnerglcs

94 Gastrointestinal Agents




ParaSllic orbaclerial infections accolTllanied by lever, obstructive jaundice.


!""olenliate. ~ ?epressants. Increses risk 01 hypertension with MAO inhibitors. Increases risk of paralytic ileus with antilTlJscarimcs.

Parasitic or bacterial infections wI fever.


None identified.

Aspirin sensitivity.


Potentiates oral anticoagulants and hypoglycemics, Reduces uricosuric effects 01 Firobenecid and su linpyrazone.

Obstructive bowel lesions, children under 3 years old.


Decreases absorption of many drugs.


Decreases absorption 01 many drugs.

OOSBO .angle 9 aucoma, vonsult drug digest orspeclHc prostatic hypertrophy, heart agents. disease, obstructive bowel disease. See Table 10.6.

PR, Adrrinistered as retention enema.

",.ntaclo~ Inte ere With absorptIon.


Treat overdose with naloxone.

Used primarily lor its lipid lowering effects (Table 4.8). ~peclfjc~enIS


in Table 2.7.

Corticosteroids discussed in Tables 10.6.


Drugs Used to Treat Constipation A variety of factors including low~fiber diets, drugs (e.g., anticholinergics, antacids or narcotics), prolonged immobilization and abdominal surgery cause constipation.

Constipation in most nonhospitalized patients can be resolved by increasing the fiber content of their diet or by supplementing the diet with bulk-forming agents.

Rectal administration of laxatives is preferred to oral if there is a question of intestinal obstruction. Agents which stimulate peristalsis should be avoided when obstruction is possible. r...1xative abuse is the most common complication of laxative therapy. Chronic use of laxatives may lead to dependence on such agents for normal bowel movements. Senna, in particular, is dangerous when used chronically because it may damage nerves, resulting in intestinal atony.

Table 6.3 Laxatives and Cathartics DRUG


Bulk Forming Agents




Psyllium (e.g., ~tafTJJcil)

No~~~~est_!?_prantcell absorbs water into feces, thus softening the stool.

ifll)action (if bolus is obstructed).

y'!~I~ t~!~ra!.~._.~r~t~l~nce,






Calcium polycarbophll (e.g., Mitrolan)




COntinuous use may cause severe diarrhea.

PO. Sonens teces 10 6-8 hrs.


~'tens leces In

1-;J cays.



stimUlant Laxatives and Cathartics -Blsacodyl (e.g., Dulcolax)

Increases water and electrolytes in feces and increases intestinal motility.

Phenolphthalein (e.g., Ex Lax)






.. " Also, melanotic stool.





~tabotizedin intestine to ricinoleate, a surfactant which decreases water and electrolyte absorption and increases motility.

CrarTl)s, nausea. Chronic use roost be avoided. Dehydration, electrolyte irrtlatances and nerve damage may develop.

PO. Watery excretion of bowel contents in 1~3 hours.

Saline solutions (e.g., Milk of Magnesia)

Mg~Na salts are poorly absorbed and thus draw water into the lumen. t-igh dose rids bowel of parasites and erTl)ties bowel preoperatively.

Precipitation or exacerbation of cardiac, renal. convulsive disorders or hypocalcemia.

PO. Watery excretion of bowel contents in 1-3 hours.


Hyperosmolarity draws water into colon.

Senna (Senokot) Castor Oil


lactulose (e.g., Chronulac)





PRo Evacuates colon 'Nithin t 5 minutes. Cramps, flatu lance, nausea, vomiting.

PO. Metabolized in intestine to lactate which acts as a laxative osmotically and by lowering pH.

Mineral 011

lubricates feces and prevents Anal leakage and irritation, absorption 01 water from reduces vitamn absorption. Aspiration pneumonitis may leces. develop 'Nith oral administration.


Docusate (e.g.â&#x20AC;˘ Colace)

Improves penetration of water and fat into feces.

Diarrhea, abdominal cral1"ps. Increases absorption of mineral oil (do not use with mineral oil).


96 Gastrointestinal Agents


Anti-Infective Agents Co-authored by Kevin A. Cassady, M.D. and Helen Yun, Pharm. D., M.B.A. An ongoing war rages behveen the medical community and bacteria. Physicians utilize the latest antibacterial weaponry. while bacteria have only personal protective gear and some basic strategies for intercepting weapons. Nevertheless, because of their sheer number, ability to adapt, and unembarassed penchant for reproducing, bacteria often have the upper hand.

Effective antimicrobial therapy exploits the differences between microbial and eukaryotic ceUs. Organ· isms that differ significantly from human cells are easier to selectively kill than those which have few unique properties.

When learning the anti-infective agents. it is useful to group antimicrobials based on their mechanism of action and their structure. The mechanism can provide dues regarding a drug's spectrum and potential side effects. For example, gentamicin, an aminoglycoside, gains access to bacteria by an oxygen-dependent pump and then binds to a ribosomal protein unique to bacteria. Based on this one can predict the antibiotic will fail to enter anaerobic bacteria. In addition, one can see that by blocking the energy dependent trans· port system or changing the ribosomal protein binding site, the bacteria develops resistance to the drug. Finally, when taught that renal tubule cells actively endocytose the drug during excretion, one can predict that gentamicin might be nephrotoxic.

In addition to the mechanism of acHon, key issues to consider when learning about antibiotics are: • Chemistry: Subtle differences in chemkal structure can alter spectrum of activity, distribution in the body, toxicity and likelihood of resistance. • Spectrum of activity: It is useful to generalize "Drug A is generally effective against Cram-positives," but important exceptions must also be learned "... but it misses Enterococcl/s." • Mech.misms of microbial resistance to antibiotics and ways to circumvent resistance. • Toxicity: Learn the most common side effects as well as the uncommon but severe. Uncommon, mUd toxicities can be looked up in the future. • Administration: Oral vs. parenteral, one vs. three doses daUy. These parameters affect patient compliance, frequency of hospitalization and cost. • Distribution: Drugs must reach microbes to be effective. Know which drugs penetrate the blood brain barrier, joint capsules, the eye, and abscess walls. Know which drugs fail to leave the gastro-intestinal system and those that concentrate in the urinary tract. Following an introduction to therapeutic strategies and commonly encountered microbes, this chapter discusses antibacterial, antiviral. antifungal, and antiprotozoal drugs.


Basic Strategies of Antimicrobial Therapy

Empiric therapy should be changed to narrow· spectrum, effective agent(s) when culture and se.nsitiv· ity results are available.

Sensitivity Determination: The sensitivity of bacteria to various antibiotics is determined by growing cultures in the presence of the antibiotics of interest. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) is the concentration of antibiotic which prevents growth of the culture. The minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) is the concentration that kills 99.9% of the inoculum. The serum bactericidal titer is the dilution of patient's serum (which contains antibiotic molecules that haven't been distributed to other sites, bound to <J=~~. .~asma proteins, metabolized, or excreted) that is capable of killing the pathogen. This provides informa· tion on whether the concentration of antibiotics in a Figure 7.1 Selective toxicity of antibiotics. Bac/erial cells given patient is high enough to be effective in body diffir from IIormal lilli/lUll cells ill that they have cell TOOl/S, spaces (e.g., joints, meninges) characterized by poor slnlcfllrally..Jiffer..,,' ribosomes, alld llllique metabolic palhways. antibiotic permeability. A/ltibiotics are desiglled to exploillhese differellces so tllat bacteria,

_": "



hllmarl cells, art' damaged.

Don't harm innocent bystanders: The primary goal of antimicrobial therapy is to kill bacteria without hanning tissues of the host (Fig. 7.1). Antibiotics exploit the unique features of microbes (cell walls, different ribosomal structures, unique enzymes) absent in eukaryotic cells. Drugs like penicillins have few side effects because they attack bacterial structures that are absent in human cells. These agents have high selective toxicity (i.e., good therapeutic index). In contrast, drugs like amphotericin, which attack less unique features in ftmgi, are toxic to hum<ln cells at therapeutic doses (poor selective toxicity). Follow empiric therapy with focal therapy: The identity and drug-sensitivity of the infecting organism must be determined as rapidly as possible so that rational therapy can be initiated. If the identity of the pathogen is unknown, empiric therapy (best guess) is initiated. The site of infection and Gram stain properties of the organism pro\'ide clues to its identity. Rapid identification tests (e.g., latex agglutination) may further confirm the identity. Local susceptibility reports provide information on the susceptibility of pathogens to antibiotics and allow a rational start to antibiotic therapy. Cultures are the gold standard for identification of microbes. Unfortunately, several days may be required for growth and identification of the organism. False positive cultures occur when culture materials become contaminated and when organisms are colonizing (but not infecting) the host. False negative cultures occur because of poor sampling technique, prior antibiotic therapy, and inappropriate culture media or techniques.

98 Anti-Infective Agents

Keep your empiric therapy arsenal small: Antibi· otic therapy often begins before the infectious agent is identified. Each practitioner should thoroughly understand a small number of antibiotics that are frequently used for empiric therapy. The history, infection location and rapid identification teslS de· scribed above provide dues to the identity of the microbe. The following statements summarize key points about drugs that are frequently used for empiric therapy. If the presumed organisms are: • Gram-positives: Nafcillin (IV) and didoxadllin (PO) provide excellent coverage of most Gram-positives and are not destroyed by penidllinases. First generation cephalosporins (e.g., ceph<llexin, cefazolin) are effective against most skin and skin structure infec· tions. • Gram·negatives: Third generation cephaJosporins are effective against many Gram-negatives and are not destroyed by cephalosporinases. They penetrate the brain well. Cephalosporins and penicillins may enhance the activity of aminoglycosides against Gram-negatives. The combination of"Amp & Gent" (ampicillin and gentamicin) provides very good coverage of both Gram-positives and Gram-negatives. Trimethoprim·sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim/ Septra) is active against most urinary tract infections. Amoxici,lIin is frequently used for otitis media and other bacterial upper respiratory infections. • PsclIdomOIlQs: Ticardllin or ceftazidime cover most Gram-negatives, including Pselidolllollas, but fail to

treat some Gram-positives. lmipenem and meropenem have good activity against Pseudomonas.

• Anaerobes: Metronidazole or c1indamycin cover most anaerobic bacteria. Mouth anaerobes are adequately covered by penicillin. • Mycoplasma: The macrolides (erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin) treat presumed Mycoplasma pneumonia, along with most other organisms that cause community43cquired pneumonia,

aminoglycosides. Aminoglycosides work intracellulady, but may have difficulty entering the cell. Penicillins and cephalosporins prevent repair of holes in the bacterial cell wall, making it easier for aminoglycosides to enter.

• Systemic fungi: Amphotericin is the drug of choice for presumed fungemia. Systemic fungal infections occur most frequently in patients that have been on broad spectrum antibiotics that have destroyed their endogenous bacteria, allowing fungal overgrowth.

Figure 7.3 Bacteriostatic drugs reqlll're at' intact i"IIIume system to eradicate lin infectioPl.

Know which drugs kill and which drugs maim (Fig. 7.3): Bactericidal antibiotics kill bacteria (cidal). Bacteriostatic agents only inhibit bacterial proliferation while the host's immune system does the killing. Bactericidal agents are necessary for infections in patients with defective immune systems (cancer, AIDS, diabetes) and for overwhelming infections. Patients MUST take their full course of medication. Patient compliance is often poor because it appears that their infection has subsided when in fact it is only sup*

pressed. Figure 7.2 Under the right circumstances, il may be necessary to initiate therapy with several Qlltibiotic agellts, Sometimes you need more than one antibiotic (Fig. 7.2): Quite often it is advantageous to use muJtiple drugs to treat an infection. Examples include: • Unknown microbe: If you haven't identified the Gram stain properties of an infectious agent, it is sometim(."S necessary to treat with antibiotics that cover a broad spectrum of microbes. Often a drug that covers most gram positive organisms and a drug that covers gram negative bacteria are combined. An agent that covers anaerobes or Pseudomonas may also be desirable. Single drug therapy can then be instituted when the organism is identified,

Get the drug to the site of infection: The braln, joints, testes, and eye are "protected" sites in the body. Few drugs penetrate the barriers that surround these sites. When treating infections at these sites, one must choose agents that penetrate the barriers and that are active against the infecting organism. Similarly, abscess walls form an effective barrier to antibiotics. Abscesses must be incised and drained.

• To prevent resistance: It is more difficuJt for bacteria to develop resistance to two drugs with different mechanisms than to develop resistance to 3 single agent. • To achieve synergy: The actions of some drugs make other drugs more effective, The classic example is the combination of penicillins or cephalosporins with


The Enemies: Gram Positive Cocci Background: Before the advent of penicillin, Grampositive cocci were responsible for most known infections. Initially susceptible to basic penicillins, Gram路 positive bacteria have developed resistance to basic penicillins and some strains may be resistant to specialized penicillins. Appearance: Blue & round by microscopy. A

peptidoglycan (polypeptide + sugar) cell wall surrounds the bacteria. The impermeability of this wall (compared to Gram-negative bacteria) is responsible for the retention of blue dye during Gram staining. Penicillins, cephalosporins, bacitracin, vancomycin and cycloserine inhibit the synthesis of the peptidoglycan wall.

Common Sites of Invasion: Stapf, al/reliS & Staph epidenllidis inhabit most people's skin and are likely to i.nfect wounds, surgical sites and indwelling catheters (may cause infective endocarditis). Strep p"eumotliac is often the cause of communjty~acquiredpneumonia and adult bacterial meningitis. "Strep throat" is an infection caused by Group A beta~hemolytic Streptococcus. If untreated, it may elicit an immunologic reaction in the heart, joints and other tissues, known as rheumatic fever.

Figure 7.4 Staph. ami Strep. are protected by a cross/illked glycoproleill wall. Penicillill. cephalosporills, imipellem, Qztrconal/l and val/comyc;n prevent constmctioll Qnd repair of the wall.

The Enemies: Anaerobes

Background: Common anaerobes include Bacteroidt!S fragi/is, Clostridium difficiJe and Fusobacterium. C. botulillum and C. tetlllli produce toxins responsible for botulism and tetanus, respectively. Metronidazole, chloramphenicol or clindamycin are effective against anaerobic infectior,s. Appearance: Mixed Gram路positives and Gramnegatives compose most anaerobic infections. Infections are frequently encased in an abcess wall. Anaerobes produce foul路smelling gas.

Figure 7.5 Anaerobic bacteria prodllcl! fOlll-smellillg i"fectiol/s tlwl are typically ellcasetl ill all abscess wall. Metronidtlwle, chloramphel1icol alld clilldamycin are lIsed 10 trent atlaerobic illfecliolls, Wlliell are typically composed of mixed Gralllpositive alld GrQl'Hlegative orgallisms.

100 Anti-Infective Agents

Common Sites of Invasion: Anaerobes colonize the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and skin of aU persons. infections develop when anaerobes penetrate poorly oxygenated tissues (e.g., the diabetic foot) or tissues that are normally sterile (e.g., peritoneum). When bro.,d spectrum antibiotics diminish normal bowel flora, C. difficile proliferates and releases a toxin that causes pseudomembranous colitis.

The Enemies: Gram-negative Pathogens

resistant to penicillins because they produce Blactamases (penicillin-destroying enzymes) that are concentrated in the space between the outer membrane and the cell wall Neisseria are paired red spheres. Pseudomonas also has an extracellular polysaccharide slime layer and unipolar flagella .

.J1enin His I



~ 1'1.." .. ",",. ~

Figure 7.7 Nf!isseria melli/lgitides Qlld N. go"orrllea are /lle only gram llegatiVl.'s Illat au susceptible /0 penicilli" G al/d olher I/arrow spt'Ctrum penicillins. Cejtritu:olle 1UJs /lOW replaced pe71icil/in as Ihe drug ofcJroiCt'for N. gonorrhea due 10 Ihl" mrerge"Cf oflX'/licillirr-resislmll strains.

/, Figllrt' 7.6 Gram tlegative bacteria. The glycoprotein tool/ of Gral/111egatiues resembles tltat a/Gram positiVI's. III additiol/,

Gram negatives wear a proteelive OIlier coof wl/iell is impermeable Ampicillin Qnd amoxiei/l;" llUWf!Vt'r, CDn penetrate

10 penicilli",

ti,e oufer coal and des/roy the cell wall. Gram-llI:gatives calise

meningitis, Jmelllllollia, bladder ilifectiolls, otitis media lind sinliS illfecliolls.

Background: Common Cram路negative pathogens can be divided into


groups: 1) Enterics, consisting

of those organisms that normally inhabit the CI tract (Esclleric1/ia, Sf,igeUa, Salmonella, Klebsiella, 拢"terobncler, Serratia, Protells, Qlld others), 2) Hacmopilillis illflllellZlle, 3) Neisseria and 4) Pseudomonas. Although rarely a cause of hospital acquired (nosocomial) infections prior to the advent of antibiotics, the cnterics are now responsible for most nosocomial infections. Strains resistant to many antibiotics have developed. Appearance: Enterics and Haemoplliflls illjlllcnzoe are red and elongated by microscopy (Fig. 7.6). The plasma membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is protected by an adjacent rigid peptidoglycan wall (site of action for penicillins, ccphalosporins, etc.) which is encased by an outer membrane. Penkillins must cross the outer membrane in order to act at the inner cell wall. The outer membrane is made of lipopolysaccharides interrupted by transmembrane protein pores (which prohibit entry of most penicillins and cephalosporins). Broad spectrum penicillins and third genera路 tion cephalosporins are more hydrophilic than previous drugs, allowing passage through the selective pores. Even so, some Gram-negative strains are

Common sites of invasion: The enterics are responsible for many urinary tract infections and aspiration pneumonia due to the proximity of the gastrointestinal tract (their home) to the urethra and the lungs. Neisseria gonorrhea is responsible for sexually transmitted gonorrhea. N. me"illgitidis and H. influetlzae both cause meningitis. H. influenzae more commonly causes pneumonia, particularly in the elderly. Pseudomonas aentgiPlosa is sometimes responsible for hospital acquired infections. Pseudomonal infections can occur at any site, particularly in immunocompromised patients. 1拢 adequate moisture is available, PseudomOllas may colonize any surface in the hospital (including workers) and is resistant to many disinfectants.

Figure 7.8 Slella Pseudomonas shows offher slime coat (md flagella. wllich dislinguisJl herfrom the otller gram rJegali'ues. She call infeel allY sile ill lI,e bodyalld is relatively resislm,llo most Imlibacterial agel/ts. Tobramycill or ceftazidime are preferred agellts for trtali71g Pseudolllollol illjeeliolls.


Bactericidal Cef/ Waf/Inhibitors The agents described in Table 7.1 kill bacteria by preventing synthesis or repair of the cell wall. The cell wall protects bacteria, which are hypcrosmolar, and prevents them from absorbing water and exploding. The mechanism of cell wall synthesis is demonstrated in Figure 7.9. In brief, peptidoglycan chains synthesized in the cytoplasm of bacteria ate transferred across the plasma membrane and linked to other peptidoglycan chains. The result is a "chain-link" wall that surrounds the bacteria. Because human cells lack cell walls, they afC generally unaffected by inhibitors of cell wall synthesis. This explains why penicillins and cephalosporins have few side effects.

Bactericidal Cef/ Waf/Inhibitors â&#x20AC;˘ Penicillins (polaclam drugs) Penicillin was first isolated from the PenicilliulII mold in 1949. It was effective against a variety of bacteria including most Gram~positiveorganisms. Excessive use of penicillin led to the development of bacterial resistance (penicillinase production), rendering the drug useless against many strains of bacteria.

Nevertheless, it remains an inexpensive and well tolerated drug of choice for several infections_ The pharmacokinetics, spectrum of activity and clinical uses of penicillins are presented in Table 7.2. Chemistry: Penicillins, cephalosporins, monolactams (aztreonam) and carbapenems (imipenem) all have a beta-lactam ring in the center. Some of these are inactived if the ring is cleaved by plactamases (Fig. 7.10, 7.11). Others (e.g., aztreonam, irnipenem) are resistant to f}-lactamases. Early penicillin was acid labile and could nol be administered orally. It was ineffective against many Gram-negative bacteria and was destroyed by j}lactamases. Each of these limitations has been overcome in newer penicillins due to alterations of the chemical structure or the development of adjunct agents such as probenidd and davulanic acid. These advances are diagrammed in figures 7.10, 7.11, and 7.12. Clavulanic acid and probenicid potentiate the actions of penicillins and cephalosporins. Clavulanic acid potentiates penicillins by binding to and inhibiting p~lactamase (Figure 7.11). Augmenlin41 is the trade name for amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, and Timentin- is the trade name for ticarcillin and clavulanic acid. Probenicid acts by competing with

Table 7.1 Bactericidal Drugs that Work at the Cell Wall DRUG Penicillins and Cephalosporins

MECHANISM Inhibits crosslinking of cell wall c0"1JOnents.

CLINICAL USE See Tables 7.2 and 7.3.


Prevents transfer of cell wall precurser from plasma mentlrane to cell wall.

DOC': Penicillin or methicillinresistant Staph and Strep infections. Bacteriostatic against Enterococcus. Oral: C. difficilecolitis

Inhibits crosslinking 01 cell wall cO"1JOnents.

Acineto6acter. Excellent coverage of most Gram-positives and Gram-negatives (including those which produce J} lactamases) and P. aeruginosa. May find role in mixed infections.

Simlar side effects as penicittins. Despite wide spectrum, imipenem rarely causes sterile bowel. Perhaps due to low concentration of drug in bowel.

t:=~cellent coverage ~ ljramnegatives including P. aeruginasa. Not active against Gram-positives.

~llTIIlarS_l~~.~lf.ects a.s penicillins (hypersensitivity, seizures. hepatitis). Injection site pain, GI upset.






-Aztreonam (Azactam)

'AJ:b6VIalJon: DOC .. Drug oICfxice

102 Anti-Infective Agents

penicillin for the organic anion transport system, which is the primary route of penicillin excretion (Fig 7.12). The result is higher serum levels of penicillin. Allergic Reactions: Penicillin reactions range from skin rashes to anaphylactic shock. The more severe reactions are uncommon, but potentially life-threatening. Some allergic reactions are mediated by IgE antibodies. Alternative antibiotics should be used in patients with a history of reactions even though penicillin allergies are overreported. Skin tests using peniciUoylpolyiysine and penicillin degradation products provide information about penicillin sensitivity in patients with no history of penicillin use. Virtually all patients who are truly allergic to one form of penicillin will be allergic to other penicillins.

;:;"""1"'0> ~f.,{je.e.

' 6-\..0\..--••••••••. ,: .•/:.:•• : •.• . Co :: ... :.::~ •• :. '::."



.•.;::,.:.::::: i::··:,..:.:.. .. :: ;.::; '..::,::'.:;': :.: .::; : .. . ::::.: ....... : .: . :.::::: ~'.:;:~::.::.::::;: ..•.: ::: :::-: . .: .:;::"i":~::::'" . ... .

t< s\ Dr-


•.. ' •.•.•.•. :'•.





PHARMACOKI NET! CS ables7.2and7.3Ior specifics. ~_

PO/IV. Poor absorption, poor CNS penetration, excreted unchanged by kidney.

Marketed in corTtlination with polymyxin or neomycin as a topical agent. 1M/IV. Imlpenem is adrTinistered 'Nith ciJastatin (inactive). 'htIich inhibits renal metabolismol imipenem. Renal failure requires dose reduction lor both. 1M/IV. \Nidedistribution including joints. brain. and urine. Decrease dose with renal'ailure.

Figure 7.9 Bacterial cell wall synthesis. 1) Afotline molecules are added 10 cnrbohydrnte tripeptide to form a 'IT" shaped cell wall preClirsor. This reaction is ill/libUed by D-cycloserine. 2) Tile precursor is transported across fI,e plasma membrane by a carrier. Vancomycin i"I,ibits the transport process. 3) The transporter is recycled to the inside of tile cell to carry other precursors. Bacitracill illMbits this step. 4) TI,e precursor is IiI/ked 10 tile existing cell wall stmclure by Irnllspeptidase. Penicillins, cepllalosporills, imipel1em and fiztreOtlmfl illhibit the trnnspeptidasc. Transpeptidasc is olle of seueraf penicillin binding proteins and is tlot tile ollly site of penicillin actioll.



Figllre 7.10. Pelll'cillill Chemistry Penicilli/lases illnctivale penicillin by cleaving the ~Inctam rillg. In pe'licillinase-resislU1lt penicillins. a bulky chemical grollps prevents elltry to the active site of penicilli/rase, bl/I does 1/01 hllerfere wilh binding to tile bacterin. Narrow spectrllm penicilli/Is are lllll/bll:' to pass Ihrough tile aliter membralU! of Gram-negative bacteria. Broad speclfllm penicillins are more hydrophilic alld are thus able to penetrate tilt! aqlleous pores of Ille outer membra/Ie.


II .IS, .... CH3 R-C-NH-Oi-Oi C



.• --+•.

O=Cr N Beta-Iadam ring (site ot penicillinase ac1ion)


Oi -


Thiazolidine ring


Table 7.2 Penicillins - In Detail DRUG



enlcll n Procaine Pen G Be nz a t hi ne Pen G

Penicillin V

-actambindspenlclilin inding proteins (similar structurally to pentapeptide's alanine terminus) and inhIbits crosslinking of bacterial cell wallc0lll'Onents (Rg. 7.9)



Gram-posItIVe COCCI. Neisseria. Most roouth anaerobes. Not effectIve against Gram-negative aerobes or l}lactamase producing organisms.

NOnreSistant Slaphylococcus and Streptococcus, N. meningitidis, B. anthracis, C.tetani, C, perfringens. Usteria. Syphilis.

GroUflJl Narrow s~eclrum, Penlclllinase-resisiant l'\IIalC I i I n u l k y Side group protects the Gram-poSItive COCCI (Including ~-Iactarn ring from jl-Iactamase producers). penicillinases. Hydrophobic Some streptococci. sidegrou~, however, inhibits Not effective against antibiotic s ability 10 penetrate Gram-negative aerobes. warn negative bacteria via ydrophylic: porins. Methicillin Oxacillin Oicioxacillin

·. ..

·. ·.

Gro~p III Broad sfectrum. Aminopenlcllilns Amp clilin minosidegroupmakesthese SOmeGram-negallvearidGramagents hydrophilic enough to ~sitive organisms. penetrate the porins in gram ot effecthte against l}. negative organIsms. tactamase-producing organisms.

Amoxlclllin (Amoxil) Amoxlclllin and Clavulanate (Augment in)

·. ·.

C1avulanate inhibits penlcillinases (Rg 7.11).



Piperacillinl Tazobactam

Extented spectrum ~nicillin corrbinect with bela actamase InhibItor.


Similar 10 piperacil1in.

104 Anti-Infective Agents


.. Listeria. Enterococcus (if susceptible).

El11Jirlc therapy In otitis media, sinusitis, and pneumonia.

Gram-negative and Gram-positive Moraxella (Brahnamella) catarrha/is and H. influenza. and l}-Iactamase-producing organisms.

Extended Spectrum, Antl·Pseudomon8S Penicillins Ticarcillin Side chain makes it more Gram-n:watlVe Infections resistant to ~-Iactmases from (especial y Pseudomonas) and Gram-negative =ies arnnopentciUin-resitant Proteus especially Pseu oroonas infections. less effective species. against Gra~itive penicillinase-r ucing organisms. Piperaclilin

penicillinase-prOducing Staphylococcus.


Enterobacteria and Gram-positive cocci. As abovegtus piperacillin· resistant ram-n89ative and Gram-positive penicillinaseproducing organisms.

Enterococcus faeca/is,

Klebsiella, enterobacteria.


0. , ,



,5, /QI, C-NH-Ql-QI C II I I I 'CH, I OCH O=C-N-Ql-COOH •

Bulky group prevents recognition

of methicillin by penicjIJinases




Pen GlV7I"JrPen V pO (acid

HYpersenSlllVl y reacliOns

siable). Procaine and benzathine

(anaphalaxis or hemolysis).

~rolong hail-hIe.

Rare neurologic toxicity

liminated by orQanic acid transfer system In kidney. Probenicld cOf11)etes allhis transporter. Can be used to



"S, .... CH3










...... 2 POI81 chain facilitates diffusion through aqueous pores


(seizures) due to inhibItion (j3·lactam is structurally

similar 10 GABA). Nephrotoxicity.

Iowa sorption from POIIM siles.

gre e,!,~ r,~~~ ~,ause Excreted by liver - high

Severe lhrorrbophlebilis. Livertoxicily with elevated

concentratIon In bile.



O ,

of GABA neurotransmission

increase penicillin half-lile. Distributes 10 eyes, joints and brain jf meninges are inflamed.




like penicillin. Coagulopathy, interstitial nephritis.










IV Excreted by liver, therefore useful for biliary tract infections.

Neutropenia and hematologic abnormalities.


"'";gllre 7.11. Petlicilfinases and penicillitlase-resistant penicillins. ThJ!.;. PenicillillS destroy bacteria after bit/ding to pt'niciIlin binding proteins (PBPs). ~ Pellici/li"ases are etlzymes produCI'd by bacteria that deslroy penicillins by cleaving tire beta-Iactam rillg of the drug. Petlicillins are "lIlred" ill/a the active site because they are clremirnlly similar to pt'niciIlitl binding proteins. Ik.!J..lQ!l!i. ClavulQllic acid is a "decoy" drug that enJumces Ihl' activity of penicillins. Clavulallic acid binds to Ihe aclive sites of plmicillilwSI!S rendering lire enzyme hwclive.



figure 7.12 Probellicid potentiates ti,e action of pr.."icillins and ceplwlosporins by competing for excretiol/ al till! orgtlllic atrio" Irlll/sport system (OA TS) ill till' kidlley.

Table 7.3 Cephalosporins - In Detail DRUG Irsl eneration Oral Drugs Cephalexln (Keflex) Cephadroxll Oral or parenteral Cephradrlne Parenteral Drugs Cephapirln Cefazolin (Kefzol)

MECHANISM SPECTRUM arrow eclrum, sens I ve 10 Beta aclamase aclam binds penicillin Gram-posItive COCCI except inding proteins. Inhibits enterococci and Methicillin cell wall synthesis and may Resistant Staph. aureus in turn activate autolysins. (MRSAJ. Bacteria develop resitance Some ram-negative emeries by reducing drug Not effective against permeability, m.Jtating anaerobes penicillin binding proteins and producing ~-Iactamase Used for surgical prophylaxis and cephalasporinases and for treating skin or soft (clavulanate can circumvent tissue inlections caused by this problem) Staph.or Strep.


Second Generation - Broader Gram-negative Activity -As abOve but more resistant Gram-positive cocci (similar to Cefaclor (Ceclor) to Beta·lactamase activity. lirst generation). Cefprozil Extended Gram-negative Loracarbel Cefoxitin and Celotetan activity (H. flu, Enterobacter. (cephamycins) and Proteus. Neisseria species). Oral or Parenteral Loracarbef (carbacephem) None are effective Cefuroxime (CeWn) are structurally and against Pseudomonas. pharmacologically related to Used for otitis media. the cephalosporins. pharyngitis. and sinus, skin, Earen1llLJl1 Celoxltln and respiratory infections. Cefonlcld Celuroxime used as single Cefmetazole dose therapy for N. gonorrhea. Cefoteta n celuroxime is more elfeclive than celazolin in prophylaxis against MRSA wound infections.

0£aI Drugs

Third Generation - Broad Spectrum. Resistant to Parenteral Simlar mechanism to first Ceftrlaxone (Rocephin) generation cephalosporins; Celotaxime hO\N6ver more resistant to Ceftazldlme (Fortaz) Beta lactamase produced Ceftlzoxlme by Gram negative bacteria. Cetoperazone (Cefobid) Cefeplme QraI Ceflxime Ceftibuten Cefpodoxlme Celdlnlr

106 Anti-Infective Agents

Most Cephalosporinases Gram-negatIVe baCilli (resistant to other cephalosporins, penicillins, and amin0;llycosides). Variab e efficacy against Pseudomonads (ceflazidime. celipime. and cetoperazone have best coverage). Gram positive cocci (including Staphylococcus and nonenteric Streptococcus)

PHARMACOKINETICS FaJIta penetrate GSF, Penetrates bone (especially cephazotin). IV drugs achieve adequate tissue and serum levels. Renal excretion of drug and metabolites unless noted. Ce~hatolhin only administered IV ecause of pain with 1M injection.

Fail to penetrate CSF celuroxime achieves CSF levels but third generation agents preferred because 01 greater penetration and more rapid steritization. Eliminated by kidney.

Penetrales CSF (except cefoperazone and perhaps celixime). High levels of ceftriaxone and cefoperazone excreted in bile. Remainder excreted renally. Serum hall tile - celtriaxone» cefoperazone > celtazidime.

Bactericidal Cell Wall Inhibitors â&#x20AC;˘ Cephalosporins Cephalosporins share with penicillins a common mechanism, susceptibility to B-Iactamases (penkillioases, cephalosporinases) and similar side effects.

agents first. Each generation has only one preferred oral preparation, usually referred to by the trade names Keflex (cephalexin), Cedar (ccfador) and Suprax (cefixime) for 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation. respectively.

Like penicillins, the original "generation" of cephalosporins was most effective against Gram-positive organisms. Chemical modifications increased the effectiveness of subsequent generations against Cramnegatives and reduced their ability to fight Gram-

positive infections. Perhaps the greatest problem with cephalosporins is that their names sound alike. When leaming the cephalosporins, concentrate on the commonly used




cross allergenicity betv.mln (anaphalaxis. serum sickness). cephalosporin and penicillins Gl disturbances. occurs in 10010 to 15% of Rare neurologic toxicity patients. (seizures, confusion) especially with Cefazolin. Hematologic abnormalities; (neutropenia, throrTtxx:ytopenla, anemia). Nephrotoxicity and hepatic

enzyme abnormalities.

Same as above. Celaclor associated 'Nith high incidence of serumsickness reaction.

Cefotetan (a cephamycinj and Cefpodoxime (an ester prodrug) have irTllroved Gramnegative covera!;le equivalent to many of the thIrd generation cephalosporins. They are sometimes grouped 'Nith the third generation cephalosporins. Cefotetan cefmetazole, and cefoxitln cover Bacteroides and


Same as first generation cephalosporins. Celtriaxone associated 'Nith acalculous cholestasis and bilirubin displacement from albumin. Use cautiously in neonates and avoid in jaundiced infants.

Antibiotics that Work Inside the Cell Up to this point, we have discussed antibiotics that work outside of the bacteria or at its surface. Cell wall inhibitors cannot kill all types of bacteria because some lack cell walls. Other bacteria have unique structures that resist the action or the accumulation of the cell wall inhibitors. Antibiotics that target other vital unique bacterial features are effective in eliminating these infections. These anti-microbia Is work within the bacteria and affect the genetic code or protein synthesis. The antibiotics target bacterial structures and enzymes (bacterial ribosomes, bacterial RNA polymerase, DNA gyrase, dyhydrofolate reductase) that although unique to the bacteria, can share homology with host structures. These drugs, therefore, often have poorer selective toxicity than the cell wall inhibitors. The intra bacterial antibiotics have mechanisms of action similar to those used to combat viral, protozoaJ, and some fungal infections. The disruption of a microbe's genetic code and the inhibition of DNA replication provide common targets for anti-infectious agents. This can be done by destroying the conformation of the DNA (quinolones/ fluoroquinolones), by introducing defective building blocks for DNA synthesis (ddt, ddC, griseofulvin) or by inhibiting enzymes or cofactors necessary for DNA synthesis (sulfonamids, acyclovir, vidarabine). Drugs that target DNA frequently arc mutagenic or carcinogenic because they can damage eukaryotic DNA. The fluoroquinolones are a growing class of antimicrobial agents. The newer quinolones ÂŤ(al)trovafloxacin, sparfloxacin, and levofloxacin) have improved activity against gram pOSitive organisms. This combined with their excellent gram negative coverage and excellent tissue penetration, has broadened their list of indications to include skin and skin-structure, bone and joint, gastrointestinal, and respiratory infections. Additionally, quinolones can be used for sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea and Ollumydia).


Table 7.4 DNA Inhibitors - Quinolones, Fluoroquinolones and Metronidazole DRUG

Quln%nes Nallaixlc acid (NegGram)



BlOCKs a subunifOfl::if\UI.

HYpersensItivIty reaction,

PO. IhIS pro-drug IS

gyrase. Bactericidalprevents supercoifing

nausea, photosensitivity, seizures, headache, dizziness, skin tumors (in mice/- Displaces oral anticoagulants rom plasma

hydroxylaled 10 a bactericidal metabolite which is concentrated in urine. Does nol penetrate prostate. >90% plasma protein bound.

resulting in inhibition of DNA

synthesis. Effective against enteric Gram-negative bacteria, but nol Pseudomonas.



proteins. Causes growth plate arrest in animals - nol recommended for children.


(Cinobac Pull/utes)

7/uaroqulnr:1fanes -Norfloxacln (Noroxin)


PO. Penetrates prostate (500;.;-serum level). Lower incidence 01 resistance than nalidixic acid.

Disrupts ~se and [)f.@; topoisomerase activity. Good gram negative coverage.

orug Interactions. cartilage damage in animal studies. Hence, use in children has been lirTited.


Pu:-Reduced blovavallablhty. Renal elimination. Used primarily for prostatitis or urinary tract infections.

Enoxacin (Penetrex) Lomefloxacin (Maxaquin) Ofioxacin (F1oxin) Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

Disrupts DNA gyrase and DNA topoisomerase activity. Excellent gram negative. Some gram positive.

Trovafloxacin (PO)! Altrovafloxacin (IV) (Trovan) ~arfioxacin gam) evofiox8cin (Levaquin)

Disrupts DNA gyrase and DNA topoisomerase activity. Excellent gram negative coverage and i"'l>roved Staph coverage. {AI)trovafloxacin is the only one with anaerobic aclivM' All treat LSfJionella la'!'Ydia atypical and pneumonia.

"" Trovafloxacin and altrovafloxacin are associated with higher incidence 01 liver路 toxicity.

POItV. Renal elimination, except trovafloxacin (PO) and altrovalloxacin (IV). (AI)trovafloxacin do not require dose ad~ustment for renal faHure. parfloxacin is PO only. Good tissure penetration.

Enters bactena or protozoan and is activated by reduction of the nitro group. Activated intermediates bind DNA and inhibit its synthesis. Cidal aBainst obligate anaerobes

Disulfiram-like reaction with alcohol (fluShin~, vorriting. headache). CN disturbance (seizures, ataxia, dizziness), nausea, anorexia, bloating, crarrping.



Others: -Metronidazole (F1agyl)

( acleroides, Clostridium, PeplOCOCcus) and Protozoans ~nramoebahislalytiea, richomonas, Giardia)

~r-ofurantoln (Macrodantin)

Mechanism unclear, may damage DNA. Kills many urinary pathogens, but not

Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Proteus, Serratia, Acinetobacter.

108 Antj.{nfective Agenls

Nausea, vomiting (less so with macrocrystalline forrrulalion), hepatotoxicity, pulmonary fibrosis, neuropathy.

PO. Ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin are also available as JV. Good tissue penetration except CSF. However, olloxacin has good CSF penetration. Renal elirTination.


Penetrates well into tissues and abcesses, errpyemas and CSF. Metabolism is throu~h glucuronidation. Majority of drug is eliminated unmetabohzed in the urine.

PO. Reduced in liver, excreted by kidney. Reduce dose il renal cOflllromised. Do not administer if creatinine clearance < 40 mtlmn.


Pteridine + Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA)

The antimetabolites described in Table 7.5 inhibit DNA, RNA and protein production by blocking the folate pathway. Tetrahydrofolatc donates single carbon molecules to the synthesis of purines, pyrimi¡ dines and some amino acids (methionine, formylmethionine and serine). The sulfonamides are structurally similar to paraamino benzoic acid (PABA). Sulfonamides compete with PABA and prevent it from being incorporated into folate (Fig. 7.13). Trimethoprim prevents reduction of dihydrofolale (FAH 2) 10 tetrahydrofolalc (FA H.) by binding to and inhibiting dihydrofolate reductase (Fig. 7.13). Human ceLIs are spared from this reaction because trimethoprim has very low affinity for human dihydrofolate reductase. The ability to achieve therapeutic levels of most sulfonamides is limited by precipitation in urine. This problem is circumvented by combining agents. Therapeutic doses of the combination can be achieved with nonprecipitating concentrations of individual drugs.

.. 1

Blocked by Sulfonamldes

Dihydropteroic Acid Glutamate

Dihydrofotic Acid

.. 1

Blocked by Trlmethoprlm

Tetrahydrofolic Acid


Cofactors essential for synthesis of DNA, RNA or Proteins Figllrt! 7.13 Siles of A"timetlloolite Action

Table 7.5 Sulfonamides and Other Antimetabolites DRUG Sulfadiazine SulfapyridIne

Sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin)

â&#x20AC;˘ w Prophylaxis of recurrent otitis media and un.

Trlmethoprlml Sulfamethoxazole

Enteric Gram-negatives (Proteus. E. coli, Klebsiella. Enterobacrer'), Hinfluenzae, Shigella. Serratia, Sa/TOOnella, Pneumocystis carinii. InexpenSIVe, effective choice for urinary tract infections, acute otitis media, traveller's diarrhea. Used for Pneumocysltis carinii prophylaxis/treatment in IfTVTl.JnocOrfl)romised hosts.


trimox az ole, Seplra, Bactrim)


SPECTRUM-USE UNOESI RABlE EFFECTS Covers both Gram-positives and Bone marrow depression, renal Gram-negatives. toxicity, photosensitivity, Used for treatment of hemolYSIS, hepatotoxicity. uncof11)licated urinary tract hypersensitivIty (fever/rash) infections, nocardiasfs. Stevens~Johnson ~ndrome chancroid, prophylaxis against (serum sickness). ernicterussulfas cO/ll)8te with bilirubin for rheumatic fever. Corrt>ined with 'R;rimethamine for treatment of albumin sites. Resulting oxoplasmosis. Sulfapyridine elevated free bilirubin is used lor Dermafitis deposited in brain nuclei. herpefiformis.

Trimetrexatel leucovorin



Inhibits Pneumocysfis carinii Hematologic, hepatic, renal, trophozoites. Alternative and Gltoxicities. Give with treatment for severe P. carinii leukovorin to minimize toxicity. pneumonia in cases refractory to leukovorin repletes folate in manvnalian cells. TMTXIlV had ~atients intolerant to P/SMl.. lower incidence of side effects than TMP/SMZ in one clinical trial of patients with HIV disease.

RESISTANCE-KI NETICS Bacteria wtlich utilize exogenous folic acid are resistant to sulfonamides. PO. Readily penetrates eNS. ~ints, eye.

recipilates in acidic urine. Encourage fluids to prevent renal stone formation. Major metabolite is acetylated. Higher urine solubility than other sullonamides.


PO/IV. Intermediate urine solubility. I-igh ptasma protein binding. NW

Synthetic inhibitor of protozoan, bacterial, and manmalian dihydrofolate reductase (not selective). Selectivity derived from leukovorin rescue of human cells. IV. long half life must continue leukovorin for 72 hours.


Table 7.6 Inhibitors of Protein Synthesis DRUG MECHANISM es ( acter ~'pal) ~~'tOgfrcCOS en am eln Binds al fli9"3Os/50s subunit Tobramycln



MUtabon of bmdlng sites

J\eroblC and lacultabve \,;Iram-

interface results In abnormal

Inhibition of transport and

negative bacilli.

readin!;! 01 mANA and defective

permeability of drug.

bactenal proteins (Fig 7.14). Concentrated in bacterial

â&#x20AC;˘ Bacterial enzymatic

Anarobic bacteria are resistant because transport Into bacteria is

inactivation of aminoglycoside.

oxygen dependent.

Has different enzyme resistance profile than


cytoplasm by energy (oxygen) dependent protein transport.



gentarricin Ilobramycin. Bacterial if1l'6rmeability. A~ents that bind 10 the 50s ribosomal subunit ~8acterlst8tJC) C loramphenlcor--Reverslbly binds 50s sUbun~1 -factors cOde for acetyl (e.g.. Chloromycetin) Preventing aminoacyl end of transferases which inactivate tANA from associatin~ with the drug. peptidyltransferase( 197.14).

Oulnuprlstlnl Dalfoprlstin (Synercid) L1nez olld (Zyvox) -f"fscr'!!!'!!s Eryffifomlcln ~.g .. E.E. .)

Irlthromycln (Dynabac)

Clarllhromycln (8iaxin)

ATlt h--ro;ony e In (Zithromax)

Llncosamldes Clmdamycln (Cleacin) Lincomycin (Lincaein)


Tetracycline DoxycyclIne Mlnocycllne

Binds 10 50s subunit.

Excellent coverage ~most Gram-positives and Gramnegatives, including anaerobes.

Gram-positive organisms.

Prevents translocation of chain by binding to the site 01 the ribosomalSOs subunit (Fig. 7.14).

MJIatlon ofblnffingsitetiy methylation.





emaSlO50srib0somal subunit and rcrevents chain elongation b b ocking transpeptidation ( 1Q.7.14).

Alteration of n60some f)j~COvers Gram-positIVes and most site. anaerobes. Enzymatic inactivation 01 drug.



Sactena lacking cell walls (mycoplasma, legionel/a, chla~dia).

Most ram positive aerobes. Gram n~ative aerobes except Carrpylo acter, Pasteurella, some H. influenza. Poor anaerobic agent.

10 (he 30$ ribosomal subunit waclerlstat} Inhibits protein synthesis. -factor codes for proteins Binds to 30s subunit blocking which transport drug out of celt. amino acid-linked tANA from binding to the 'A' site of the ribosome (Fig. 7.14).

As above. Also Mycobacterium avium intracellulare. H. Ru and some anaerobes. SlffiTarlo eryll'lromycln ani':! anaerobic coverage similar to clarithromycin.

Most Staphylococcus and Streptococcus strains, enterics, mycoplasma, spirochetes, rickettsiae, Neisseria ~norrhoeae.

xycycline approved for malaria prophylaxis. Abbreviations: DOC _ DrugofCrc;ce

110 Anti-Infective Agents

:' _ moor importsnf





Enferobacfer, E. coll~phrotoxlclty (assoc. W1ffil11gli K. pnf:1Umoniae, Proteus, troughs). Ototoxicity (assoc. with Serratia, Pseudomonas.

Ollen reserved lor GramneQative infections resistant 10 other aminoglycosides.

OC>C: sa/monona IYf,tosa

(typhoid lever), H. lu meningitis or epiglollilis. Some physiciansl institutions hesitate to use chlorarfl)henicol due to risk of aplastic anemia.)


high peaks).

Slow IV or 1~1'I61 dlsfnbu,Hro to eNS or eyes. Excreted unchanged in kidney - reduce dose with renal failure.



Reversible bOne marrow supression (binds mitochondrial ribosomes 50s subunit in bone marrow) or irreversible idiosyncratic aplastic anemia. Gray syndrome (see Notes).

PO/IV crosses 5I00d bram barrier. Conju ated with glucuronide In iver. Kidney excretion. Decrease dose with liver or kidney disease. Inhibits aminogtycoside transport into bacteria.



'Gray syndrome 路IOXIC levels 0 drug in newborns unable to con~ate drug. SYrTllloms: aminal distention, vomiting, pallid cyanosis, hypothermia, collapse, death (40%).


DOC: Vancomycin resistant gram positive organisms.


DOC: MYcoplasma pneumonia, neonate with Chlamydia pneumonia, Pertussis. Olrylhromycln used for upper respiratory infections with M catarrhahs, S. pneumonieae.

Gt upset-flosone prep may cause cholestalic hepatitis. Injections ~inful due to venodestruction. ncreases plasma level of many drugs. TOXicity may result YAlen coadministered wI theophylline, anlicoagulants, caroamazepine.

P071V1EYlfiromycif'!J:"7'cla-Aarnnlster 'NIl fi cautIon In labile - take on erfl)ty patients with liver disease or on medication stomach. Concentrated In liver, excreted in bile metabolized by P-450 (active). May pass through system. Prolonged QT and other inflamed menin!iles. 01rythromycln IS a prodrug arrhythrTias possible if patient on terfenidine. converted 10 erythromycylamine.

~~oplasma, Strep throat, upper respiratory infections due to susceptible bacteria, Staph. skin infections.

Similar 10 Erytn,romycin GI upset (less frequently than erythromycin), headache.

PO. ~~abolizea to actIVe drug by liver.


POIIV"""e-oJrnrjl1 ~

uncofTl)licated Chlamy ia infections.

erythromycin), abdomnal pain.

stomach. LO~ hall-Ii e e:;;rmits once aily dosi~. hirpmetaboliZed, excret in

Clmaamycln Is drug of choice for severe anaerobic GI infections. Also used for B. fragi/is and Staph. intections.

J\bdornnal crarfl)s, (Iiarrtiea, reversible elevation of liver enzymes and GI upset. PseudomerrtJranous colitis seen with any antibiotic but classically associated 'Nith clindamycin.

aInCIamycm: POIIV. HElpahc and renal excretion. Reduce dose Yoith impaired liver function. Does not penetrate CSF. Is actively transported into abcesses.

NOrmal gut Mctena are killed by these drugs. C. difficile is resistant and oVer?rOwlh I toxin release may ollow, causing pseudo-membranous litis

Used for acne a.~~. chlamydial infections. Also for Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme Disease).

~~ distress, reversible

PO: ~~rong cnetator路 don't give 'Nilh milk, antacid, ca++ or Fe++, No CSF penetration, Concentrated by liver, enterohepatic circulation. Excreted in urine and feces.

LoOmbinations 'Nith ~statin not effective. e doxycycline in patients 'Nith renal disorders (less nephrotoxIC).

nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, photosensitivity, dental staining (nOI used in pre-pubertal children) increased Intracranial pressure (rare).




Clindamycin Erythromycin


Messenger RNA




figllre 7.14 Sites of bacter;al protein sy'ltlu?sis j,,1Iibitimr. Baell'rial ribosomes eX/llbil binding sites IImf are distinct fromlllImall ribosomes. Gmlamicin hi/Ids at the 30s/50s hIlerfact! and interfi.路nos witll mRNA reading. C/JIoramplrenicol, erytltromycill and c1indamycin bi/ld to Ihe 50s SlIblllll'l to prevt'1I1 JJcptide clUJi/l dOl/galioll. Tl'Iracyclillc binds /0 tile 30s slIbrmit which prellellts IRNA frolll binding to the A sile of the ribosome. H


Protein Synthesis Inhibitors B.'lcteria, like eukaryotic cells, must synthesize proteins in order to survive. These proteins provide structural integrity and enable bacterial energy produc路 lion. Protein synthesis is critical to a during replication when new structural proteins and enzymes are essential for progeny. Anti-microbials target several steps in protein synthesis. Some of the drugs can kill but more often they only inhibit reprD-'

112 Anti-Infective Agents

duction and rely on the immune system to kill the

organism. The first step in protein synthesis consists of copying the mRNA code from a DNA blueprint. Rifampin inhibits RNA Polymerase and destroys the code for protein synthesis while the sulfOllilmides and anli-metabolites block cofactors necessary for RNA and protein synthesis. After the mRNA code is crealed it travels to the cytoplasm where ribosomes translate the code into a polypeptide. Other anti-microbials (aminoglycosides,

chloramphenicol, erythromycin, tetracycline) target the actual factory (50s subunit of the 70s ribosome) that synthesizes the protein from the mRNA (Fig.7.14). The bacterial ribosomes differs from mammalian ribosomes They have different molecular weight (70s vs. 80s), and bind antibiotics preferentially. The mitochondria within the eukaryotic cells contain similar ribosomes to the bacteria. High exposure to some of these drugs can damaged mammalian tissue by inhibiting this energy producing organelle. Similarly, some of the drugs are less selective for the bacterial ribosomes and can bind to the 80s eukaryotic ribosome and damage host tissue. Rapidly dividing cells, (GI mucosa, skin, bone marrow) and ceUs in tissu(."S exposed to higher levels of the drug (kidney, liver) manifest the greatest toxicities from these agents.

Mycobacteria Tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy are the best known mycobacterial diseases. The development of antibiotics changed tuberculosis from a debilitating/fatal illness to one that was readily controlled with oral medications. The prevalence declined until the 1980s, but is now rapidly increasing, particularly among immunodeficient individuals. The organisms are increasingly resistant to multiple antimicrobials. Mycobacteria are rod-shaped bacilli that stain weakly gram positive. They are called "acid fast" bacilli because they retain dye even when washed with acid alcohol. Mycobacteria infect mononuclear phagocytes, where they may live for years as intracellular parasites. Fulminant mycobacterial infections develop when the

Table 7.7 Antitubercuiosis Drugs DRUG Isoniazid

MECHANISM Inhibits mycolic acid synthesis in wall of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.


UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS Peripheral neuropathies (can prevent by pretreating with ~yrido)(ine), hepatitis, epatotoxicity.

PHARMACOKINETICS PO. Widely distributed. Nacetylated, thus, slow acetylators have greatertoxicity. Kidney excretion.


Blocks Il unit of bacterial RNA ~Iymerase. Stops bacterial NA synthesis. Bactericidal.

Secretions (urine, sweat) turn red. HepatitiS (especially in alcoholics), flu syrrptoms. Induces P450 enzymes, increasing the metabolism of oral contraceptives and other drugs.

PO. \Mdely distributed\:netrates CNS. patic excretion.


Synthetic rifamycin with improved activity against rifampin resistant strains of M. avium. (in vitro & mouse data).

Sinilar to RifafTl)in

PO. \Mdedistribution. Longer duration of action.

Pyrlzlnamlde IPZA}

Nicotinamide analog with unknown mechanism. Bactericidal.

Hepatitis, Hyperuricenia with arthritis. Never used alone ause of rapid resistance.

PO. Widely distributedpenetrates CSF. Hepatic metabolism with renal excretion.

vestib_~~artox,city >

1M. VV1dey dit~~~路coes not penetrate CSF. Poor intracellular

I :::;treptomyclO

~,rst amin09!yco~!~e(lnh~~~s


protein synthesis) by binding 30s150s ribosome site Bactericidal

nephrotoxicity Rapid resitance by root at ion of ribosomal binding site.


Similar to above. Bactericidal

Ototoxicity and nephrotoxicity.

1M. Excreted renaJly.

Paraaminosalicylic Acid (PAS)

Structu~ related 10 sulfona . es路 inhibits folate synthesis. Bacteriostatic

Mono-like sYfTl)toms, severe GI intolerance and ~persensitivity lead to poorCOfTl) iance.

PO. Renal excretion 01 active metabolites.


Inhibits mycolic acid synthesis in bacterial cell wall ~chanism not confirmed) cteriostatic

Reversible retrobulbar neuritis. Loss of central vision. Patients rTlJst have baseline ophthalmoglc exam prior to treatmenl.

PO. Wide distribution. Reaches SO%concentration in CNS. Concentrated in tubercles.

Cycloserine (Seromycin)

D-alanine analog that inhibits cell wall synthesis. Bacteriostatic.

Allergic dermatitis, CNS toxicity



nally excreted.


host's immune response is compromised. Thus patients with AIDS and alcohol addiction are particularly susceptible. Tuberculosis often presents with pulmonary symptoms, but may involve lymph nodes, bones, skin, genitourinary tract and meninges. Treatment consists of several drugs because resistance develops to single agent therapy. In addition to the emergence of antibiotic resistance, treatment of mycobacteria presents unique problems due to 1) slow growth rate reduces efficacy of antibiotics that prevent rapid synthesis of proteins and DNA, 2) the cell wall is not susceptible to classic cell wall inhibitors, 3) infections may be walled off in tubercles which reduce antibiotic penetration, 4) infections occur frequently in immunocompromised hosts which reduces the utility

of bacteriostatic antibiotics (rely on intact host immunity). Treatment guidelines continue to be revised as multi-drug resistance increases. Prophylactic treatment is recommended for asymptomatic patients that develop skin test positivity and for young « 4 years) or immwlocompromised patients that are exposed to an infectious case of tuberculosis. Atypical (nontuberculous) mycobacteria: M. «villlll-illtmceJ/lI/are infects patients with chronic pulmonary disease and may become fulminant in AIDS patients. Atypical mycobacteria are treated with combination chemotherapy or in some cases, surgery. Because drug resistance is more common in nontuberculous mycobacterial infections than in T6, the susceptibility of the microbe must be determined early.

Table 7.8A Antiviral Drugs - DNA and RNA Viruses DRUG AcyclovIr (lovirax)

Pencyclovir (Denavir)

MECHANISM AND VIRAL SELECTIVITY Metabolized by thyrridine kinase and other enzymes to triphosphate analop which inhibits DNA polymerase and incorporates into wal DNA. Binds to viralthyrridine kinase with higher affinity than it binds to mammalian thymidine kinase.

CLINICAL USE Herpes sirrplex I and II and Varicella zoster virus.


Oral HSV (coldsores).

Valacyelovlr (Valtrex)

L·valyl esterol acyclovir is converted 10 acyclovir.

Herpes zoster (shingles) in irnm.Jnocompetent adults.


Phosphorylated metabolite incorporates into DNA, causing strand breaks.

Herpes sirJ1)lex keratitis. No eHeet on RNA viruses.

Famclclovlr (Famvir)

Phosphorylated b vlralthymdine kinase to penciclovlr triphosphate .....tIic inhibits DNA polymerase In HSV.

Shortens duration of herpes zoster and genital herpes.

Ganclclovlr (Cytovene)

Metabolized by thymidine kinase and other enzymes to triphosphate form which inhibits DNA polymerase and incorporates into viral DNA. Preferentially phosphorylated to active drug in CMV-infeeted marrmalian cells.

Cytomegalovirus retinitis and severe systemc CMV infections in irrm.Jnocorrpromised hosts.

Cldofovlr (Vistide)

Nucleotide analog. Selectively inhibits viraiDNA synthesis. Metabolized to diphospate form. Otherwise like ganciclovir.

Fosca rnet (Foscavir)

Analog of pyrophosphate. Competes for pyrophosphate site in viral, but not human. DNA polymerase and reverse transcriptase.


-CMV retinitis

Cytomegalovirus retinitis in ilTrTlJnocorrprOfTiS~atients.

Acyclovir-resistant infections.


Amantadine (e.g., Symmetrel)

Prevents virus from entering susceptible cells.

Treatment/prophylaxis of influenza A in the elderly and patients with cardiopulmonary dysfunction.

Rlmantadlne (Rumadine)

Analog 01 amantadine uncertain mechanism but appears to inhibit viral uncoating.

•• Approved lor prophylaxis in children.

Rlbavlrln (Virazolej

Unknown mechanism.

Hospitalized children with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) who are a\ risk for cardiopulrronary cOrfl)lications.


Inhibits influenza VIruS neuralTllnidase.

Treatment of influenza virus infections.


114 Anti-Infective Agents



Antiviral Therapy

• Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is problematic in transplant patients, AIDS patients and other immunosupViruses are obligate intracelJular parasites compressed individuals. Intravenous ganciclovir therapy posed of either DNA or RNA wrapped in a protein for CMV infections careful monitoring for granulocynucleocapsid. Some viruses produce a glycoprotein topenia and thrombocytopenia. envelope thai surrounds the nucleocapsid. Viruses • lnfluenza virus infections may be fatal in the elderly shed their capsid after invading a host cell. The host or immunocompromised. Amantadine prevents cell then synthesizes new viruses using the message influenza infections when used prophylactically and encoded by the viral DNA or RNA. reduces the severity of symptoms in infected indiViral infections are diagnosed by clinkal criteria, viduals. Rimantidine is a related drug that has been culture, fluorescent antibody testing, polymerase chain approved for use in children. reaction, or serology. Clinically important viral • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes bronchiolitis infections include: in children. RSV usually resolves with supportive • Herpes Family Viruses cause genital and oral herpes, treatment. Ribavirin is recommended in children Varicella (chicken pox), and uncommon but severe who are at risk for cardiopulmonary complications. infections like Herpes encephalitis. Acyclovir is • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is discussed treatment of choice. on the next page.


VIRAL RESISTANCE Resistant strains produce abnormalthyrridine kinase or DNA polymerase.

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS Skin irritation and burninQ. Cfyslalline nephropathy If drug is infused rapidly. Nausea, headache.

PHARMACOKI NETICS IV/PO. Adrrinister slowly CNS level. 50% of serum level. Decrease dose with kidney dysfunction.


PooLbioaY.ailabililY. Topical PO. Sli9hll~ better oral absorpion t an acyclovir.

No clear advantages over

Photophobia, irritation of conjunctiva and eyelid.


Drug is a hal~enated derivative 01 eoxyuridine

Minimalloxicity. Headache.

PO. Decrease dose with renal dysfunction.

Granulocytopenia, anerria, throrri>ocytopenia. Rena! dysfunction.

IV/PO. Excreted unchanQed in urine. decrease dose With renal dysfunction.

NePhrotoxici~ . ay be reduced by hydration an coadministration of probenecid. Neutropenia.

IV. Probenecid must be given concurrently 10 increase bioavailabihty.

Renal toxicity (frequent), seizures, hypocalcemia, fever, anema, diarrhea, nausea, many others.

IV. >60% excreted unchanged in urine. CSF penetration variable. Reduce dose with renal dysfunction.

Depression, CNStoxicity, congestive heart failure, orthostatic hypotension, urinary retention.

PO. Excreted unmetabolized.

Fewer CNS side effects, but still risk of seizures.

PO. Prolonged etimnation wi renal or hepatic dysfunction.

Decreased pUlmona~ function. Teratogenic in anima studies.

Aerosol adrrinistration. Absorbed systemically.

Minimal toxicity.



Nausea, headache.

Resistance develops.

Some resistant strains lack Ihyrridine kinase. Cannot activate drug.

Because drug does not require phosphorylation, it is active againstthymdine kinase-deficient strains.


Do not coadrrinister zidovudine (granulocy.topenial or lmipenemcllaslatin seizures).

Deposited in bOne and teeth. Hydrate patient during therapy to protect kidneys,


Antiretroviral Therapy The greatest barrier to effective anti-HJV therapy is the emergence of drug resistant strains. Human immunodeficiency virus develops drug resistance by mutating the enzymes that are targeted byantivi.ral agents. Retroviral reverse transcriptase has low transcription fidelity. so basepair substitutions are common. These mutations translate into amino acid substitutions which, if located in the drug-binding

pocket, may reduce the affinity of the enzyme for the drug without diminishing the enzyme activity.

8e<:ause of drug resistance, monotherapy is seldom used for treating ArDS patients. More often, when therapy is initiated, multiple agents with different viral l<lrgets are used. These multidrug "cocktails" are

analagous to combination chemotherapy used for cancer patients. There are currently three categories of anti-HJV drugs: nucleoside analogs, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors (Table 7.8B). Because AIDS patients are frequently on numer-

ous medications and may have renal or hepatic dysfunction, it is important to review potential drug interactions and dose-adjustment information provided with each agent. Note that the protease inhibitors and Delavirdine fail to achieve therapeutic levels in cerebrospinal fluid. A current exception to the polytherapy approach is the use of Zidovudine as a single agent to reduce maternal-fetal transmission of HN. To reduce the risk of transmission. HrV-positive pregnant women take Zidovudine prenatally then infants are treated for approximately six weeks postnatally. Immunocompromized patients are treated with trimethoprim-sulfamel:hoxazole (TMP~SMZ) to reduce the risk of Pllelllllocystis carillii (PCP) infection. TMPSMZ is preferred for prophylaxis and treatment of pcp in adults as well, though alternative agents are available (Table 7.9). Agents used for prophylaxis and treatment of other opportunistic infections are presented elsewhere in this chapter.

Table 7.88 Antiviral Drugs - Retroviruses DRUG



Zidovudine (Retrovir) (formerly AZT) Oldanosine {Vidax, 001) Zalcltibine (DOC) Lamivudine (Epivir) Stavudine (Zent) Abacavlr

Nucleoside HIV Reverse Transcrlptase Inhibitor.

HIV in corrt>lnation therapy Zidovudine is used in the prevention of maternal-fetal transmission of HIV.

Rltonavir (Norvir) Indlnavir (Crixivan) Sa quina vir (Invlrase) Nelflnavlr (Viracept) Amprenavir (Agenerase)

Protease inhibitor. Protease is an enzyme necessary for cleaving the gag-pol precurser. Results in irrmature virus formation.

HIV in corrbination therapy.


Non-nucleoside inhibitor ot HIV reverse transcrlptase.

HIV. Never as monolherapy due to rapid development of resistance.



belavirdlOe (Rescriptor) I:f8virenz (Sustiva)

116 Anti-Infective Agents

Table 7.9 Pneumocystis carinii Agents DRUG



Inhibits folate synthesis pathway

sulfamet oxazole

as demonstrated In Figure 7.13.

(TMP-SMZ) (e.g., Bactrim, Septra)





imTl..m osuppressed patients. IV form is drug of choice for PCP infection. Alternative lor patients refractory 10 or intoleranl of trimethoprimsullamelhoxazole

Musl be liliven with


Nebulized I~rm used as alternative PCP prophylaxis. IV form is an alternative lor PCP treatment.

Inhaled ~ormfrequently causes bronchospasm. Bronchodilators should be readily available.


Ahematlvetor PC prophylaxis.


Treatment for mid PCP in TMP-SMZ-resistant patients.


I uapsone

INDICATIONS NOTES Oral dose form is drug of See Table 7.5. choice for PCP prophylaxis in


leucovonn to reduce myelosuppresion and liver toxicity.





Mutations in reverse transcriptase (e.g., conversion of methionine at codon 184toeither isoleucine or valine.)

Peripheral neuropathy, pancreatitis, diarrhea, headache, lnsormia, vomting, nausea, rash, abdominal pain. Zldovudinemyelosuppression.

PO. ~tabolized in liver, excreted in urine. Toxicity may be enhanced by renal or hepatic dysfunction.

limited utility as single agent therapy because of viral resistance.

Mutations in protease sequence reduce affinity of protease inhibitors.

GI distress, headache, other neurologic sYrTl>toms (e.g., weakness. anorexia, parasthesias). Indlnavlr associated With increased risk of kidney stones.

PO. Metabolized by P450 In liver. Reduce dose in patients with liver dysfunction. PoorCNS penetration.

Potentially serious drug interactions due P450 enzyme cOrTl>8tition. See package insert.

Rapid resistance develops due to fTUtations in reverse transcriptase.

Severe skin rash, fever, nausea, headache.

PO. Well absorbed. Nevlraplne crosses placenta and has better CNS penetration than Delavlrdine.


Table 7.1 OA Antifungal Drugs DRUG


PJl1.yenes Amphotericin B (Fungizone. Abeleet, Arrbisome)

Disrupts thefJlasma

Nystatin (e.g., Mycoslatin) Im~/e~

Ketoconozole (Nizoral)



DOC: Systemic fungal infections,

Poor therapeutic index {toxic at therapeutic dose). Feverfchills, nephrotoxicity (reduce risk by

merrtlrane 0 lungal cells.

lungal meningitis, and lungal

ArJ1)hotericin has greater

urinary Iract infections.

affinity lor ergosterol (corrponent of lungal plasma

hYdraljn~pattenl), hypokalemia. nausea, eadache,

merrbrane) than for cholesterol (mammalian).

Ihrorrbophlebitis. anemia.

.. lrJ1)airs synthesis 01 ergosterol, the principle sterol of the fungal plasma merrbrane.

lX>C: Intestinal Candida or thrush (oral Candida).

Few adverse effects re~rted when administered oral y.

OOC: Paracoccidioides

Nausea, diarrhea, headaches, rash, dizziness, fatal hepatic necrosis, gynecomastia/breast pain (due to inhibition of testosterone synthesis).

brasiliensis, thrush (pharyngeal candida). Also for treatment of chronic rTlJcocutaneous candidiasis, dermatophytes (including griseo! ulv in-resistant). S~sterric histoplasmosis,

Fluconazole (Diflucan)

Inhibits fungal cytochrome P-450 enzymes. Damages plasma merrbrane by inhibiting sterol demethylation (an essential step in the synthesis of plasma merrorane sterols).

Itraconazole (Sporanex)


Clotrlmazole (e.g., lotrimin)

Mechanism unkno'M"l.

DOC: Candida, dermatophyte infections of the skin. Vagmal candidiasis.

Mlconazole (Monistat)


Vaginal candidiasis, severe systenic fungal infections.

I-E,'hor Flucytoslne (Ancobon, 5FC)


b astomycosis, coccidiomycosis (inCrUdin~menin~tis), or sporotric osis. pportunistic cryptococcosis, candidiasis. Candidal thrush, vaginitis, esophagitis. Aspergillosis, histoplasmosis. blastomycosis, coccidiomycosis (not meningitiS), sporotrichosis, paracocci iomycosis. local Tinea or Candidal infections. Belterthan ketoconozole for Sporothr;x aspergillus.

Nausea. headache, rash, vomiting, diarrhea.

Nausea, edema (rare), hepatills.

No gynecomastia or breast pain.

Phlebitis, pruritus, nausea, fever, rash, vomting (if intravenous). Leukopenia, nausea, diarrhea, f lFTs, bone marrow depression.

Deaminated to 5-fluoro-uracil by the fun~. Incorporated into RNA. tabolized 10 5-fluorodeox uridine (5~ FdURDJ. 'Nhic inhibits thymidllate synthetase.


Griseofulvin (e.g., Fulvicin)

Interferes 'Nith synthesis and polymerization of nucleic acids.

Dermatophytes of hair, skin, and nails. Up to six months treatment may be required.

Headaches, GI upset. J. memory and judgment, leukopenia, possible teratogen. Photosensitivity.

Terblnafine (larrisil)

Inhibits s~ualene epoxidase, the critica enzyme that converts squalene to ergosterol in fung!.

Toenail infection due to

Neutropenia, skin reactions, ophthalmic toxicity.

118 Anti-Infective Agents



Antifungal Therapy





Slow IV lor systemic infections, intrathecal lor meningitis, bladder irrigation for chstiliS. Metabolism poor y understood, no need to reduce dose with renal

Blood count, urinalysIs, liver enzymes, blood urea-nitrogen. creatinine, & electrolytes should be checked before and during


treatment. liposome-encased al1llhotericin (Abelee!,

ArTtlisome) produces less nephrotoxICity and inlusion

related toxicity. PO.Negligable absorption, fecal excretion. Also topical.

PO. Acid pH (stomach) required lor dissolution. Absorption decreased by food, antacids, cimetidine.

Highly plasma Erote;n bound, row eN levels. POIlV. Long hail-life. Excellent penetration of CSF, eye, urine. Hepatic metabolism. Excellent bioavailability.


PO/IV. Requires acidic environment for absorption. AccumJlates over time, long hal'-Iile, poorCSF and urine penetration, hepatic metabolism.

Follow LFTs, stop drug upon signs of liver abnormalities.



No effects on testosterone

synthesis. Circumvents need to use intrathecal amphotericin for Coccidiomycosis meningitis.

No effect on testosterone, glucocorticoid synthesis.


TopicaYPO (troches)/ Vaginal cream and inserts. Vaginal suppositories/ vaginal cream/topicaIlIV. Easily penetrates Rena excretion.


Fungal resistance develops by: uptake deaminase ./. UMP pyrophosphorylase.

! !

PO. Waterinsofuble, po'NCler absorbed fairly well, administration with fally meal aids absorption.

Contraindicated lor pregnant women. Drug binds to keratin of growing tissues.

PO. Long half lile. Good tissue penetration.

Monitor blood counts.

Fungi exist in a yeast form and a mold form. The yeast form reproduces by budding or spore formation and the mold form grows by extending hyphae (branches). A history of travel is particularly important when fungal infection is suspected because most types of fungi are endemic to specific regions. Fungi are larger than bacteria and can usually be visualized microscopically without stain, particularly if nonfungal cells have been destroyed by 10"1u potassium hydroxide (KOH prep). Fungi are resistant to KOH because of their unique, rigid cell wall. Because human cells lack ceU walls, antiIungallherapy is directed primarily at destroying the fungal cell wall. Despite this apparent "selective" difference between human and fungal cells, antifungal agents are generally very toxic to human cells and should be used with caution. Common Sites of Invasion:

• Candida most often infects the mouth (thrush) or the vagina, particularly in persons with impaired cell-mediated immunity. Thrush is generally treated with nystatin "swish and swallow," or c1otrimazole troches and vaginitis is usually treated with miconazole. Systemic Cmfdida infections occur in immunosuppressed patients and requires intravenous amphotericin 13. • Histoplasma capsllla/llt11, Blastomyces dermatilidis, Coccidioides immitis and Aspergillus infections generally present as pneumonia which may progress to systemic fungosis. Amphotericin B has traditionally been the drug of choice for such systemic infections. Fluconazole and itraconazole are newer drugs that rivaJ amphotericin B with regard to efficacy for some systemic fungal infections. Amphotericin B requi.res intravenous infusion, but fluconazole and itraconazole are available in oral forms. • Cryptococcus lIoo!ormafls may also present as pneumonja, but more commonly presents as meningitis in immunosuppressed individuals. Fluconazole and f1ucytosine are the only antifungal agents that reach therapeutic concentrations in the brain. Of the two, fluconazole is more effective against Cryptococcus.


Anti-parasitic Therapy Table 7.10 presents agents used to treat parasites. Oral metronidazole is widely used for parasitic infections (e.g., Giardia). The intravenous preparation is indicated for anaerobic bacterial infections. lindane is used for head lice.

Widespread resistance to antimalarial drugs complicates therapy. The drug of choice for the treatment of malaria depends on the pattern of drug resistance in the region where the patient was infected. Individuals travelling to endemic regions are encouraged to take prophylactic antimalarial drugs.

Table 7.108 Antiparasitic Drugs use



MECHANISM f'.ctIV~!~ nitro Intermecllates bind DNA and inhibit anaerobe replication. Antiparasitic mechanism unknown.

linda ne (e.g.â&#x20AC;˘ K'NeIl)

Induces seizures in ectoparasites.

Scabies (sarcoptes scabie~; body, head, and pubic louse ~ediculuS capitiS, P. corporis, hthirus pubis).

Topical administration may lead to seizures, CNSdisturoances, risk of arrhythmias. Skin irritant.

OOClorplnworm. i!lil'Si59ffectlve against roundworms.

Diarrhea, fever, Gl ~aln. Highly contagious, amily merrbers should be treated. Minimal side effects. Patients may leellike they have Ilu.

DRUG ~etronlaazole




s mcrotubules In ,utlsriJPts worms.

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS ~elzures, ataxia, a,lzzlness, histo/ytiea, Trichomonas, Giardia. nausea, anorexia, bloating, Anaerobes: Bacteroides, cra~ing. Disulfiram-like reaction. Clostridium, Peptococcus. ~rotozoans:'-l:::.ntamoeba


Increases cell membrane permeability causing loss of Intracellular calcium. Results in paralysis 01 worms and release from host tissues.

SChistosome infections Single dose therapy is adequate.



Stron9yloidiasis. multiple parasite Au sy/Tlltoms, hepatotoxicity, inlecllOn. anoreKia, CNS disturbances.

Ivermectin (Stromectol)

Helminthic glutamate-gated channel anta90nist causes worm paralys IS.

Strongyloides, Onchocerca

Pruritis, rash. fever in onchocerciasis patients.

ProphylaxiS or acule1UtaCks. Erythrocytic forms of P. falciparum. Used in some aulo-itT'lTlme diseases (lUpus, Rheumatoid arthritis).

DiZZiness, neada~l.le. irreversible retinal damage, i~aired accommodation, bullseye relina, hemolysis in G6PD-delicient patients.

Chloroquine resistant P. falciparum. little elleet on sporozoites or pre¡erythrocytic stages.

Cinchonism, curare-like effeets, shock. MOST TOXIC antimalarial (should onl~ be used when other antimalaria S lail).

Antimalarial Drugs -Cfiloroqulne 4-atT'lnoqulnoli~fjamsm Hydroxynot clear. chloroquine Wide resistance 01 unknown (Plaquenil) mechanism.


Not aear Increasing resistance in S. E. Asia.


Not Clear. Structural analog 01 Active aQainst mullidrug resistant quinine. malaria (Includin9 Chloroquine resistant P. falclparum)

Wen tolerated, benign sinus bradycardia. Single dose cures rnJllldrug resistant P. falciparum malaria.


Inhibits lolate synthesis by interfering with dihydrofolate reductase. Less resistance when used in combination with sulfonarrides ~Combin~on marketed as ansida ).

Malaria pr0fahylaxis. Erythrocytic form 01 P. alc~rum Used in combination 'Mth sultonamides or sulfones lor acute attacks. Combined with Sulfadiazine tor treating Toxoplasmosis.

Few, mild side effects.


Mechanism unclear. likely to involve crossllnking of glutathione. little resistance to drug by P. vivax (B-aminoquinoline).

Chloroquine resistanl vivax malarias. More active against hepatic than erythrocytic forms of malaria.

Hemolysis in patients with G6Podeficiency.

120 Anti-Infective Agents


Anticancer Drugs Co-authored by Helen Yun, Pharm. D., M.B.A. Tumor ceUs are derived from normal cells in which proliferation is poorly controlled. Because tumor cells are similar 10 normaJ cells, it has been difficult to develop anticancer agcnts which selectively kill tumor cells without harming normal tissues.

Most anticancer agents act by inhibiting cell proliferation. Generally this is achieved by either damaging DNA or preventing DNA repair. Essentially, there are four ways in which most anticancer drugs inhibit proli.feration: • Crosslinking DNA Prevents separation of DNA strands. • Linking alkyl groups to DNA bases. Inhibits repair of DNA.

• Mimicking DNA bases, resulting in 1) incorporation of drug into DNA or RNA, where it prevents repair

or terminates the chain or 2) negative feedback on enzymes that synthesize or recycle purines. • Intercalating between base pairs of DNA, disrupting the triplicate codons or producing oxygen free radicals which damage DNA. HormonaJ anticancer drugs antagonize receptors, preventing endogenous growth-promoting hormones from binding (Table 8.5). Other hormonal agents are agonists at receptors that, when activated, inhibit tumor growth. in caring for patients on chemotherapy, it is essential to evaluate the patient for dose-Limiting side effects (some, such as permanent cardiomyopathy from Adriamydn, are initially asymptomatic), to know how to treat neutropenic fever. and to effectively manage nausea and vomiting.


Principles of Cancer Chemotherapy

=! 3 <D


Figure 8.1 TI,e cell cycle. Cells pass through four stages of growl/l durillg eacll mitotic eye/e. Cells tllat cotltain n double

complement of DNA (Gl cells) divide during mitosis (M plwseJ. following a "gtipN lG, plwse) cells may tit/ler difff'Tfmtiate Qnd remJJin out of cyclefor a 10118 period oftime (G~ period) or begirt tilt proctSS of DNA syntlr.e;is ($ plwSl'J. Allot/u.,. gap (C; jollfToJJS.


â&#x20AC;˘ The cell cycle Tumor cells are remarkably similar to noncancerous

human cells. Thus. there are relatively few drug strategies for destroying tumor cells while sparing nonneoplastic cells. Newer agents selectively target cancer cells by using monoclonal antibody technology. Neoplastic and normal cells differ primarily with

regard to the number of cells undergoing cell division, and most anticancer drugs act by killing cells that are dividing. The drugs accomplish this by interfering with DNA, RNA, or protein synthesis or by inhibiting the formation of microtubules in mitosis. Such agents are called cell cycle-specific agents because they exert their actions during distinct phases of the cell cycle (Fig. 8.1). In general, agents that interfere with DNA synthesis are S-phase specific; those that interfere with microtubules disrupt mitosis and are called M~phase specific. DNA alkylating agents damage tumor cells regardless of whether the cell is actively dividing. Because of this property. these agents are called "cell cyclenonspecific" drugs.

. Resistance and Recurrence If a tumor cell is to be killed by an anticancer drug, 1) the drug must reach the tumor cell, 2) the tumor cell must enter the phase of the cell cycle that is targeted by

122 Anticancer Drugs

the drug. and 3) the cell must not be resistant to the drug. Cancer cells become resistant to anticancer agents through a variety of mechanisms including 1) reduced uptake of drug into cell. 2) enhanced production of enzymes that repair damaged DNA, 3) production of chemically altered enzymes which are no longer recognized by drugs that inhibit unaltered enzymes, 4) reduced transformation of prod rugs (inactive precursors) into cytotoxic agents and 5) enhanced transformation of toxic agents into inactive metabolites. Some tumors become resistant to several classes of antitumor agents, even if they have never been exposed to some of these agents. This is called multidrug resistance. Affected drugs include antibiotics, colchicine. the vinca alkaloids (vincristine & vinblastine) and epidophyllotoxins (VP-16). Cross-resistance among these agents is striking because they do not share a common mechanism of action. Multidrug resistance is due to increased expression of an energy-dependent membrane glycoprotein "pump" which lowers the intracellular concentration of chemotherapeutic agents. The multidrug resistance gene is likely one of multiple genes that are induced to protect cells from toxic insults.

â&#x20AC;˘ Toxicity of Anticancer Drugs

â&#x20AC;˘ Combination therapy

Erythropoietic and leukopoietic cells, cells lining the gastroil1testinal tract, and hair follicle cells are replaced

Chemotherapeutic regimens often consist of several agents which have different mechanisms of action and minimize overlapping toxic effects. This affords multiple points of attack on the tumor cell while sparing normal organs from the toxicity produced by higher doses of a single drug. Most anticancer drugs cause bone marrow suppression, Bone marTOwsparing drugs (e.g., vincristine) are frequently included in combination regimens, if the tumor is sensitive.

at a much greater rate than most other noncancerous cells in the normal human. Because of the rapid growth rate of these cells. they are susceptible to damage by anticancer drugs. Bone marrow supression, mucositis,

and alopecia are predictable side effects of most anticancer agents. In addition, many drugs cause toxicity that is unrelated to celJ growth rate (Fig. 8.3).





~\ ~

'\ \



~" /



Pulmonary Toxicity' Busulfan Methotrexate Bleomycin


.- -.. '-'

Stomatitis; Methotrexate Etoposide Cytarabine




Hepatotoxicity; Methotrexate

\--!l,..---\"-llJ<;ors; Severe Emesis: Actinomycin D

Cisplatin Mechlorethamine Streptozocin Neurotoxicity: Vincristine Vinblastine Bone Marrow Suppressjon: Most agents

Methotrexate 5-Fluorouracil Actinomycin 0 Corticosteroids Renal Toxicity; Cisplalin Sireplozocin


Hemorrhagic Cystitis; Cyclophosphamide Ifosfamide

No Marrow Suppression: Bleomycin Vincristine Delayed Marrow Suppression' Carmustine (BCNU)

figure 8.3 Notable side effects of c/lemotllerapclltic agcllts.


Alkylating Agents Alkylating agents were the first anticancer agents developed. They are chemically related to mustard gas which was used in World War L

Alkylating agents are generally mOTe effective against slow路growing tumors than other classes of antineoplastics because they are cell-eyde nonspecific. Relatively few ceUs in slow-growing tumors are mitotically during a given course of chemotherapy. In contrast to most other agents, alkylator-induced

damage 10 cancer (eUs accumulates even during quiescent portions of the cell cycle.

All alkylating agents are toxic to hematologic ccUs. Thus, myelosuppression is a predictable side effect. ALkylaling agents may cause secondary tumors, even years after therapy. Important side effects are shown in TableS.! and FigureS.3. Note which drugs are used to treat C S tumors, not because they are better agents, but because they cross the blood brain barrier. Similarly, drugs that penetrate the blood-testis barrier arc used to treat testicular cancer.

Table 8.1 DNA Alkylating Agents DRUG


NltrO~en Mustards Mech orethNot phase-speci ic. I\ills s owamine growing tumors belterthan phase-specific drugs.

DeCreased cellular uptake of drug Binds to N7~uanine. Crosslinks by binding to both and increased repair of drugstrands. induced DNA damage. "Bifunctional alk~lating agent". Crosslinks DNA y binding to both strands.

Chlorambucil (Leukeran)

Not phase-specific

Melphalan (Phenylalanine fT1Jstard, Alkeran)

Not phase-specific

Cyclophos&hamlde ( toxan)

Not phase-specific

Metabolized to phos~ramide fT1Jslard, lNhich is a alkylating agent.

Ifosfamide (Ilex)

Not phase-specific

Alkylated metabolites 01 ifoslamidedamage DNA.

NOt phase-specific

InhlM DNA synthesis by DNA alkylation and protein carbamoylation,

Nitrosureas --Carmustine (BCNU) Lomustlne (CCNU)




.. .. ..

.. ,-


Streptozocln (lanosar)

Not phase-specific


Others: Busulfan (Myleran)

NOI phase-specific

DNA alkylating agent.


Not phase-specific

DNA atkYlati~ aQent. Also releases elhy enm'line radicals lNhich disrupt DNA.


Not phase-specific

Crosslinks DNA.


Altretamine (Hexalen)

U1known. Structurally sirrilar to alkylating agents.

Not cross resistant with alkylating agents.

!.emozolomlde (Ternodal)







arboplatln (Paraplatln)

124 Anticancer Drugs

~&ttahon of guanine nCh areas






Figllre 8.4 DNA alkylation. Nunnally. DNA slru/lds tIrf!

joined by hydrogen bonds and other weakforces whicll allow separa/ioll dllring cell division. Bifimctimral a/kylatillg agents (ailey/a/hl8 group all bol// ends) cOI'Olelllly bind double stranded DNA together. preunl/ing DNA lral/scrip/iot!. BiftlllcliOlID/ alkylaliml is morl! toxic fhm/ sillg/I! strand alkylation because il is less easily ft>pllirt路d.






Injection site necrosis, nausea, vorriting! bone marrow suppression.

IV. Rapid uptake, clearance, and

I-bdgkins disease.


Bone marrow suppression

PO. Slower acting.

Drug is carcinogenic.May


Chronic tYf11lhocytic leukemia and ovarian carcinoma

be mutageniclteratogemc.


Drug induced leukemia. Bone marrowsuppression, nausea, mucositis.


MJltiple myeloma. ovarian carcinoma, breast cancer, neuroblastoma, sarcoma.

Hemorrhagic cys!itis, bone marrow suppression, cardioloxiclty, nausea.

PO/IV, This prodrug is hydroxylated by the P450 system to a cytotoxic agent.

Breast, testicular and other solid tumors. Leukemia, ~mphoma, neuroblastoma, Iso for irrvnunosuppression

Hemorrhagic cystitis, bone marrow suppression..

tv. Prodru9 is metabolized 10 cytotoxic erivatives.

Germ cell testicular cancer, others under investigation.

Bone marrow suppression (nadir at 4-6 weeks), pUlmonary toxicity.

IV (call1lJstine), PO. Short hall life, crosses blood brain barrier.

Central nervous system tumors. IYlT)phomas, Hodgkin's disease, and melanoma.

Renaltoxicity, nausea. hepatotoxicity, diarrhea.


Islet cell carcinoma of the pancreas.

Bone marrowsuppression.


Chronic myelogenous leukema. 80ne marrow transplant conditioning

Bone marrowsuppression.


Breast adenocarcinoma. Bone marrow transplant conditioning

Renal! ox ic ity, bone marrow suppression, ototoxicity, nausea.

IV. Concentrated in kidneys, liver and intestines. Penetrates testis barrier, partial CNS penetration. Renal elimination.

Testicular, ovarian, bladder, IUflQ cancer. Neuroblastoma, bram tumors, osteosarcoma.

Nausea, vomiting, neurotoxici!Y...lIDJkQQenia.


Palliative treatment of ovarian canc_eJ.

Bone marrow suppression.

PO. Food limits extent of absorption.

Brain Tumor.


Hydrate well and give mesna to prevent hemorrhagic cystitis. Mesna is a drug that binds o toxic acrolein metabolite.

Amilostine (Ethyol) can be used to bind to toxIC cisplatin metabolites hence decreasing rOloxicily.


Methotrexate toxicity to normal cells is reduced by

Antimetabo/ites Antimetabolites are cell-cycle specific agents which prevent synthesis of nudeotides or inhibit enzymes by mimicking nucleotides. Methotrexate inhibits dihydrofolate reductase, an enzyme which reduces dihydrofolate (F~) to

tetrahydrofolate (FHJ Normally, the coenzyme FH. transfers a methyl group to dUMP, forming thymidyiate, and is oxidized to FH 2 in the process.

Methotrexate prevents recycling of this cofactor. Because thymidylate is necessary for DNA synthesis, methotrexate is toxic in the S-phase (synthesis).

supplying an alternative cofactor, leucovorin, or by bypassing the folate pathway by adding thymidine. Thymidine is converted directly to thymidylate by thymidine kinase. Administration of these agents after methotrexate is called leucovorin or thymidine "res· cue." Leucovorin and thymidine do not "rescue" tumor ceUs from methotrexate because they do not reach adequate concentration in tumor cells. Other antimetabolites used to treat cancer are either purine or pyrimidine analogs. In some cases, the analogs are phosphorylated to nucleotides, then

Table 8.2 Ant/metabolites DRUG Methotrexate

PHASE S-phase. Also arrests some cells inGt ~ase, preventi~ them rom entering phase.

MECHANISM Blocks lolale reduction by inhibiting dih&drOlolate reductase. 'hlldrofolate reductase (DH R) reduces dihydrofolate to tetrahydrololale, theeoenzyme v.tlich IS essential lor t~~", p(oductioa..of thyrridylal..

TUMOR RESiSTANCE Decreased u~take, increased groduction 0 dihydrofolate reductase y. gene arTplificalion, altered forms of dlhydrofolate, ...mieh are not recognized by methotrexate.


Merca~\~furine; Malabo iz to 6merca~topurine ribose phosp ate (6MPRP), a false nmativefeedback inhibitor. Th ~uanine; Metabolized to Thio TP or Thio-dGTP v.tlich incorporales into DNA.

Increased alkaline phosphatase (degrades 6MPRP). decreased sensitivity to feedback inhibition, decreased HGPRTase (the metabolizing enzyme).

Cladribine (leustatin)

Inhibits both DNA rerir (non&!l:se-specific and synthesis Sphase).

Metabolized intracellulany to 2-edATP, which inhibits repair of single strand DNA. Incorporates into DNA of diViding cells.

I-Igh levels of deoxynucleotide deaminase (diverts 2-CdATP L'8Cursers inlo nontoxic pathway), ow levels of enz,{mes that synthesize 2-Cd TP.

Pentostatln (Nipent)


Inhibits adenosine dearrinase causing increased dATP. which blocks ribonucleotide reductase (essential for DNA synthesis).

Purine Analogs Mercaptopurine ~MP) hio~uanlne


Fludarablne (Rudara)


...£:iflmldlne An!!JH§: S·Fluorouracll SlGt phase-specific (5-FU) Floxurldlne Ca~eClt8blne


Metabolized to 2·fluoro·araATP, which inhibits DNA polymerase. DNA primase and ribonucleotide reductase. Metabolized to Iluoro-UMP which incorporates into RNA. Also metabolized to fluorodUMP which inhibits thyrridylate synthetase. Aoxuridine and capecitabine are prodrugs to fluorouracil.

Cytarablne (Ara-C)


Metabolized to ara-CTP. which is incorporated into DNA. Acts as a chain terrrinator and inhibits DNApolymerase.

Gemcltablne (Gemzar)


Phos~o~lationto dFdCDP and dFdC ich inhibit ribonucleotide reductase. Also DNA strand terrrinator.

126 Anticancer Drugs

.. Decreased phosphorylation of to activelorm, increased ntrace lular catabolism (e.g.• increased phosphatase activity). increased or altered target enzyme. Frrodru~



incorpOfiltcd into DNA Of RNA where they inhibit enzymes or result in faulty transcription or translation. Nucleotide analogs also inhibit essential enzymes such as thymidylate synthetase.

Figure 8.5 Antimetabolites Stich as thiogllllnim: are illcorporated ;"to DNA wiler/! tlley inhibit repair or replica路 tion enzymes. 171iogllanine is pJrospllOry/ated to tlli~GTP which

mimics GTP. Tile exllct mecllQllism by which thio-GTP in!Jibits e"zymes is IlnkllOrtm. 1711' other purine and pyrimidine analogs work by similar mechanisms.

TOXICITY Bone marrow suppression, rrocosilis, ~astrointestinal ulcers, nep rotoxicity, hepatoto:-icity, nausea, diarrhea.

PHARMACOKI NETI CS INDICATIONS PO/IVllntrathecaVintra-aneriaJ. Acule Iyrrphocytic leukema, lon~ retention in tissue, excreted osteogenic sarcoma, une anged in urine. Monitor lyrT'phoma, breast, head, serum levels. neck, small cell lung, choriocarcinoma, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritiS.

!=Jone marrow suppresSion, hepatotoxicity.

PO: ~h'!rt h~1f hfe, extenSIvely metabolized.

Acute eUKema

Bone marrow suppression, Infection, fatigue, nausea, headache, rash.

Adirrinistered by continuous IV infusion.

Hairy cell leukemia, other leukemias/lyrrphomas.

Selective toxicity due to paucity ot deoxynucleotide deaminase in monocyles and IYl'Tl'hocytes.

Bone marrow suppression, nausea, vomiting, fever, rash, hepatofoxlCity.

IV. Poor CNS penetration. Decrease dose with renal dysfunction.

Hairy cell leukemia that is refractory to alpha路 interferon.

CorTbination with fludarablne Is contraindicated due to talQUl.axmacY-loxiclty

Bone marrowsuppression, nausea, vomiting, lever.

IV. Rapidly metabolized to active drug.

B-cell chronic lYfTllhocytic leukemia.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, ulcers, bone marrow suppression, dermatitis, photo-sensitivity.

IVlPOIintra路arterial. Short halllife, extensive metabolism. Floxuridine is adrTinistered intra-arterially to tumor bed.

Many solid tumors. Topically for solar keratosis and super1icial carcinomas 01 the skIn. Floxurldlne: GI adenocarcinoma. Capecltablne: breast carcinoma.

Bone marrow suppression, Gl and oral rrtJcositis, nausea, vorTiting. Conjunctivitis with high doses.

IV. Metabolized in liver to arauridine. Short hall-life.

Leukemia and IYfTllhoma. Not used for solid tumors.

Nausea. bone marrow suppression, fever.


Pancreatic adellOCarcinoma, lung carcinoma..

NOTES Leucovorin (formyllolate) can be administered after methotrexate to "rescue" noncancerous ceUs. Leucovorin repletes reduced folate stores in noncancerous cells.

Leucovorin can potentiate 5-FU.


Antibiotic Anticancer Agents The antibiotics are drugs isolated from the fungal species Streptomyces. They are classified together baSt..>d solely on their origin. These agents have different mechanisms of action, toxicities, pharmacokinetics and clinical indiCCltions. Therefore, it is not useful to simply [earn a prototype drug for this class. The most commonly used antibiotics are Adriamycin, Actinomycin D, mitomycin C and bleomycin. Adriamycin (doxorubicin) is effective against a broad range of tumors, both solid imd hematologic. It acts by intercalating between DNA bases, which inhibits DNA and RNA synthesis. Adriamycin also

inhibits topoisomerasc II, an enzyme responsible for breaking and splicing DNA as supertwists are induced or removed from the DNA coil. Inhibition of

topoisomerase results in DNA strand breaks. Adriamycin cannot be used at maximally effective doses for prolonged periods of time because it causes irreversible cardiomyopathy. It is contraindicated in patients with low cardiac ejection fractions. Toxicity increases dramatically after a cumulative dose exceeds a threshold level. Dactinomycin is extensively used for pediatric SMcomas. Dactinomycin intercalates between DNA bases where it inhibits DNA-dependent RNA poly路

Table 8.3 Antibiotic Anticancer Agents DRUG Dactlnomycln (Actinomycin 0)

Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) Daunorublcln (Daunomycin) Idarublcln Eplrubicin

Mitoxantrone (Novantrone)

PHASE S phase.



Not phase-specific.

MECHANISM Intercalates between guanine bases of DNA. Also decreases RNA synthesis by blocking DNA路 dependent RNA synthesis.

TUMOR RESISTANCE Decreased drug uptake.

Anthracycline. DNA intercalation, decreases DNA and RNA synthesis, single and double DNA strand breaks via action on topoisomerase II.

Decreased drug u~take Inceased drug ef! ux from cell Multidrug resistance.

Not clear. In vitro. inhibits RNA and DNA synthesis, causes DNA strand breaks, inhibits topolsomerase II.

Increased drug elflux, altered lopoisomerase.


Blocks polymerase movement along DNA strand. Does not intercalate.

Mitomycin C

DNA alkylation and cross-linking. Alkylates 0路6 01 guanine.



128 Anticancer Drugs

Bithiazole rl,; Intercalate into DNAstrancl. ugoxidizes Fe+-+-. Yield~ree radicals which damage .

merase. Dactinomycin potentiates the toxicity of radiation therapy when the two are administered during the same time period. M..itomycin C is an effective alkylating agcnt only after it has been metabolized intracellularly. The metabolite, a bifunctional alkylating agent, binds to guanine residues which crosslinks DNA strands. Bleomycin causes DNA strand breaks by producing toxic free radicals. It is often used in combination therapy for lymphomas, head and neck and testicular cancer because it produces little bone marrow toxicity. It does however cause dose-dependent pulmonary fibrosis, oral ulcers, fever and chills.


TOXICITY ~-.ausea. vomtlng! olarrnea. hypersensitivity, bone marrow suppression, ulcers, acne, increased radiation reactions. injection site necrosis.

PHARMACOKINETICS ~pIOlv.~n-lelss ortln plasma and long in tissues.

INDICATIONS :'VI mS,.I::W1ng sarcoma, embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, methotrexate路resistant gestational choriocarcinoma, testicular tumors


Irr~versibl.e cardiomyOl?athy !v. ~?'tle~ts with ir!l'alre:d.!lver wlllch leads to congestive lunchon fisk severe tOXICIty. Reduce dose "";th liver heart failure, benign ECG changes, leukopenia, dhstunction Metabolized by nausea, voniting, injection g ycosidases. site necrosis. Radiation Recall.

DoxorubIC!n: Sarcomas, multiple myeloma, malignant IYJ1l)homas, acute leukemias and testicular, ovarian, breast, gastric, bladder, and throat cancer. Daunorubiclnl I darubicin: Acute leukemias. Epirubicin: breast carcinomas Valrubicln: is an intravesicular anthracycline tor bladder cancer.

~m!or patle~ts cardiac ejection tracllon to assess toxicity. Dexrazoxone (Zinecarcl) is a chetating agent that inter/eres with iron free radicals, reducing anthracycfineassociated cardiomyopathy.

Nausea, vomiting, mucositis. stomatitls, bone marrow suppression. cardiotoxiclty.

IV. Rapid, widedistribulion, haltlife_6days.

Acute nonlYrfllhocytic leukemia.

Nause~, vomitil1\l,. diarrhea, anorexIa, muCOSItiS, nephrotoxicity. hypocalcemia, hypokalema, hepatotoxicity, hemorrhagic diathesis.

Slow IV.

Metastatic testicular tumors, hypercalcemia wi advanced malignancy (low, less toxic doses used).

Bone marrow suppression, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lever, mucositis, nephrotoxicity.

IV. Prodrug is rapidly metabolized to alkylating agent.

Adenocarcinoma 01 stomach, colon, pancreas and breast; squamous cell carcinoma ot head and neck.

Pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonitis, lillie UTY1ll.Jnosuppression or bone marrow suppression. Erythema, increased skin higmentation, ulceration, ever, chills.

Renal excretion. Administertwo test doses to assess likelihood of anaphylactic reaction (more common in IYr!l'homa patients).

Testicular cancer; Inactivated in normal tissues by deaminase. lymphomas; squamous cell carcinoma ot head, neck, Toxic to lun~s and skin, skin and genitalia. Also used which lack eaminase. as sclerosing agent tor Used in combination therapy because it is not malignant pleural ellusion. immunosuppressive.


Other Anticancer Agents The vinca alkaloids, vincristine, vinblastine, and vinorelbine inhibit tumor growth by destroying microtubules which are essential for cell structure and

mitosis. Thcy differ in that vinblastine and vinorelbine 'blasts" bone marrow while vincristine spares marrow. Vincristine however, causes peripheral neuropathy which is manifested by decreased reflexes, foot drop. weak fingers and decreased autonomic function.

Table 8.4 Miscellaneous Anticancer Agents DRUG


Mitosis Inhibitors Vincristine M"phase-specific (Oncovin) Vinblastine Vlnorelblne



Binds lubulin, aepolymerizes

DeCreased drug uptake and


retentIon, rrolli-drug resistance.



M-phase specific

Stabilizes microtubules, prevents lor mtOSIS.

d~polymerizalion essential

(Taxal) Docetaxel (Taxotere)

Etoposide (VP-'6)


Inter1eres with 10poisomerase, causing DNA strand breaks.

Tenlposlde (VM-26)

Late S, early G2 phase.


Others Asparaginase Pegaspargase

Not phase-specific

~~rolyzes l-asparagine to aspartate. Lack of asparagine kills lut1'K)rcells, which lack as~aragine synlhetase. Normal ce Is synthesize asparagine.



Inhibits ribonucleotide reductases, blocks deoxyribonu路 cleotide formation.

Dacarbazlne (OTIC)

Alkylation of DNA seems most ifll>Ortant. Also inhibits purine synthesis and interacts with suHhydryl groups in proteins.


Isomer of DDT. Selective for adrenocortical cells.


Free radicallorrnatlon that causes DNA strand breaks.

Topotecan Irlnotecan

Interacls with topoisomerase I. Results in DNA breaks during replication.

Monoclonal Antibodies Rltuxamab (Rituxan)

Binds CD20 antigen on B IYrTl>hocytes round in B-cell IYrTl>ho~s ...mere it exerts its c

Trastuzumab (Herceplin)

Binds to HER2 protein and inhibits growth ollumorceUs.

Gemtuzumab (Mylotarg)

Anti-CD33 monoclonal antibody conjugated 10 calicheamicin, a cytotoxic agent.

130 Anticancer Drugs

Altered reductase.

Etoposide (VP-16) is a synthetic derivative of epipodophyllotoxins. It appears to act by inhibiting topoisomcrase, causing DNA strand breaks. VP-16 is used to treat small and nonsmalllung cancer, testicular cancer, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.





Autonomic, peripheral and motor neuropathy, in~ection site necrosis. Viner stine does not cause bone marrow suppression.

IV. Hepatic metabolism, biliary excretion.

Vincristine: Acute ~hocytic leukemia, ~kin's IYrTllhoma, some soli tumors. Vinblastine: IYl1lJhomas. Vlnorelblne: Nonsmallcell lung. breast, ovarian, Hodgkins.

c,ant. Inoreiblne: Less toxic

Peripheral neuropathy (Taxol), bone marrow suppression, myalgias, nausea, hypersensitivity reactions.


f.Aetastatic ovarian carcinoma, breast cancer.

Bone marrow suppression, nausea, rrocositis.

IV/PO. Long biphasic half路life. Hypotension wfrapid infusion.

Testicular and lung cancers


Childhood acute IYrTllhocytic leukemia.

Minimal bone marrow sup5sion and alopecia. atotoxic, pancreotoxic, C S disturbances, inhibits c1olling, hyperglycemia. Allergic reactions.

IV or 1M. A polyethylene glycol (PEG) conjugate increases drug half-life.

Induction of remission in acute IYrTllhocytic leukemia.

Bone marrow suppression.


Chronic granulocytic leukemia and other myelosuppressive disorders.

Bone marrowsuppression, nausea, vomiting, flu-like illness.

IV. Poor CNS penetration.

Metastatic malignant melanoma, Hodgkin's ~rTllhOma, when other drugs ail.

Gf distress, lethargy, dizziness, weakness.

PO. Stored in tat, slowly released.

Palliative treatment of inoperable adrenal carcinoma.

Bone marrow suppression. nausea, vomiting, neurotoxicity, CNS depression, dermatitis, mucositis.

PO. Well absorbed, rapidly metabolized to active drug by river microsomes.

Hodgkin's disease.

Bone marrow suppression. lrinotecan: Severe diarrhea (early and late).


Topotecan: Lung and ovarian cancer. Irinotecan: Metasfafic Colon Carcinoma.

Infusion related toxicities (chills, rigors) and hypersensitivity reactions.


B-cell iy~homas

.", diarrhea


Breast Cancer


Acute myelogenous leukemia



Mitotane is remarkably simply because it preferentially accumulates in adrenocortical cells. Although treatment is not curative, mitotane is llsed to decrease symptoms caused by adrenal carcinoma.


Isolated from periwinkle

due 10 low affinity for nerve tubules.

Isolated from bark of western yew. Docetaxel is semisynthetic.

Available in Erwiniaor E. Coliorigin (different aHergenic potentials)

Potentiates sedatives, weak MAO inhibitor, acts like disulfiram in patients consuming alcohol.


HEA2 is overexpressed in 25-30% of breast cancers.


Hormonal and Immunomodulating Anticancer Agents Most anticancer honnones act as agonists that inhibit tumor cell growth or as antagonists that compete with endogenous growth promoting hormones. Adrenocorticosteroids inhibit multiple cell processes necessary for division. Leuprolide and Goserelin act at the pituitary to reduce LH and FSH secretion. LH and

FSH promote growth of prostate cancer cells. Estramustine relies on the estrogen moeity simply to target the other half of the drug, which is an alkylating

agent, into estrogen receptor-positive cells. Leukemias and lymphomas are derived from immune cells, so it makes sense thai agents which regulate division of immune cells might also affect tumor cell growth. lnterferons are protein products

that were isolated from immune cells and are now produced using recombinant DNA technology. Interferons induce a number of gene products in cells that are interferon receptor-positive. In addition, they stimulate activity of certain immune cells, some of which may act against tumor cells.

Table 8.5 Hormonal and Immunomodulating Anticancer Agents DRUG


Hormones --e:Slrogen

Estrogen receptor agonist Which counleracls endogenous testosterone (testosterone enhances tumor growth) in patients 'Nith prostate cancer.


Progesterone receptor agonist used to treat endometrial carcinoma, metastatic renal carcinoma and breast cancer. Mechanismof action unclear.


Estrogen receptor antagonist. Prevents endogenous estrogens fromstirnJlating tumor growth. Used to treat estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Increased risk of uterine cancer observed in women treated with tamoxifen.

r-Aromatase Inhibitor

Non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor selectiv9iy reduces circulating estradiol levels tor the treatment of advanced breast cancer (anastrazole and Ietrozole).


Testosterone receptor agonists active against some breast and renal cancers.


Testosterone receptor antagonist which augments late effects of leuprolide and inhibits transient side effects caused by initialleuprolide-induced LH and FSH secretion.


Inhibit DNA and protein synthesis as well as mitosis. Used for acute IYfTl)hocytic leukemia, chronic Iyfl'l>hocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, rnJltiple myeloma, breast cancer, tyfTl)homa.

Leuprollde, Goserelin

Analog of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GNRH). Desensitizes GNRH receptors in pituitary, causing decreased release of gonadotropin. Results in decreased sex hormone release and is used for advanced prostate cancer. Initially stilTlJlates transient release of sex hormones (lH and FSH).

Estramustlne (EmCy!)

Estrogen agonist linked to alkylating agent. Drug uptake is enhanced in estrogen receptor-positive cells, causing selective accumulation of alkylating agent in tumor cells. Used for prostate carcinoma.

~mune Mediators I nterteron

Enhance activity of cytotoxic-T, natural killer cells and macrophages. Inhibit proliferation of tumor cells. Used for hairy cell leukemia, AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma. Other uses under investigation.


Cc>rr1>lex actions on system. Enhances depressed functions, including antibody production; T cell, macrophage, and monocyte activation. Used in conjunction with fluorouracil for advanced colon cancer following resection.

IIlscellaneous Tretlnoin (Vesanoid) Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Analog of retinoic acid (vitamin A) that Induces maturation in acute promy81ocytic leUkemia cells and neuroblastoma. Toxicity includes the retinoic acid-syndrome (fever. dyspnea, pulrronary infiltrates and ellusions. fluid retention), transient leukocytosis, pseudotumor cerebri.

Porlimer (Photolrin)

A photosensitizing porphyrin that is toxic to cancer cells exposed to 630 nmJight. Preferentially retained in cancer cells alter clearance from rrost normal tissues. Ught exposure induces a porphyrin excited state, wtlich spin transfers to oxygen to form toxic oxygen free radicals. Indicated for palliation of esophageal cancers that occlude the airway.

132 Anticancer Drugs

Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulating Agents Drugs presented in this chapter modulate inflamma-

tion or other immune responses. Most of these agents influence other cellular functions as well, and arc discussed in other chapters. The reason for the multitude of actions is that these agents generally interfere with processes that are vital to multiple biochemical pathways. A beautiful example of a drug with such pleiotropic effects is aspirin. Aspirin reduces inflammation, lowers the temperature of febrile patients, relieves moderate pain and prevents blood dots. The biochemical mechanism of these actions is inhibition of the

enzyme, cyclooxygenasc. Cyclooxygenase catalyzes the synthesis of potent chemical messengers called prostaglandins, which regulate inflammation, body temperature, analgesia, platelet aggregation and numerous other processes. Ln producing inflammation, the role of prostaglandins is to "call in" the immune system. Local tissue infiltration by immune cells and the release of chemical mediators by such cells cause the symptoms of inflammation (heat, redness, tenderness). Thus, a second mechanism for reducing inflammation involves inhibit-

ing immune functions. In the past, this was accomplish(.>d using nonspecific immunosuppressants such as corticosteroids (presented in Chapter 10, page 10-8). Recent advances in immunology fueled the development of more selective agents, capable of inhibiting or stimulating specific immune pathways. Such agents permit exciting new therapeutic approaches to organ transplantation, hyper- and hypo-immune diseases and cancer. A third mechanism for treating inflammation involves antagonizing the effects of chemicals released by immune cells. Histamjne, released by mast cells and basophils in response to antigens, causes bronchial constriction and inflammation by binding to histamine receptors on bronchial cells. Antihistamines are antagonists which compete with histamine for these receptors. Like prostaglandins, histamine regulates numerous processes, including acid and pepsin secretion in the stomach, heart rate and vasodilation. Histamine antagonists which prevent acid and pepsin secretion arc c1inicaUy used to treat peptic ulcer disease (Table 6.1).


Prostaglandin Inhibitors Until a few years ago, there were two ways to pharmacologically reduce inflammation. One approach was corticosteroids. The other was the chemically-diverse agents known as "non-steroidal anti路 inOammatory drugs" or NSAIDs (Tables 9.1, 9.2 and

9.3). NSAIDs were used before their mechanism of action was understood. Ample evidence indicates that NSAIDs act by preventing prostaglandin synlhesis. They will likely be referred 10 as prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors in the future. Prostaglandins arc a family of potent arachidonic acid metabolites, which modulate some components of inflammation, body temperature, pain transmission, platelet aggregation and a host of other actions. They are not stored by cells, but are synthesized and released on demand. Prostaglandins are rapidly degraded, so their half-life is in the range of seconds to minutes.

Aspirin and other NSAIDs inhibit cyclooxygenase, a critical enzyme in prostaglandin synthesis. Because this enzyme plays a role in the synthesis of all members of the prostaglandin family, NSA1Ds tend to inhibit all prostaglandin functions (Tables 9.1 and 9.2).




I'" ~

Aspirin (Acetylsalicylic Add)


Acetaminophen (e.g., TylenolJf) parallels aspirin with regard to its antipyretic (fever reducing) and analgesic effects, yet it lacks anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic actions. Because it produces less GJ irritation than aspirin, it was introduced as an aspirin substitute. Soon, acetaminophen was used in place of aspi.rin for fevers, analgesia and i"flammation, even though acetaminophen is a poor anti-inflammatory drug. This illustrates the haz<1fd of equating similar drugs with one another rather than learning important differences. The usc of aspirin-like drugs for arthritis illustrates one problem associated with selective drug distribution. Many drugs fail to penetrate into joint spaces. High doses of aspi.rin or other non-steroidal antiin(lammatory agents (NSATOS) are required to achieve therapeutic levels in the joint space. Of course toxicity to tissues other than joints is more likely at high drug concentrations. Gastrointestinal irritation and ulceration are likely to develop when high-dose NSAIDs arc employed unless anti-ulcer drugs are concurrently administered to prevent gastroduodenal mucosa damage.

Table 9. 1 Acetaminophen and Aspirin DRUG Acetaminophen (Tylenol)



INDICATIONS Mild to moderate pain and lever. Preferred over aspirin in children because it is less likely to cause Reye's Syndrome.

Symptomatic relief 01 minor pain, inflammation, lever, or rheumatoid arthritis. Reduction of stroke risk.

134 Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodufating Agents


Does not cause GI upset or bleeding. Rash, occasionally with fever. Overdose may cause severe hepatic necrosis leading to coma and death. GI upset & bleeding, allergic reactions. Increased risk of Reye's Syndrome in children. Overdose, called salicylism, involves tinnitis, dizziness, headache. fever, mental stalus changes, hyperventilation, and respiratory alkalosis which leads 10 metabolic acidosis.

Table 9.2 Aspirin-like Drugs ASPIRIN-LIKE DRUGS


Sa fie ales Diflunlsal

less likely to cause GI bleeding and tinnitis, but may cause acute interstitial nephritis.


Olsalazlne (Dipentum)

Pron.1onic Acid Dar/vati e I buproten (Advil, Motrin)

Pro-drug is metabolized to 5-amnosaJicylic acid. It is retained in thecalon, making it effective against ulcerative colitis. Also see sulfasalizine (Table 7.6). Beller tolerated than aspirin by most patients. Reduces diuretic effects ollurosemide and may reduce effectiveness of several antihypertensive agents.

Naprox..en (Naprosyn)

Bettetlolerated than aspirin


M:>C9.ettectllt.BJban.aspir1n...acetarrinophen...codeioa.and o.x.y.CodOneln-reliavlnQ-acute.pain. Anti-inflammatory actions not yetlully assessed.


ÂŁe.noprof (Natfon)

_lndDles Indomethacin (Indodn) -


Mlle potent than aspirin.-EeweLGlsidaeUects,..1IlOre..geni1.ourinary.sidaefIecls..{painon urination, hematuria, nephropathy). Contraindtc_atl!dJ.rlRatients with GI lesions. May worsen Rre-existJ~ression. epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. Most likely to be nephrotoxic. Also indicated to close patent ductus arteriosus in neYhorns. FeweLGLsidael.f.eetSJ.han.aspirin




(Toleclin) OxJC8m Plroxlcam -(Feldene) _Fenamat ]vteclQD.namate (Meclomen)

Miscellaneous Ketorolac (Toradol)

In addition 10 inhibitir!gj@S!.IDJlandinsvnthesis. piroxicam prevents neulroohil aggregatfon and release of lysosomal enzymes. Induces diarrhea in 10 - 35%of Qalients,

The only parenterai nonsteroidal antl-lnflammatQ.r)lfor p_ain relief. Initial clinical trials indicate that it is equal to narcotic analgesics forcontrotting postoperative pain. IV/1M/PO dosing forms available for short-term pain management. No other indications.

DRUG INTERACTIONS At high doses, acetaminophen may potentiate anticoagulants.


PHARMACOKINETICS PO/PRo Readily absorbed, little plasma protein binding, metabolized by liver, excreted in urine.

Bleeding disorders, peptic ulcer disease.

PO/PRo Readily absorbed in small Increased risk of bleeding with anticoagulants, intestine, enters brain, highly decreased effects of metabolized, excreted in urine. an!igout agents, increased Elimination is dose dependent. risk of methotrexate toxicity. Alkalinization of urine speeds Displacement of antidiabetic elimination. agents from plasma proteins induces hypoglycemia,


Antiplatelet activity described in Table 4.9.


Antiarthritic Agents

without reaching toxic levels in serum. Drugs in Tables 9.2 and 9.2 are the primary antiarthritic agents.

Joint inflammation and tissue damage characterize arthritis. Antiarthritic agents include prostaglandin inhibitors (Table 9.2), corticosteroids (Table 10.6), other immunosuppressants {Table 9.3), and other antiarthritic agents {Table 9.3). The efficacy of antiarthritic agents depends on the type of arthritis being treated (Table 9.5). The most important characteristics of antiarthritis drugs are 1) ability to reduce inflammation, 2) ability to reach therapeutic concentrations in joint capsules

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents are used most frequently for arthritis. The major toxicity of these drugs, when used at doses large enough to penetrate joint capsules, is GI irritation and breakdown. Celecoxib (Celebrexe) and rofecoxib (Vioxx*) are selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors. Because they do not inhibit cyclooxygenase-l, there are fewer GI side effects at doses that are effective for arthritis. Antadds, H2 blockers, or prostaglandin analogs are prescribed to prevent or reverse NSAID damage to GI mucosa (Table 6.1).

Table 9.3 Antiarthritic Agents DRUG MECHANISM PHARMACOKINETICS UNDESI RABLE EFFECTS Nonsteroidal Anti¡inflammatory Agents (NSAIDS) and Immunosuppressants-Tables 9.1, 9.2,9.5 Methotrexate- Table 8.2


GI intolerance.


1 accommodalion. bullseye relina. dizziness, headache, hemolysis in G6PD deficient patients.

PO. Readdy absorbed.

Inhibits protein synthesis and has anti-inflarrmatory activity.

Teratogenic, hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity. hypertension, diarrhea.

PO. Prodrug, metabolite is active.


Anti-inflarrmatory .

GI intolerance.


Gold Salts

Recent studies suggest that gold salls are ineffective for treatin~hritis. They are still prescri . hO'Never.

Pancytopenia, dermatitis, slomatilts. Gl upset, nephrotic syndrome, cholestasis, hepatitis.

OraV1M preparations available. AcculTlJlates in synoviumand in phagocytic celis.

Celecoxlb (Celebrex) Rofecoxlb LVioxx) Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)

selectively inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).


Leflunomlde (Arava)

Table 9.4 Antigout Agents DRUG Allopurinol (e.g., Zyloprim)

MECHANISM Decreases uric acid levels by inhibiting xanthine oxidase. the enzyme which converts hypoxanthine to xanthine and xanthine to uric acid.

INDICATIONS UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS May exacerbate gout attacks. GI T0fchaceous gout, recurrent upset, hepatotoxicity, rash, ca cium oxalate stones. Reduction of uric acid in leukemia Stevens-Johnson syndrome. patients.

Probenecid (e.g.â&#x20AC;˘ Benemid)

Inhiblls renal reabsorption of uric acid.

Tophaceous gout. To enhance the duration of penicillin (Fog. 7.13)

May exacerbate gout attacks. Otherwise weliiolerated.

Sulllnpyrazone (Anlurane)

Inhibits renal reabsorption of uric acid.

Tophaceous gout & hyperuricemia.

GI upset, hypersensitivity.


Unclear. reliellikely due 10 anliiflammatory properties.

Gouty anhritis.

GI upset (80%). Suspend therapy upon onsel of diarrhea.

136 Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulating Agents


Table 9.5 Clinical Indications for Anti-inflammatory Agents ~






~ 0



~ ~


Nonsteroidal I~~irjn__



" "

Il ::;




> ~

E 0






,c '"



;• "=> ~





E 0



:e u

E ~








X X_ _ X

X X_


Tolmetln Piroxicam tvteclofenamate X Olsalazine l-Antiarthritic Agents- (Table 9.3 Penicillamine





X X _ X__ X X X X X X


§'" •E,


'".91" ·0 ,>

















Gold Salts ImmunosEl!Bressants Tables 8.2 and 9.61 I ~c..!Qphos.e..harride I Methotrexate Corticosteroids (Ts.ble 10.6) Prednisone eauivalent I



€ "• 1l


'"" .~


·0 0


••>. c













'"e .~














X- f- x








Chloroquine_ _





inflammatory actions.


~~ _X



Not indicated lor arthritis, no anti-






~l)1fam~y'~e,!!s LTable 9.2

Diflunisol Oxaprozln Ibuprofen Ketoprolen Naproxen Sup-fofen FeDQProfen Indomethacin





















KINETICS PO/PRo 80% absorbed.

Antigout Agents

Metabolized 10 oxipurinol

Sodium urate crystallizes in joints, inciting an inflammatory reaction called tophaceous gout. Aspirin·like drugs may relieve the symptoms of gout, bul therapy is more often directed at lowering uric acid levels. Uric acid is a product of purine metabolism. Strategies for reducing uric acid levels include inhibiting xanthine oxidase, the enzyme responsible of uric acid synthesis. and preventing uric add reabsorption from the urine. Antigout drugs are described in Table 9.4.

which is active and thus

extends the duration. Glomerular filtration rate decreased by > 50%.

PO. Highly metabolized, may accumulate wilh repeated use.

Glomerular filtration rate decreased by > 50%.

PO. Rapid complete absorpllon. highly plasma protein bound, primarily excreted unchanged.

Debilitated patients w/renal, hepatic. cardiovascular or Gl disease.



Immunomodulating Agents Immunosuppressants help prevent rejection of transplanted organs and bone marrow, prevent eryth-

roblastosis fetalis (destruction of fetaJ blood cells by maternal antibody-mediated immunity) and may reverse autoimmune diseases such as aplastic anemia. They work by a variety of mechanisms (Table 9.6).

Table 9.6 Immunosuppressants and Immunostimulants DRUG


Immunosur,pressanlS Cyclospor oe Inhibits T·CeIl·mediated imrunity by 1) (Sandirrm.Jne, J. production of interleukin-Il by Neora!) activated T-helrf:r cells. 2) J, the number of inle ukio receptors on



Agent of choice for

NePhrotoxicity (presentation is sirrilar to kidney rejectionl), throrT'boerrDorism, neurotoxicity,

cytotmdc·T cells, 3) allowing prolileration 01 T-suppressor cells.

preventing and treating transplanted organ rejection. Graft versus host disease in bone marrow transplant.

Tacrollmus (FK 506, Progral)

Suppresses T-IYf11)hocyte activity. ~hanism not clear.

Transplant or~an rejection, gra t vs. host.

Nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity.

Azathioprine (Imuran)

Converted to 6·mercaptopurine ribose phosphate which inhibits purine synthesis. Because DNA & RNA synthesis requires proteins, all ~roliferating cells are inhibited (B·cetts, -cells, nonimrrone cells).

Prevention 01 or9an transplant rejection.

GI distress, bone marrow depression, infections, mild leukopenia and throrrt>ocytopenia.

Cyclophosphamlde (e.g., Cyloxan)

PAQDRUG is converted by liver to an alkylating agenl which crosslinks DNA. Prolileration of B-cells is inhibited more thanT-cells. May also attack imrronocOfT1)9tent lyf11)hocytes to inhibit established ilTllTlJne respones.

Drug 01 choice lor Wegener's granulomatosis. Also used for severe rheumatoid arthritis & autoimrrone blood disorders.

Alopecia, GI distress, hemorrhagic cystitis of the bladder, bone marrow depression.

lymphocyte Immune-, antithymocyte· globulin (Atgam)

Horse IgG antibodies which selectively Prevention of organ suppress T-lyfTllhocytes (celt-mediated transplant rejectlon, ilTllTlJnity) and humoral imrronity. aplastic anemia.

RhoD Immune Globulin (e.g., RhoGAM)

I-lJman ilTllTlJne ~bulin which prevents sensitization of a ~atjve recipients to RhO{D~itivebI . theoretIcally binds 10 0(0) antigens, masking them Irom antigen-sensitive imrrone cells.

In Aho{D) fl99ative mother carrying Rho(D) positive fetus or planning abortion. Goal: prevent erythroblastosis letalis in future inlants.

Generally wen tolerated.

I nterferon ~ 1 b: (Betaseron) 1 a: (Avonex)

Unknown. Binds to cell surface receptors initiating several gene products.

Relapsing remitting m.Jltiple sclerosis. Reduces exacerbations.

Ru-like illness. fever, headache, sweating, 'lr'-.'eakness, pain at injection site, leukopenia.

Glatlramer (Copaxone)

Copolymer 01 L·alanine, L ~Iutamate, LlYSine and L-t~rosine roodi ies imrrone system by un no...." mechanism.


seizures, reversible hepatotoxicity, hypertenSIOn.

Fever, chills, leukopenia, thromskin reactions. Less 0 ten: arthralgia, chest or back pain, dyspnea,vorriling, nausea, headache, night sweats. bocyt~nia,

Transient post-injection reaction, transient chest pain.

Corticosteroids (Tables 10.5 & 10.6), Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (Tables 9.1 & 9.2), Methotrexate (Table 8.2). Basiliximab, Oaclizumab, Muromonab-C03, and ~cophenolate Mcfetil are also used to prevent grail rejection in transplant settings. Immunostlmulat1n~Agents

L-.!'va mls oletTrrolites ceJl-mealate<f lmrronity. (Ergamsol)

GOk5n cancer (DUke's stage C), in conjunction with fluorouracil.

Dermatitis, agranulOCytosis. GI distress, malaise.


Enhance activity of cytotoxic-T, natural kilter celis, and macrophages. Inhibit proliferation of tumor cells and suppress grall-versus-host disease.

Hairy-celt leukemia, genital warts, Kaposi's sarcoma, chronic myelocytic leukemia.

Fever, headache, myalgias.


Enhances production of T-cells and garrma interferon. Activates natural kilter and ryf11)hokine activated killer cells.

Under investigation lor effectiveness against AIDS, neoplasms, and viral diseases.

Hypotension, fever, chills, rigor.

138 Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodulating Agents


Some immunosuppressants are not drugs, but are instead antibodies that are produced by non-human animals and are directed at human immune cells. Immunostimulants, primarily investigational at tJ1i5


time, may be employed in the future for the treatment of AIDS, other immunosuppressed states, cancer, and viral diseases. lnterferons and interleukins are peptides released by immune cells in the body (Table 9.6).




Oral most corrmon, but absorption is erratic. IV lor acute organ rejection. Metabolized by liver. No dose adjustment necessary with renal dysfunction.

Synergistic nephrotoxicity with arrphotericin B, arrinoglycosides & lrimelhoprim. DruQs which induce liver metabolizing enz~mes ~y shorten half-life 01 eye osponne.

Cyclosporine does not inhibit antibody-mediated (B-cell) itm"lJnity. Therefore, tranSF;anl patients are nol al significant risk for microbia infections during cyclosporin therapy. Other dru~s (corticosteroids). however, may supress the patient s antimcrobiaJ defenses.

PO/IV. Absorption is erratic.

Many drugs aller plasma concentration. Follow levels.

Similar efficacy 10 cyclosporin. OccaSionall"effective in patients that have failed a cyclosporin trial. ice versa.

PO/IV. Prodrug Is metabolized to 6-mercaptopurine (6MP). 6MP is convened to 6-thiouric acid by xanthine oxidase. Renal excretion.

ALLOPURINOL inhibits xanthene oxidase aclivity, thus increasing serum azathioprine levels

6-Mercaptopurine Is an anticancer agent (Table 8.2).

PO. fv\Jst be hydroxylated by the P450 system to the active form of the drug.

Encourage p?tlents takin~ cyclophosphanide to drink plenty 01 flUids and void 0 ten to prevent hemorrhagic cystitis.

IV. fv\Jst have filter in IV line to prevent insoluble material from entering the bloodstream.

Anaphylaxis occurs in < 1%of patients. An airway and appropriate drugs should be at the bedside during the course of therapy. Often administered with steroids to reduce risk of anaphylaxis.


Contraindicated In Aho(D) positive patients or in Aho(D) negative patients v.i10 have already developed antiAho{D) antibodies.

Subcutaneous injections.

Efficacy and safety have not been established beyond two years. Patients develop antibodies against drug路 unclear v.i1ether efficacy is reduced in these patients.

Subcutaneous. Daily Injections.

Induces IgG levels. Renal immune deposits noted in treated animals. long term imrnme effects of this synthetic antigen are unknown.

INVESTIGAnONAl. May suppress Irrrnune sytem In some cases. Oinical efficacy for treatment of various cancers Is being determined.



Histamine antagonists, on the other hand, are among the most widely used drugs. The term "antihistamines" generally refers to drugs which block HI histamine receptors. These agents prevent bronchial smooth muscle contraction and inhibit histammeinduced vasodilation and increased capillary perme-ability. Therefore, HI antihistamines arc particularly useful for treating allergies.

Ragweed pollen, bee stings and other antigens eUcit immtme responses ranging from mild wheezing to potentially-fatal anaphylactic shock in sensitive individuals. Histamine, a chemical produced in many hwnan tissues, mediates many of these responses. Mast cells and basophils release histamine in response to a variety of antigens. Following release, histamine binds to either Hl or H2 histamine receptors causing a variety of effects (listed in Table 9.8). In addition to allergens, several other substances cause histamine release, including radiodjagnostic dyes, some antibiotics, kinins (chemicals released by immune cells) and some venoms. Several synthetic histamine agonists are available for laboratory studies of hjstamine functions, but there are virtually no clinical indjcations for histamine receptor agonists.

H2 antagonists inhibit acid and pepsin secretion in the gastrointestinal tract and are used to treat peptic ulcer disease (Table 6.1). Both HI and H2 hist<lmine receptor antagonists act by competing with histamine that has been released. A second str<ltegy for reducing hjstamine~induced symptoms involves preventing histamine release from mast cells and basophils. Inhibitors of histamine release are available for prophylaxis against allergy and asthma symptoms (Table 9.7).

Table 9.7 Antihistamines DRUG Release Inhibitor Cromolyn SOdium (Nasalcrom) Nedocromil (lilade)




Inhibits release of histamine from mast cells.

Prophylaxis of bronchial asthma & seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.

WeH tolerated. Local irritation. headache. unpleasant taste.

H1 Receptor AntagOnist

Type I allergies (allergic rhinitis & conjunctivitis. simple urticaria, pruritis, angioedema). To induce sleep.

Sedative: VARIABLE Anticholinergic: HIGH GI upset: lOW



Phenothiazine: -Promethazine (Phenergan)



Piperidines' & Piperazines 2 ---'-C~ prohepta dine


Ethsnolsmlnes -Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) Clemastine (Tavisl)


Chlorphenlramlne (Chlortrimeton) Brompheniramine (Dimetane)

P enindamine (Nolahist) 2Hydroxyzine (Atarax) ZMecllzine (Antivert)


Nonsedating antihistamines Astemizole (Hsmanal) Loratadine (Claritin) Fexofenadine (Allegra) Cetirizine (Zyrtec) Azelastine (Astelln)





Sedative: Hr~H, Anticholinergic: HIGH

Type r allergies. Hydroxyzine IS also used for treatment 01 anxiety and pruritis. Meclizine is used for motion sickness and vertigo.

Sedative: [OW·MODERATE Anticholinergic: MODERATE

Seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Little or no sedation.

H2 Receptor Antagonists - Described in detail In Table 6.1 Clmetldlne (Tagamet) H2 Receptor Duodenal/gastric ulcer, Ranitidine (Zantac) Antagonist hypersecretion of acid. Famotidine ,i;epcid) Nlzatidine ( xid)

140 Anti-inflammatory and Immunomodufating Agents

Sedative: lOW-MODERATE AntichOline~ic: MODERATE GI upset: L W

Well tolerated. Diarrhea, dizziness, headache.

Table 9.8 Histamine Actions RECEPTOR







Constrict bronchial smooth muscle


Adrenal Medulla

Stimulate catecholamine release






Increase permeability


Gastrointestinal Muscle





Increase rate

Stimulate cyclic AMP



Increase Hel and pepsin secretion


H1 & H2

Capillaries & arterioles


Stimulate phosphatidyl inositol and i Na+ and Ga++ permeability of membranes.

H1 & H2


Increase contractility


Histamine-releasing cells

Inhibit histamine release


n Ie no InerglC activity may aggravate bronchial asthma, urinary retention, glaucoma.




·. ·. ·.



NOTES (loses per

f'l:<isaJ.spray. eyeorops. Poor y

~~Ires 'toO

absorbed. nol metabolized.

day to prevent reaction.

~ratlon: 'H) rlrs .. ~taoollzea liver. excreted in kidney.



::>IOW onset prevents use in anaphylaxis.



uuranon: 4-<:::t>nrs.


COncurrent use 01 erythromycin (macrolide). ketoconazole, itraconazole.

C6ri't cross 610iXf6ram barner. Rapid, extensive metabolism. high plasma protein binding.

P? enl a!ry a a .arrnymmas With erythromycin. ketoconazole, itraconazole.

Use cimetidine with cautlon in >50 year olds w/kidney or liver failure.

Uttle plasma protein binding, lillie melabolism.

Cimetidine i levels of many drugs (e.g., oral anticoagulants, theophylline, caffeme, phenytoin, phenobarbital, benzodiazepines. propranolol) by Inhibiting liver P450 enzymes.


Endocrine System Endocrine glands release endogenous chemicals, called hormones, into the bloodstream to regulate the function of target tissues. This chapter addresses endocrine functions which are modified by clinically useful drugs. The pituitary gland regulates virtually every endocriJ1(~ gland and is often called the "master gland." It is divided anatomically and functionally into an anterior and a posterior lobe.

Anterior Pituitary Hormones The hypothalamus secretes releasing and inhibitory substances into the anterior pituitary vasculature, thereby regulating anterior pituitary function. Pituitary secretions are also controlled by feedback control via circulating hormones. Endocrine systems influenced by the anterior pituitary are:

• Sex Hormones: The pituitary glycoprotein hormones. luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), control sex steroid synthesis, spermatogenesis, follicular development and menstruation. The hypothalamic peptide, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), stimulates the release of both LH and FSH from the pituitary. Circulating sex steroids inhibit the release of LH and FSH; inhibin, a peptide synthesized in the gonads, selectively inhibits FSH. Synthetic GnRH agonists initiaUy stimulate LH and FSH secretion, then desensitize the pituitary, resulting in decreased LH and FSH secretion. Nafarelin acetate (SynareIS ) leuprolide (Lupron*) and goserelin (Zolade ) are indicated for endometriosis. Histrelin acetate (Supprelin~) nafarulin acetate (Synarel.!» and leuprolide (Lupron Depot) are indicated for precocious puberty. Gonadorelin (Lutrepulse·) is indicated for primary hypothalamic amenorrhea. • Adrenal steroids: Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a hypothalamic releasing factor, stimulates

release of corticotropin (ACfH) from the pituitary gland. ACfH stimulates the adrenal gland to produce corticosteroid hormones (Tables 10.5 - 10.7). Cleavage of the precursor pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) yields ACTH and another glycoprotein, p. lipoprotein (Fig. 3.5). (l-Lipoprotein further converts to the endogenous opioid peptide endorphin. Likewise, melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) results from the cleavage of ACm. • Thyroid hormones: Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), released by the pituitary gland, faciUtates synthesis and release of thyroxine (T,) and triiodothyronine (TJ. TSH is a glycoprotein composed of hvo chains, designated a. and~. The ex. chain of TSH is identical to the a chain of FSH, LH and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). 1'5H release is stimulated by thyrotropin-releasing factor (TRH), a hypothalamic peptide. Serum T3 and T4 are feedback inhibitors ofTSH synthesis. They also act as TRH antagonists in the pituitary. • Growth Hormone: Pituitary growth hormone (GH) is released by growing children in discrete pulses, late in the sleep cycle. Hypothalamic growth hormone-releasing factor (GRF) stimulates GH and the hormone somatostatin (SRlF) inhibits it. Somatostatin is released from the hypothalamus, the gastrointestinal tract and the pancreas. It acts as a neurotransmitter. Inadequate secretion of growth hormone results in dwarfism. Recombinant human growth hormone is available by prescriptjon (Somatremlll, Somatropin~). Synthetic GH contains the ]91 amino acid sequence of pituilary-derived GH. Both endogenous and synthetic GH induce skeletal and organ growth and promote anabolic metabolism. Octrcotide (Sandostatinlll) is an analog of somatostatin, which inhibits growth hormone. It is used clinically to treat acromegaly. • Prolactin: Prolactin is an anterior pituitary hormone which induces milk secretion from the breasts of lactating women. Nipple stimulation promotes


oxytocin, an octapeptide that differs from vasopressin by two amino acids. Oxytocin induces contractions in the graVid uterus and promotes milk ejaculation from the post-partum breast. Uterine relaxants and contractants are discussed in Table 10.3.

prolactin release and dopamine inhibits prolactin release. CabergoJine (Dostine ) is indicated for hyperprolactinemia

Posterior Pituitary Hormones The posterior pituitary stores and releases hvo octapeptides, vasopressin and oxytocin, which are synthesized in the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. Both polypeptides are carried to hypothalamic nerve endings in the posterior pituitary by the transport protein, neurophysin. • Vasopressin: Arginine vasopressin peptide (AVP, antidiurei!c hormone) promotes reabsorption of water in the distal tubules and collecting ducts of the kidney and vasoconstricts blood vessels. It is re· leased from pituitary nerve terminals in response to hypotension. Vasopressin deficiency results in diabetes insipidus, a disorder which is remarkable for polyuria (excessive urine production) and polydipsia (excessive thirst). Vasopressin (Pitressin*), lypressin (DiapidS) and desmopressin (DDAVP, Stimate~ are synthetic analogs of arginine vasopressin used for treatment of diabetes insipidus (intrana· 5<,1 or intravenous). They act rapidly and their antidiuretic actions persist for 8 - 20 hours. Oesmopressin is indicated for acute epistaxis (intranasal) and GI hemorrhage (intravenous). It is also used to maintain hemostasis during surgical procedures in patients with hemophilia A and Von Willebrand's disease. The mechanism of platelet function enhancement is unknown. • Oxytocin: The posterior pituitary also releases

Other Hormones The pituitary does not control the endocrine pan· creas or the parathyroid glands. The endocrine pan· creas produces insulin, which regulates serum glucose levels. Pancreatic hormones are discussed on pages 154-155. Parathyroid hormone (M'H), vitamin D and calcitonin work in synchrony to regulate calcium homeostasis (not presented in tables). PTH is an 84 amino acid chain secreted by the parathyroid glands in response to low serum calcium. PTH induces bone resorption, which liberates calcium into the bloodstream. These actions arc dependent on adequate serum concentra· tions of 1,25-dihydroxy cholecalciferol (a derivative of vitamin D). Bone resorption is counterregulated by calcitonin, which inhibits osteoclasts (the cells which degrade bone).

PTH increases serum calcium levels by two other mechanisms. PTH increases the synthesis of the active fonn of vitamin D, l.2S-dihyroxycholecalciferol, in the kidney, which in tum stimulates production of calcium binding protein. Calcium binding protein enhances calcium phosphate absorption from the gut lumen. PTH also inhibits renal calcium excretion, while promoting phosphate excretion, causing a small increase in serum calcium levels.




Figure 10.1 Medial/ism of Steroid Ironnone action. Steroid hormollt'S (S) penetrale plasma membrarlt'S and bi/ld to cytoplasmic receptors (R). nre steroid-receplor complex mltrs the l//ldellS aPld bmds 10 DNA, stimulating tratlscription 01 target gene;.

---'~M.:-T-O-R--G-EN-E---'l\ Q 'Dd J.


144 Endocrine System

Sex Hormones

pattern baldness, reduced sperm count (negative feedback). Both sexes - hypercalcemia, coogu..lopathies, sodium and water retention, hyper· lipidemia, atherosclerosis, cholestatic hepatitis, liver cancer.

• Testosterone


• Anabolic Steroids Anabolic steroids are testosterone derivatives which have relatively more anabolic (building) effects than androgenic (masculinizing) effects. Actions: Increases synthesis of anabolic proteins.

Testosterone Leydig cells in the testes produce testosterone (smaller amounts produced in ovaries of females) in

response to LH stimulation. Testosterone is responsible for male secondary sex characteristics and reproductive capability. Actions: Enhances development and maintenance of male sex organs, sperm production, muscle mass. libido, and other secondary sex characteristics. Indications: Androgen deficiency (growth deficits, impotence). delayed puberty in males, palliation of breast cancer, postpartum breast pain and engorgement. Undesirable Effects: Women - virilism (hirsutism),

menstrual irregularities. Men - prostatic hyperplasia or cancer, gynecomastia (high dose or with liver disease),

Indications: Refractory anemia, wasting diseases (cancer, osteoporosis, burns, severe infections), corticosteroid induced catabolism (from long term therapy). Abuse: The muscle building capacity of anabolic steroids has led to widespread abuse among athletes. Side effects among these users are worse than among patients with appropriate indications, because athletes often use higher doses for prolonged periods of time. Undesirable Effeds: See testosterone.

• Androgen Inhibitor Finasteride (Prosea"', Propecia"'), inhibits conversion of testosterone to 5a-dihydrotcstosterone (OHT). It is indicated for benign prostatic hypertrophy and is being tested for prostatic cancer. At lower doses. it is indicated for male pattern baldness.

Table 10.1 Testosterone Derivatives and Anabolic Steroids DRUG estosterone er vat ves Testosterone cyplonate

UNIQUE PROPERTIES 1M. long acting.

Testosterone enanthate Testosterone propionate

1M. Short acting. Useful for palliative treatment of breast cancer because therapy can be discontinued rapidly if hypercalcelTia develops.


Short acting oral preparation is roore convenienl, but less effective than above preparations. Used to treat hypogonadism which develops in adulthood.

Methy !testost e rone

Simlar to fluoxymesterone. Buccal form available.

Anabolic Steroids

Nandrolone decanoate

1M. Adjunctive treatment of anemias.

Nandrolone phenproplonate

1M. Treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

Oxa ndrolone

PO. Not indicated for anemas. Used for all indications listed al top of page.


PO. Treatment of anemia.


PO. Treatment of hereditary angioedema. May cause premature epiphyseal maturation.


• Estrogens


Mechanism: Induce transcription of target genes via intracelJular receptors (Fig. 10.1). Indications: Contraception, atrophic vaginitis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease associated with menopause, hemorrhagic menstruaJ bleeding, failure of


ovarian development, hirsutism, prostatic cancer. Undesirable Effects: Nausea (worse in morning, tolerance develops), breast tenderness and edema, and gynecomastia. Increased risk of endometrial cancer. Conlraindications: Pregnancy (teratogenic), estrogen dependent neoplasm, vaginal bleeding, liver impainnent, thromboembolic disorders.

Pharmacokinetics: Most estrogens are well absorbed orally. They tend to be rapidly degraded by the liver during their first pass from the gastrolntestinal tract. Metabolites include glucuronide and sulfide conjugates of estradiol, estrone, and estriol.


• Progestins Mechanism: Induce synthesis of specific proteins via intracellular receptors (Fig. 10.1). Indications: Contraception, irregular or hemor· rhagic menstrual bleeding, endometrial carcinoma, hypoventilation. Undesirable Effects: Masculinization with prolonged use, otherwise minimal toxicity. Undesirable effects of oral contraceptives described on next page.

Table 10.2 Estrogens and Progestins DRUG EstfJli/8nS Estradiol (e.g.• Estraderm)


17.ethlnyl estradiol (e.g.• Estinyl)

l-iigh potency, not degraded during firsl pass metabolism (hepatic enzymes fail to recognize this chemically altered estrogen). Used in colTblnatlon 'Nith progestins lor contraception.

Conjugated Estrogens (Premarin)

Sulfate esters of estrogenic substances. Less potent than estradiol. Oral, IV, or vaginal preparations are effective.

Pr29.8stlns Progesterone (Progestaject)

1M only. Primarily used to treat menstrual disorders.

Medrox y proge s terone ([)epo-Provera)

PO/1M. Used lor secondary amenorrhea and hormone-induced abnormal uterine bleeding. Intrarooscular depot may have prolonged actions. Should be avoided in women who have potential to become pregnant in the near future.

Megestrol (e.g .. Magace)

Palliative chemotherapy for breast or endometrial cancer. Also used as an appetite stiroolant.

Norethindrone (e.g., Norlutin)

Potent oral agenl.


MOst potent endogenous estrogen secreted by the ova Transdermaul Wl"'u. Reduces osteoporosis in postmenopausal wornen Oral orm metabolized to estrone (less active).

Estroflen Rec8otor Modulator Iitalox ene l:i~"..~~ to estrogen receptor a."..~~~~_uces expression Of genes ma maintain DOne (Evista) density. Indicated lor osteoporosis prevention. Is not an estrogen. Does not mime estrogens in breast or uterus.

146 Endocrine System

Pharmacokinetics: Metabolized by liver to glucuronide or sulfate conjugates. Most of initial dose is rapidly degraded by first pass metabolism, thus progesterone fails to reach target tissues when administered oralJy. Synthetic progestins, in contrast, are not susceptible to first pass metabolism and can thus be administered orally.



o Progesterone

â&#x20AC;˘ Oral Contraceptives EstrogenlProgeslin Combinations: OraJ contraceptives which contain both estrogen and progestins are the most commonly used form of birth control. They are more effective in preventing pregnancy than any other form of contraception and are more convenient than many other forms. Nevertheless, the rate of pregnancy in women using oral contraceptives is higher than would be expected based on careful clinical trials. The most common reason for this is patient failure to take the pill at recommended dosing intervals. Dosing Regimen: Pills containing active steroids are taken for 21 days of the 28 day cycle. Placebos or iron pills are taken the remaining 7 days to maintain a regimen of one pill per day. During the 7 days of nonsteroid pills, patients experience withdrawal bleeding. Mechanism of Action: Suppresses ovulation by feedback inhibition at the hypothalamus and pituitary. Estrogen suppresses FSH and progestin suppresses LH. In addition, the steroids directly cause cervical mucosal thickening and render the endometrium "inhospitable" for ovum implantation. Estrogen Component: ethinyl estradiol or mestranol. Progestin Component: norethindrone. ethynodiol, norethynodrel, norgestrel, or levonorgestrel. Dosing Regimen: MONOPHASIC preparationsprogestin dose is fixed through the cycle. BIPHASIC and TRIPHASIC contraceptives were created with the intention of more closely mimicking physiologic concentrations of progestins and to decrease side effects by lowering the overall dose of progestins.

BTPHASIC pills have low dose progestin for 10 days, followed by (1 days at a higher dose. The concentration of progestin begins low in TRIPHASIC pills, then increases each 7 days through the 21 day cycle. Estrogen concentration is fixed and unchanging in all three formulations. TRIPHASIC pills most closely resemble normal physiology and appear to be as effective as monophasic and biphasic formulations. Side effects: Improved formulation has dramatically lowered the risk of side effects from birth control piJIs. Most common side effects are nausea, vomHing, breast tenderness, water retention, and weight gain. Less frequent but more serious side effects include increased risk for thromboembolic episodes, hepatic adenomas, hemorrhagic stroke, myocardial infarction and endometrial cancer. Smoking potentiates risk of myocardial infarction 5-fold in women over 30. Contraindications: History of thromboembolic disorders, deep venous thrombosis, cerebral vascular disease, myocardial infarction, liver cancer, estrogendependent cancer, breast cancer, undiagnosed abnor~ mal genital bleeding, or suspected pregnancy. Drug interactions: Contraceptive effects are decreased when taken with ANTIBIOTICS (ampicillin, isoniazid, neomycin, pen V, rifampin, sulfonamides, tetracycline) or CNS AGENTS (barbiturates, benzodiazepines, phenytoin). Contraceptives increase the effects of corticosteroids and worsen side effects of tricyclic antidepressants. Oral contraceptives decrease the effectiveness of oral anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, and oral hypoglycemic agents.

â&#x20AC;˘ Progestin Only "Minipills" The mechanism is unclear but they probably act by altering the endometrium to prevent ovum implantation. Minipills are taken every day (there is no 7 day break in the cycle). Missed doses are treated as described for combination products above, except alternate forms of contraception are encouraged for two weeks after omission of two doses. Lack of estrogen may decrease side effects. Continued use may lead to amenorrhea and endometrial atrophy.

â&#x20AC;˘ Levonorgestrellmplants (Norplant e) Levonorgestrel implants are synthetic polymer capsules embedded with lcvonorgestrel, a progestin. The capsules are implanted subcutaneously in women who chose this form of birth control. The capsuJes continuously release progestin to maintain low, contraceptive serum progestin levels. Failure rates are similar to those of oral contraceptives. The most frequent side effects are prolonged, absent, or irregular menstual bleeding.


Oxytocin and Other OBIGYN Drugs The posterior pituitary releases two hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin induces contrac· tions in the gravid uterus and is therefore used when labor acceleration is desired. Because it is chemically simjlar to vasopressin, oxytocin has antidiuretic effects and can cause fluid retention. Oxytocin, other uterine contractants, and uterine relaxants are listed in Table 10.3. Obstetricians administer methyl-ergonovine after delivery to reduce uterine hemorrhage. This drug causes vasoconstriction, but morc importantly causes tonic uterine contraction. The force of the muscle contraction impedes blood flow through the uterus which significantly reduces bleeding. The other uterine

contractants listed in Table 10.3 are used primarily for inducing abortion. Uterine relaxants known as tocolytic agents are P2 adrenergic agonists which reduce contractions in patients with premature onsct of labor (Table 10.3). Three pharmacologic strategies for treating infertility are presented in Table 10.4. Gonadorelin is synthetic GnRH which stimulates FSH and LH production when administered in pulses. Clomiphene is an antiestrogen which causes FSH and LH release by reducing feedback inhibition by estrogen on the pituitary gland. Menotropins are FSH and LH purified from the urine of postmenopausal women. All have greater than SOO/o success rate in achieving ovulation and all carry the risk of inducing multiple pregnancies.

Table 10.3 Drugs which Alter Uterine Motility DRUG


~~/ne CQntractl9~/ants



Oxytocin (e.g .. Pitocin)

force and Irequency of uterine contractions. Most pronounced in near-term uterus.

Contraction of myoepithelium surrounding alveoli of mammary gland. Antidiuretic (vasopressin) effects.

Drug of choice to induce or accelerate labor, to decrease postpartum uterine bleeding. Slirrolates milk ejection from breast (nasal spray).

Ergonovine (Ergot rate Maleate)

Induce uterine smooth muscle contraction.

Blocks adrenergic receptors, causes vasoconstriction, interacts with other receptors (dopamine and tryptamine). ! lactation by ,J.. prolactin levels .

To! uterine bleeding after abortion or parturition. NOT for induction 0 labor.

Methyt-etgonovlne (Methergine) Carboprost tromethamine (Proslin/15M)

Dlnoprostone (Prostin E2) ~!!,erlne


Terbuta line (e.g., Bricanylj

RItOdrlne (Yutopar) MagnesIum



Synthetic prostaglandin ......nich Regulate smooth muscle tone, stirrolates uterine contraction. coagulation, and body terr.perature.



Ikadrenergic receptor preferring agonist. J, uterine smooth rruscle contraction in near-term pregnant women.

glycogenolysis, tachycardia, gluconeogenesis, ?ut relaxation, and vasodilation. respiration of mast cells and neutrophlls.



Decreases uterine contraction.

148 Endocrine System

Decreases neuromuscular conduction, J, acetylcholine release, vasodilation, respiratory depression at high doses.

.. Abortion during 2nd trimester.

Abortion durinl(l2nd trimester. Also used to "ripen" (soflen) the cervix prior to induction of labor. Prolong gestation in premature labor cases.

.. Premature onset of labOr, preeclampsia, eclalTllsia.

Table IDA Drugs Used to Treat Infertility DRUG Gonadorelln (Lutrepurse)

SUMMAR V Gonadrenalin is synthetic human gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Gonadorelin is administered intravenously in pulses S~Ced 90 minutes apart. Like endogenous GnRH, the ~Ulses 01 gonadrenalin stimulate FSH and lH ra ease and result in ovulation in about 90% of women w 0 have been treated. The rate 01 multiple pregnancies W~12% in a small series. When administered continuously, rather Ihan in pulses, GnRH anaJ~S (Lupron suppress FSH and lH production by acting as feedback inhibitors. Administered in this ashion. Gn H analogs are approved lor the treatment 01 prostate cancer and endometriosis.


Clomiphene stimulates LH and FSH release by reducinq negative-feedback by estrogen on the pituita Increased lH and FSH levels induces ovulation and maintains functional corpus lutea. The rate of mu tlple pregnancies is 8%. Abnormal ovarian enlargement occurs in , 4% of patients and may cause pain.

Menotroplns (Pergonol)

Menotropins are lH and FSH (purified from urine of postmenopausal women) which are administered Intramuscularly lor 9- 12 days and followed by an injection 01 chorionic gonadotropin. MUltiple births occur In 20% 01 menotropin路induced pregnancies. Ovarian hyperstimulation, hemoperitoneum. febrile reactions and arterial thromboembolism are the most frequent undesirable effects.




PHARMACOKI NET! CS IV/IMInasal. Short half- ife (3路5 min.).




Potentia lor uterine tetany or rupture, trauma to inlant, posldelivery uterine atony. Prolonged inlusion (>24h) may cause water intoxication (antidiuretic activity).

otentlates nypertenslve elleels 01 other drugs. May cause stroke/hemorrhage, fetal distress.

?ynthetic oxytocin mimics the effects 0 endogenous oxytocin which is released Iromthe hypothalamus.

~~rtension. May cause death o Inlant if given prior to delivery. Potentially latal poisoning may occur at normal doses in patients sensitive to ergot alkaloids.



1M. Short hall路life. Mean time to abortion is 16 hours.

Incomplete abortion. Nausea, vorriling, fever. Uterine rupture, perforation, inflammation, crarTllS, eNS, cardiovascular and respiratory cOrJl)licalions.

.. .. .





IV/PO. Crosses placenta.

Hypotension, tachycardia (reflex and 131 stimulated), arrhythmia, pUlmonary edema. Bradycardia, w/abrupt withdrawal. Nausea. headache, muscle tremor.

Corticosteroids i diabetogenic effects. Inhalation anesthetics l' hypotension.


Similar 10 terbutaline. More severe hvootensionltachvCardia.

IMlIV. 111M, onset .. 1 hr. duration. 3.5 hrs. If IV, onset., seconds, duration .. 30 min.

> 8 mEqll may cause depression of eNS, heart and reflexes. Rushing, sweating, hypotension and Ilaccid paralysis may occur.

PO/I M'IVlarmlotically . Mean time to abortion is to-15 hours.



20% saline solution is preferred for abortion. Consider alternatives lor women with previous esections.

.. Additive with CNS depressants, potentiates neuromuscular blockers. i toxicity of digitalJs.

Excess Ca++ antagonizes Mg++ and Is used to counteract CNS and PNS depression.


Adrenal Hormones

is therefore more potent pharmacologically because a greater fraction is free in the bloodstream .

• Glucocorticoids Cortisol is a glucocorticoid released by the adrenal gland which helps maintain homeostasis by regulating numerous enzymes throughout the body. During periods of stress, cortisol plays an important role in increasing blood glucose levels and elevating blood pressure. Clinically, cortisol and its derivatives <lrc

often used for their immunosuppressive properties. They are also important for patients with adrenal deficiencies. Synthesis: The limbic system ultimately controls cortisone production by regulating release of corti-

cotropin releasing hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus via serotoninergic, dopaminergic and cholinergic neurons. CRH stimulates release of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACfH) from the anterior pituitary. ACfH activates adenylate cyclase in the adrenal cortex. The resulting cAMP activates protein kinase which enhances cholesterol esterase activity. Cholesterol esterase increases the amount of cholesterol available to mitochondria, where cortisone is made from choles· terol. ACfH also stimulates the conversion of choles· terollo pregnenolone, the Hrst step in steroid synthesis.

Metabolism: In the liver, cortisol is converted to dihydro· and tetrahydro- derivatives which are subse· quently conjugated \vith glucuronic acid of sulfates. The conjugates are water soluble and are rapidly excreted by the kidneys. Liver failure leads to decreased metabolism and decreased CBC synthesis. Thus greater amounts of unbound (active) cortisol is present in the blood. This leads to hypercortism. Likewise, renal failure increases the halI-life of cortisol. Clinicallndications: Replacement therapy in adrenocortical insufficiency, salt-losing forms of congenital adrenal hyperplasia, autoimmune diseases, arthritis (Table 10.5), asthma (Table 5.1), dermatitis, cancer (Table 8.5) and sarcoidosis. Undesirable Effects: AdrenaJ suppression (insufficiency upon withdrawal), Cushing's Syndrome (osteoporosis, skin atrophy, central fat distribution, abnormal glucose tolerance, behavioral abnormalities), suppression of somatic growth, osteopenia and bone fractures.

Transport to tissues: Cortisol is secreted into the blood stream where it is 90% bound to cortisol-binding globulin (CBG) and albumin, Active cortisol (remain· ing 10%) freely diffuses into cells where it exerts its actions via intracellular receptors, cae plays an important role in regulating cortisol delivery and clearance. Dexamethasone has low affinity for CBG. It


C=O ~"V'<:.:-- OH


Table 10.5 Actions 01 Glucocorticoids (Generally: anabolic in liver (gluconeogenesis) and catabolic in muscle, skin, lymph, adipose, and connective tissue) Protein Metabolism:



J, anabolism Electrolytes:

t sodium retention t potassium excretion metabolic alkalosis J, GI calcium absorption WJllor;

i free water clearance

150 Endocrine System

Carbohydrate Metabolism:

i gluconeogenesis ! insulin binding to receptors Immune Syslem;

! antibody production ! inflammatory reaction ! immunocompetent lymphocytes .1. antigen processing lltain;

! threshold lor electrical excitation

Fa! distribution;

Redistribute fatloward truncal obesity

Blood cytoloQY:

f erythropoesis

i neutrophils ! lymphocytes

Gastrointestjnal tract:

i acid and pepsin secretion thinning of mucus

• Adrenocorticosteroid Hypersecretion

• Miners/ocorticoids & Androgens

Cushing's Syndrome: State of excess glucocorticaids caused by 1) overmedkation with drugs listed above, 2) adrenal hypersecretion due to tumor, or 3) excessive ACTH release (pituitary adenoma or metastatic tumors). Results in osteoporosis, skin atrophy,

The preceeding information focused primarily on glucocorticoids. Two other important classes of steroids, mineralocorticoids and androgens, are also produced by the adrenal glands.

abnormal fat distribution, abnonnal glucose tolerance. behavioral abnormalities, euphoria. Primary


dosteronism: Caused by adrenal adenoma which secretes aldosterone. Results in hypertension, hypokalemia, metabolk alkalosis, suppressed renin. Aminoglutethimide (Cyladren~ reduces synthesis of adrenal hormones by blocking conversion of cholesterol to ,1'-pregnenalone.

Aldosterone is the primary mineralocorticoid. It retains sodium (and subsequently water) in the blood. It is stimulated in the renin·angiotensin pathway. Dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione are the principal androgens. They have little masculinizing effects in men, but are metabolized to testosterone in women, resulting in development of pubic hair and Libido.

Table 10.6 Cortisone Derivatives CORTI COSTE ROI D Hydrocortisone (Solu-cortel)

IMPORTANT PROPERTIES PO/IV/IMITop. Chemically identical to cortisol produced by adrenal glands. Prelerred drug lor replacement therapy. Has weak mineralocorticoid effects. Short acting.


PO. Intermediate duration 01 action. ~.rTllared to hydrocortisone, ellects are lour limes IOOre potent and mineralocorticoid effects are hall as polent. Drug of choice lor maintainance therapy 01 severe asthma. 1l'Tllortant agent in leukemia therapy.


PO/IVIlM. Intermediate duration of action._~~ared to hydrocortisone, glucocorticoid effects are live times more potent and mineralocorticoid effects are hall as potent. Drug of choice lor treatment of acute asthmatic allacks (administered intravenously forthis Indication).

!TriamcinOlOne (e.g .. Aristocort)

PdlTVlTopllnh. Intermediate d"iJiiiion of action. Col'Tllared to nydrocortlsone, glucocorticoid effects are thirty times more potent. No mineralocorticoid ellects.

Dexamethasone (Decadron)

POIIV/IM'lnh In addition to uses listed in text, it is used to reduce elevated intracranial ~ressure. Few mineralocorticoid effects. Dexamethasone suppreslon test examines Vlltiet er the hypothalamus/pituitary can be suppressed by glucocorticoids. lithe plasma cortisol level is < 5 ~g/dl eight hours alter receiving tgmol dexamethasone, Cushing's syndrome is ruled out.

Fludrocortisone (e.g., Florinef)

Pu: Halogenated derivative 'hith potent mineralocorticoid effects. Only oral mineralocorticoid replacement available. Inappropriate lor use as an antiinllammalory agent.

/ able 10.7 tnnlDltors or Aarenal Hormone ::;yntnesls ana Actions DRUG Mltotane (lysodren)

MECHANISM I ACTIONS Destroys adrenocortical cells.

NOTES Usee:! lor palliative treatment 01 metastatic adrenal carCinoma.

Metyrapone (Metopirone)

Blocks 11 B·hydroxylase activity, thus inhibiting steroid synthesis.

Under investigation for use in Cushing's disease.

Aminoglutethamide (Cytadren)

Blocks conversion of cholesterol to <is·pregnenolone (the first step in steroid synthesis).

Uses: Cushing's disease: adjunct to irradiation in preparinbpatients lor adrenalectomy: treatment 01 adrenal, reasl, and ACTH·producing tumors.

C~P~oh~~tadine ( enactln

Serotonin and cholinergic antajonist which may inhibit secretion of CTH from pituitary microadenoma cells.

Experimental aaent for treatment of ACTH hypersecretion and Cushing's isease.

Spironolactone (Aldaetone)

Antagonist of aldosterone, Inhibits Na+ retention.

Treatment of hyperaldosteronism. Causes K+ retention. Diuretic actions are described in Table 4.3A.


Thyroid Hormones The thyroid gland synthesizes and releases T, (3,5,3'-triiodolhyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) which regulate protein synthesis, regulate membrane-bound enzymes and stimulate mitochondrial oxidation. T) and T. also regulate fetal and infant brain development and childhood growth. T, is more potent than T., T) and T. synthesis: The thyroid follicular cell traps inorganic iodide and oxidizes it to iodine. Iodine binds

to tyrosine residues of thyroglobulin to form monoiodotyrosine (MIT} and diiodotyrosine (DIT). Then, either two OIT molecules couple 10 form T... or MIT couples with orr, forming T3 (Fig. 10.2). T. production exceeds T, production in the thyroid gland and T. is converted to TJ in the periphery.

T, and T. release and transport: Thyroglobulin is proteolyzed from T J and


and the hormones are

released into the circulation. Only 20% of circulating TJ is secreted by the thyroid. The remainder is derived from degradation of Tc' Thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) and prealbumin carry most TJ and T~ molecules in the blood, protecting the hormones from degradation. Only free (unbound) T) and T~ arc physiologically active. Feedback mechanisms at the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and thyroid gland inhibit or stimulate TJ and T~ production when free thyroid hormone levels are too high or too low, respectively.

• Hyperthyroidism (thyrotoxicosis) Clinical Features: Nervousness, weakness, heat intolerance, sweating, weight loss, warm thin skin, exophthalmos, loose stool. Known as Grave's disease when goiter and ocular signs arc present.

Table 10.8 Drugs Used to Treat Thyroid Disorders DRUG


Dr~*s Used to Treat Hyperthyroidism

Met Imaz ole (Tapazole)

Inhibits transformatIOn 01 inorganic iodine to organic iodine. Thr;roxine can't be formed wit out organic iodine. Also inhibits iodotyrosine coupling. No clinical effects observed for several days.

Propylthiouracil (PlU)

• - Also, blocks conversion of T4to T3ln peripheral tissues.


Inhibits release of thlJroxine from thyroid gland. flects are faster (1-3 days) but ~aker than methimazole or PTU. Useful for I'NO weeks, then gland adapts and resumes thyroxine secretion.



COntrol!rth~roidlsm until surgery or 131 1t erapy. Long term drug treatment 10 avoid surpery or 131 1therapy. About hal of patients will remain euthyroid if drug Is withdrawn alter prolonged use.

TefTllOrary hypothyroidism (treat with thyrOXine), agranulocytosis. rash, hyperplastic thyroid. Not given to 'NOmen wtlo are likely to become pregnant within 3 years. Damages thyroid of fetus.



Adjunctive thera~ used In conjunction with rugs listed above. Provides more rapid relief in severely ill patients. Used to devascularize thyroid gland prior to thyroidectomy.

Folliculitis, fever.

Drug which relieves symptoms of !!Herthyroldism PropranolOl J!adrenerglc receptor Emergent preparation of (lnderal) antagonist. Suppresses ~perthyroid patients for surgery. tachycardia and other yrotoxicOSIS in pregnancy. catecholamine ellects. Thyroid storm. Used to Treat Hypothyroidism Levolhyroxlne ReflaCeS normal serum levels !T4) of 4andT3(T4isconverted Synthroid, into T3 by deiodinalion in the Levothroidj periphery).


prug of choice for hypothyroidism.


In) Cytomel)

Replaces T3.

Used in hypothyroid patients wtlo have difficulty absorbing levothyroxine.

L10trlx (T4 & T3) (e.g., Euthyroid)

Replaces T4 and T3

Vv'hen conversion of T4 to T3ls abnormally low (myxedema coma), liotrix may be more useful than tevothyroxine.

152 Endocrine System

CfJS sedation and depression. Suppression of failing heart.

~to~~lty at replacement concentration. Overdose causes hyperthyroid effects (top of page).

·. ·.

Etiology: Thyroid-stimulating antibodies bind to TSH receptors, causing release of thyroxin (current theory).

lab Findings: Increased serum T. and T3 levels and increased radioiodide uptake. Therapeutic Strategy: Control hyperthyroidism with drugs (propylthiouracil or methimazole) for one year, then, partial resection of thyroid gland. Thyroid Storm: Observed in hyperthyroid patients at the time of thyroidectomy (surgical trauma causes instantaneous release of thyroid hormones) or in hyperthyroid patients in sepsis. Signs include high fever, irritability, delerium, tachycardia, vomiting, diarrhea and hypotension. Coma may develop. Treatment includes IV glucose and saline, vitamin B, glucocorticoids.

• Hypothyroidism Clinical Features: Fatigue, weakness, cold intoler+ ance, hoarseness, constipation, cold dough-like skin, thick tongue, bradycardia, excessive menstrual bleeding, anemia. Cretinism in childhood. Etiology: 1) Primary hypothyroidism - surgery, radioiodine ablation, thyroiditis. 2) Secondary hypothyroidism - hypofunction of pituitary or hypothalamus. lab Findings: Hypothyroid patients have low concentrations of T~ in their serum. The uptake of radioactive icxHde is low because thyroid stores of iodine are not being used to produce thyroid hormones. The pituitary hormone, thyroid-stimuJating hormone (TSH), is high in primary hypothyroidism and low in secondary hypothyroidism. Therapeutic Strategy: Replacement therapy with purified or synthetic thyroid hormones (Table 10.8).



~9.. ,=:xcret~ in urine. Adjust dose in patients with renal insufficiency.

Therapy requires gOOCl. patient comeliance and careful monitoring by health professionals.



Myxedema Coma: Chronic, severe hypothyroidism results in respiratory depression, hypothermia and stupor. It is frequently fatal.

Colloid Thyroid Follicular Cell / (Oil)



PO/IV. IV administration leads to more rapid effect.





<DT_T<D <D

T~r~Ulin ...




locl de


Some therapeutic actions may be due to mechanisms other than p-receptor blockade.

PO/IV. 70% absorbed, slow onsel of action, halllife _ 1 week.

Treatment is lIfe·rong. Patients must not discontinue replacement therapy when symptoms of hypothyroidism resolve.

PO/IV. 100% absorbed, rapid onset of action, hallli'e _ several hours.

Because of short half-life, serum levels pulsate according to dosing regimen.


Iodide Blood



Figure 10.2 Sy"tJresis ofT,. Schematic drawillg ofT, sylltllesis as describtod ill tile text on the prt!Vious page. T, is jon/red by the COUp/hlg ofolle diioditlaled and olle IllOnOiodillllled tyrosill~ 011 tlryrog/obulin. T j sYllthesis follows the SITm/! pathways slrowlI In the figure except that two diiodinuted tyrosine molecllies cOllple 10 form T,. Abbreviations: DfT di~odi.~ated lyros~Ilt!, MIT· m01!oiodilraled tyrosill/!, T3 - 3,5,3 -lmodothyrOlll1le, TBGthyroxill-billdillg globlllill. +


Pancreatic Hormones

atk islet beta cells (which produce insulin) are damaged or destroyed, oral hypoglycemics cannot induce insulin release. Thus, patients require insulin injections.

Insulin is produced by pancreatic islet beta cells and is released in response to elevated serum glucose concentrations. The principle actions of insulin are presented in Table 10.9. Each of these actions reduces the plasma glucose

Nonjnsulin~dependentdiabetes mellitus (NIDDM: Type II) is due to decreased release of insulin or decreased response of tissue to insulin (e.g., decreased number of insulin receptors) resulting in hyperglycemia but not ketoacidosis. Treatment focuses on diet and exercise, oral hypoglycemic drugs if diet fails, and insulin when all else fails.


Taole 10.9 Actions of insulin SITE





• Insulin Replacement

1: glucose transport into cell

Patients with insulin-dependenl diabetes receive suhClltaneous insulin injections daily. The goal of insulin therapy is to provide adequate glucose control through each 24 hour period whiJe minimizing the number of injections required to <lchieve that control. Repeilled injections at the S<lme sile mOly result in atrophy or hyperplasia at the injection site. Insulin preparations of short, intermedi<lle and long duration are available (Table 10.10).

1 glycO$lenesis i protein and triglyceride synthesis

1 glucose transport into cell t f l'

glycogenesis glucose utilization in Krebs cycle protein synthesis


glucose transport into cell

f glycogenesis t tnglyceride synthesis

• Diabetes Mellitus Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (100M: Type 1) is due to;;111 absolute deficiency of insulin which usually develops by age '15 and results in weight loss, hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, atherosclerosis, retinal damage and kidney failure. Because the pancre-

Human insulin (hulllulin) is prepared by recombinant DNA technology or is synthesized from porcine insulin (enzymatic replacement of the terminal arginine with threonine). Human insulin is preferred to insulin prepared from animals because it is less antigenic. Porcine insulin differs from human insulin by one amino add (terminal arginine). Bovine insulin is the most immunogenic preparation. A typical dosing

Table 10.10 Insulin Preparations DRUG



Regular Insulin



Prol'T'l)tlnsulin Zinc Suspension

1 ·2





Isophane Insulin Suspension

1· 2


NPff.'t'f,l'JPR Helin I and IT,""Humurm N, Novolin N.

Insulin Zinc Suspension

1 ·3


Hurn.Jlin L, Lente Insulin, Lente lIetin 1and II, Novolin L.



HulllJlin U U1tralenle.



!~VO In ~O!~_q,. Humuhn rUI~U Humulin 50/50



lispro Insulin Solution

Intermediate Actln..9.

Long Actin" Extencedlnsulin Zinc SuspenSion

Hurrulin R, Novolin R, Regular Ilelin I, Velosulin.

Combination Product

lsop~ane.lnsuIn ;:;>uspenslon ana

Insulin Injection

154 Endocrine System

regimen consists of regular humulin with either lente or NPH two to three times per day before meals. Insulin Toxicity: The most common undesirable effects of insulin administration are hypoglycemia and hypokalemia. Hypoglycemia is manifested by weakness, hunger, sweating, dizziness, tachycardia, anxiety, tremor, headaches, mental disturbances and visual disturbances. Many of these symptoms are caused by hypoglycemic release of epinephrine (epinephrine causes glycogenolysis, gluconeogenesis and lipolysis and inhibits insulin release). Remaining symptoms are due to the brain being starved of its energy supply. Hypokalemia develops because insulin drives potassium from serum into cells. It is most often encountered in patients with ketoacidosis when insulin therapy is instituted. Severe hypokalemia causes cardiac arrhythmias and neuromuscular disturbances. Repeated injections at the same site may result in atrophy or hyperplasia at the injection site. lnsulin-Drug Interactions: Many drugs alter blood. glucose levels. increased glucose renders diabetes control difficult, even with insulin. Decreased blood glucose levels may precipitate hypoglycemic episodes.

• Agents which increase blood glucose levels include antipsychotic drugs, diazoxide, adrenergic antagcr nists (also decrease insulin release) and thyrOid supplements. • Agents which decrease blood glucose levels include alcohol, weight-reducing agents and catecholaminedepleting agents.

• Oral Hypoglycemic Drugs Patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Type 2) who fail dietary control require oral hypoglycemic agents. The sulfonylureas described in Table 10.11 stimulate insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells and increase the sensitivity of tissues to the actions of insulin. Like insulin, the most frequent complication is hypoglycemia. Newer generations of oral hypoglycemics reduce post-prandial sugar levels or increase the sensitivity of target tissues to insulin. onsulfonylureas are less likely to cause hypoglycemia. Because diabetes damages kidneys and levers, dose adjustments may be necessary. Patients with NTDDM who fail dietary control and oral hypoglycemic agents progress to insulin-dependency.

Table 10.11 Oral Hypoglycemics DRUG



loloutemlde forinase) Tolazamide ( olinase) Acetohexamide (Dymelor) Chlorpropamide (Diabinese) GllPlilCleTG ucotr,~I!. Glyburlde (Micronase, Diabeta) Gllmeplrlde (Amaryl) Honsu/on)' Metformin (Glucophage)

~~~ seco.~~~eneratlon agents. g Ip~z~a_e ar:'~ ,~IYl?Urt?~, are more pote~~~~~n sulfonylureas. Therefore the required dose is lower. However, these agents are no better than the others with regard to glucose control.

re Reduces Intestinal uptake and hepatic production 01 glucose. Increases sensitivity of tissues to insulin. Generally does not cause hypoglycemia. May act synergistically with sulfonylureas. Rarely causes lactic acidosis, which Is potentially latal. More COrTmOnly causes gastrointestinal side elleets.

,!,lghtol (G~sel) Acarbose Precose) -

stimulates Insu In secr~t!on ~y pancreatIc ~tacell.s and .Increases.the sensItIvIty 01 tissues to the actions ollnsulm. May cause hypoglycema. Patients 'Ntlo develop hypoglycema 'Ntlile takin~ Chlorpropamide rrusl be monitored caretully for 3·5 days because of its lon~ hall-Ii e (60-90 hours). Clinical trials revealed unexpected increased risk of cardiotoxiclty v.1'len Tolbutamide was used for more than live years.


-Troglltazone (Rezutin) RoslR'ltazOne (Avandia) Plog lIazone (Actos)

Repagllnlde (Prandin)

Alpha glucosloe Fnn~~itor SlOWS ca~nydrate.oigestlon resultIng In ower serumg ucose levels alter meals. May be used 'Nith sullonylureas. Hypoglycemia unlikely when used as a single agent. Aatulance, diarrhea and abdominal pain are the most frequent side effeets. Enhances response 01 target cells (e.g., tiver, lTlJscle) to endogenous insulin, perhaps by activating nuclear receptors that increase transcri~on of glucose control genes. Because these require endogenous insulin, they should not used for Type I diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. Monitor liver function tests (LFTs). Discontinue drug if LFTs are greater than 3-times normal. Blocks potassium channels in pancreatic beta cells, causing depolarization, calcium iiii'i"U"X," and ultimately insulin secretion. Thus reduces glucose levels through mechanism that requires intact beta cells. Used alone or with melformin for type 2 diabetes that is diet refractory .






5-Fe 5-FlJ &-MP &-TG

12. 118 12. 12. 12.

17-ethinyl estradiol


Abacavir Abciximab Abelce Acarbosc Accolate Accupri! Acculam:,·

11. 82


ACE inhibitors Acchutolol

Acetaminophen Acetohexamide Acetylcholine Aretylcystcine Actinomycin 0 Activasc

118 155 88 66

132 66,70 22,64 134

155 24 90

Adenocard Adenosine

128 82 155 114 40 78 78




Acyclovir Adderall

Adrenalin· Adrenocorticostcroids Advil

Aerobid· Agencr.l5e Aggrastat Akineton·

Albuterol Aldactonc· Aldamel Aldosterone

Alfentanil Alkeran Allegra" Allopurinol

Alphal-Prolcinase Inhibitor

Alprazolam· Alleplase Altretamine Altrovafloxacin Aluminum Salts Alupcnt Amantadine Amaryl Ambcnonium AmhisomeAmerge

AmidateAmikadn Amiloride


132 135 88

11. 82

28 16,86 60,151

20,62 150 48 124

140 136 90 38,53 66 82 124 108 92 16,86 46,114



118 56 56 110



Amlodipine Amoba rbital Amoxapine Amoxicillin Amoxil Amphetamine Amphotericin B Ampicillin Amprenavir Amrinone Anafranil Anastrazolc Ancobon Androgens· Anectinc· Anistreplasc Anticholincrgics Antihistamines Antilirium· Antivert Anturane Anzemet'" Apomorphine Apresoline' Aprobarbital Ara-c Aramine Arava Ardeparin Arduan Arecoline Aristocort· Artanc· Asendin Asparaginase Aspirin Astelazine Astelin Astemizole Atacand Atarax Atenolol Atgam· Ativan Atorvastatin Atovaquone Atracurium Atromidoo Atropine Atrovent Augmentin Avandia Avapro Aventyl· Axid A7.3ctamOO Azathjoprine

151 88

78 36 68 53 36 92,104

104 18,40 118

104 11. 72 36

132 118 132

30 82

45,94 45


140 136

45 50 66 53

12. 18 136

81 30 24 151

28,46 36 130 82,134

140 140 140 66

140 22,64

138 53,54 80 117 30 80 28,94 86

104 155 66 36 92,140 102 138

Azithromycin Azmacort· Aztreomlln Bacitracin Baclrim Santhin B<1rbilal B.1rbiturates Basiliximab Baycol BCNU Becanase Beclomethasone Beclovent Benadryl Benazepril __

110 88

102 102 109,117

28 53

52,53,54 138 80 124 90 88,90

88 __

Benemid· Bentyl Benzathine Pen G Bcnzodiazepines Bcnztropine Bepridil BetapaCC'" Betascron Betaxolol Bethanechol Biaxin Bicitra Biperiden Birth Control Pills Bis.1codyl Bismuth Subslicylate Bisoprolol Bitolterol Bleomycin Blocadrenoo Brethaire Brethine Bretylium Bretylol Brevibloc Bricanyl Bromocriptine Brompheniramine Budesonide Bumctanide Bumex Bupivacainc Buprc.norphinc Bupropion Busulfan Butorphanol Cabergolinc Caffeine Calcium Carbonate Calcium polycarbophiJ Candesartan Cantil· Capo..-citabinc Capoten· Capreomycin



140 66

136 28

104 52,53,54 28 68 22, 78

138 64 24

110 92

28 147


94 22,64 16,86 128



86 20, 78

20,78 22,64 148


140 90

60 60 32 50

38 124 50 144 40

92 96 66

28 126 66 tI3


Captopril Carafatc Carbachol Carb.lmazcpine Carbasta Carbenicillin Carbidopa Carbocaine Carboplatin Carboprost Tromethamine CarboliCCardeneCardizem Cardura' Carmustine Carteolol Cartrol Carvedilol Castor Oil Calaprcs CCNU Cefador Cefazolin Cefdinir Cefepime Cefixime Cefmetazole Cefobid Cefonicid Ccfoper.lzone CefOlaxime Cefoletan Cefoxitin Cefpodoxime Cefprozil Ceftazidimc Ceftibuten Ceftizoxime Ceftriaxone Cefuroxime Celebrex Celecoxib Celexa Cephadroxil Cephalexin Cephalosporins Cephapirin Ccphradinc Cerebyx Ccrevastatin Cetirizine Chlorambucil Chloramphenicol Chlorazepate Chlordiazepoxide Chloromycetin Chloroprocaine Chloroquine Chlorothiazide Chlorpheniramine Chlorpromazine

158 Index


92 24

53 24

104 46 32 124 148 24

68 68 22,64

124 22,64 22,64 22,64 % 20,62

124 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 106 136 136 38 106 106 102, 106

106 106 54 80

140 124 110 53,54

53 110 32 120 60

140 42

Chlorpropamide Chlortrimeton Cholestyramine Chronulac Cidofovir Cilastatin Cilostazol Cimetidine Cinobac Pulvules Cinoxacin CiproCipronoxacin Cisatracurium Cisplatin Citalopram CitanestC1adribine C1arithromydn C1aritinC1avulinate C1emastine C1cocinC1idinium bromide C1indamycin C1inordClofibrate C1omidClomiphene Clomipramine C1ona7-cpam C10nidine Clopidrogel C1otrimazole C10zapine ClozarilCodeine Cogcntin • ColaceColchicine Colestid Colestipol Cologel Compazine Conjugated Estrogens Copaxon~

CoregCorgard Corticosteroids Cortisol CorvertCotrimoxazole" CoumadinCozaarCrixivan· Cromolyn Sodium CurareCyclophosphamide Cycloserine Cyclosporine Cylcrt Cyproheptadine


140 80,94

9. 114 102 82 92, 140

108 108 108 108 30 124 38 32 12. 92,110

140 104 140 110 28 110 135 80

149 149 36 53,54 20,62

82 118 44 44 SO

28 %

136 80 80

% 42,45

146 138 22,64 22,64 88,94 ISO

78 109 81 66

11. 88,140

30 124, 138

113 138 40 140,151

Cytadrcn Cylarabine Cytadren' Cylomel CytotccCytovcncCytoxan Dacarbazine Dadizumab Dactinomycin Dalfopristin Dalmanc Danthron Dapsone Darvocet~N 100DarvonDarvon-N wI A.5.A. DaunomycinDaunorubicin DDAVI' DOC

001 Decadron -_ Delavirdine Demade Demecarium DemerolDenavir" Depakote Depo-Provera Desipramine Desmopressin Desyrel Detrol Dexamethasone Dexedrine Dextromethorphan Dezodne Diabela Diabim.'Se • Diapid DiavanDiazepam Diazoxide Dibenzyline' Dibucaine Didoxacillin Dicyclomine Didanosine Difluc,ln Diflunisol Digitoxin Digoxin Dilantin DilaudidDilor Diltiazem Dimetane Dinoprostone Dipentum Diphenhydramine

151 12. 151 152 92 114 124,138

130 138 128 110 53 9. 117

51 SO

51 128 128 144 11. 11. 88,151

11. 60

2. 48 114 54

146 36 144 38 28 88,151

40 SO SO

155 155 144 66 53,54 66

22 32 1]).1 28

11. 118 135 72

n,78 54

48 88


140 148 135 45,140

Diphenoxylatc Diprivan Dipyridamole Oirithromycin Disopyramidc Ditropan Oiuril" Dobutamine Dobutrex* Docelaxel Docusate Dolastetron Dolobid" Dopamine Doral Dornase AHa" Dostinex Doxacurium Doxazosin Doxcpin Doxorubicin Doxycycline DNase OTIC Dulcolax Duranest* Ouvoid" Dymclor Dynacirc* Dynabac" Dyphylline Dyrcnium E.ES. "

Echothiophate Edrophonium Efavirenz Effexor" ElaviJ Eldcpryl* ErnCy Eminase*_ Enalapril Enflurane Enlon" Enoxacin Enoxaparin Ephedrine Epinephrine Epirubicin Epivir* Epoetin alpha Epogen Epoprostenol" Eptifibatide ErgamisolErgonovine Ergotrate Maleate * Erythromycin Esmolol Estinyl* Estradiol

50,94 56

82 110 76 28 60 16,n 16, n

130 96 '5 135 16 53 90

143 30 22,64 36 128 110 90

130 96

32 24 155 68

110 88 60

110 26 26 116 36 36 46 132

82 66 56

26 108 81 18 16,86

128 116 84 84 66,82

82 138 148 148 110 22,64,78 146 146

Estraderm* Estramustine Estrogen Ethacrynate* Ethacrynic Acid Ethambutol Ethalab" Etha'lcrine El:hmozine路 Ethosuximide Ethotoin路 El:hrilne" Etidocaine Etomidate Etoposide Euthyroid * Evista Ex Lax

ExosurfFamcidovir Famotidine Famvir路 Felbamate Felbatol Feldene" Fc10dipine Fenoprofen Fenotibrate Fentanyl Fexofenadine Filgrastim Finastcride Fiorinal w / Codeine No.3 *

FK506 Aagyl* Havoxate Flecainide Flomax Flonase' Florincf* Floxin* F10xuridine Fluconazole Rucytosine Fludara Fludarabine Fludrocortisone Flumadine Flunisolide Fluothanc* Fluoxetine Fluoxymesterone Fluphenazine F1urazepam Flutamide F1uticasone Fluvaslatin Fluvoxamine ForaneFortaZ" Foscamet

'46 132 132 60 60 Il3 66 66

78 54 54 56

32 56

130 152 146 96 90

114 92, 140

11' 54 54 135 68 135

80 48 140 84

145 51 138 lOS, 120

28 78 64 90

151 108 126 118 118 126 126 151 114 88,90 56

38 145 42 53 132 90

80 38 56



Foscavir* Fosinopril Fosphenytoin Fulvicin ~ Fungizonc* Furosemide G-eSF GM-CSF Gabapentin GabitriJ* Gancidovir Gantrisin Gastrozepinl'" Gemcitabine Gemfibrozil Cemtuzimab Gemzal"" Gentamicin Glatiramer Glimcpiridc Glipizide Ctucocorticoids GlucophageClucotrol Glyburide Glycerin Glycopyrrolate Glysete Gold Salts Gonadorelin Goserelin Granisetron GriSt.'Ofulvin Growth Hormone Guanabenz Guanadrel Guanethidine Guanfacine H<llazepam Haldon * Haldol Haloperidol Halothane Heparin Herceptin* Hexalen~

Hexobarbital Hismanal* Hislrelin Homatropine Humalog"' Human growth hormone HumorsolHumulin L Hurnulin N Humulin R* Humulin U Ultralente' Humulin 5O/SOHumulin 70/30' Hydralazine Hydrocodone


_ _ 66

54 118 118 60 84 84

54 54 109 "' 28 126 80

130 126 110 138 155 155

ISO 155 155 155 96 28 155 136 143,149 132,143

45 118 143 20,62 20,62 20,62 20,62

53 53 44 44 56

81 130 124 53 140 143 28 154 143 26 154 154 154 154 154 154 66



Hydrocortisone I-Iydromorphone Hydroxyamphctamine Hydroxychloroquinc Hydroxyurea Hydroxyzine Hylorel Hyperstat I-Iytrin Ibuprofen Ibutilide Idarubicin Idoxuridinc lfex Ifosfamide Imipcnem Imipramine lmitrex lmodium lmuran Indinavir Inderal Indocin lndomethacin Lnacorlnsulin IntalInlegrilin lnterferon beta-Ib Interferons IntcrJellkin-ll Intropin Invirase' Iodide Iodine lpratropium lrbesartan Irinotecan Ismelin lsocaine-' lsoetharine Isonurane Isonizid Isoproterenol Isopten lsoplocarbachol Isopto-carpine Isopto Homatropine Isordil lsosorbide dinitrate Isotrctinoin lsoxllprine Isradipine ISllprcl Itraconazolc Ivermectin Kaolin/Pectin Kaopectatc Kemadrin' Kerlone' Ketalar

160 Index

151 48

18 120, 136

130 14D 20,62 66 22,64,72 82,135

78 128 114 124 124 102 36 56 94 138 116 22,64,78,152

135 135 72 152, 15-1 88

82 138 132,138 84,138

16 116 152 152 86 66

130 20,66

32 16,86 56 113 16,86 68

24 24 28 69 69 132 66

68 16,86

118 120 9' 94 28 64,78 56

Ketamine Ketoconozolc Ketorolac Klonopin Kwcll Kytril Labetalol Lactulose Lamict-alLamasil L.1mivudine Lamotrigine Lanoxin Lansoprazole Lasix l..cIopa Lenunomide Lentc Ilctin I Lente lIentin II Lepirudin Lescol' Letrozole Leucovorin l..eukeran Leukine Leuprolide LeustaHn Lcvalbuterol I..evamisole Levaquin" Levatol Lcvo-dromoran Levodopa Lcvofloxacin Lcvomethadyl Levonorgestrel Levophcd Levorphanol Levothroid Levothyroxine Librium Lidocaine Lincacin Lincomycin Lindane Linczolid Liothryronine Liotrix Lipitor Lisinopril Lodosyn 1..omenoxacin Lomotil Lomustinc Loniten Loperamide Lopid 1..opressorLoracarbcf Lorazepam Loratadinc

56 118 135 53 120 45 22,64 %

54 118 116 54 78 92 60

46 136 154 154 81 80

132 109 124 84 132,143

126 16,86 132,138

lOB 22,64

48 46

lOB 48

147 16 48

152 152 53 32,76

110 110 120 110 152 152 80 66


lOB 94 124 66

94 80 22,64

106 53,54


Lorelco Los.1rtan Lotensin' Lotrimin Lovastatin 1..ovenox 1..oxapine Loxilane LlIdiomilLupron Depot"' Lutrepulse LuvOJ( Lymphocyte immuneantithymocytc-globulin Lypressin Lysodren Macrodantin Magnesium Malathion Mannitol Maprotilinc Marcaine' Mavi Maxair Maxalt Maxaquin a Mebendazole Mechlorethamine Meclizine Mt.'Clofcnamate Meclomen Medroxyprogcsteronc Mefloquinc Megare Megestrol Mellaril Melphalan MenotTOpins Mepcnzolate bromide Meperidine Mephcntermine Mephcnytoin Mephobarbital Mepi\'acainc Mepron路 Mercaptopurine Meropenem Merrem Mcsoridazinc Mestinon Metamucil Metaprolol Metaproterenol Metaraminol Metformin Methacholine Methadone Methamphetamine Mcthnntheline bromide Methergine Methicillin

80 66 66

118 80

81 44


38 143 143,149

38 138 144 151

lOB 92, 14$ 26 60

38 32 66 16,86 56

lOB 120 124 45,140

135 135 146 120 146 146 42 124 149 28 48

18 54 53 32 117 126 102 102 42 26 96 64 16,86

18 155 24 48 18 28 148 104

Methimazole 152 Mcthohexit<ll 53 Melhotn.>x,1te 126,136,138 Methoxamine I. Methscopolamine bromide 28 Methsuximide 54 Methyl-ergonovi.lle 148 Methylcellulose 9. Methyldopa 20,62 Methylphenidate 40 Methyltestosterone 145 Metoclopramide 45,92 Metocurine 30 Metopirone 151 Metoprolol 22.64 Metronidazole 92,108,120 Mctubine"' 30 Metyrapone 151 Mevacor 80 Mexiletine 7. Mexitil 7. Mezlocillin 104 Micardis66 Mkonazole 118 Micronase 155 Midamor 60 Midazolam 53 Miglitol 155 Milk of Magnesia9. Milrinone n Mineral oil % Minipills 147 Minipress22,64 Minocycline 110 Minoxidil 66 MiochoH~

MiostatMirlazapine Misoprostol MitomycinC Mitolane Mitox,1ntrone Mitrolan Mivacron Mivacurium Moban Moexipril Molindone Mometasone Monistat Monopril Montelukast Moricizine Morphine Motrin Mucomyst Muromonab-CD3 Muscarine Mycophenolate Mofetil MycostatinMyleran

24 24 38 92 128 130,151

128 9. 30 30 44 66 44 go

118 66 88

78 48 135 go

138 24 138 118 124

Mylolarg'" Myolonachol Myte1ase N-acetylcysteine Na+ Citrate Nadolol Nafarelin Nakillin albuphine Natfon Nalidixic acid Naloxone Naltrexone Nandrolone decanoate Nandrolone phenpropionale Naprosyn Naproxen Naratriptan Narcan Nardil NaropinNasacorl Nasalcrom Nasalide Nasonex NavaneNavelbineoo Nedocromil Nefazodone NegCramNelfinavir Neoral Nco-Synephrine -_ Neostigmine Nesacaine Neumega. NeurogenNeurontinNevirapine Niacin Nicardipine Nicobid Nicotine Nifedipine Nimbe Nimodipine NimotopNipcnl" Nipride Nisoldipine Nitrofurantoin Nitroglycerin Nitroprusside Nitrous Oxide Nizatidine NizoralNolahist NorcuronNort!pinephrinc Norethindrone Norfloxacin

130 22 2. go 92

22,64 143 104 50

135 108 50 50

145 145 135 135 56 50

38 32 go

140 go go 44

130 88, 140

38 108 11. 138


2. 32 84 84

54 11. 80 68 80

24 68

30 68


12. 66 68

108 69 66 56 92, 140

118 140 30 16 14. 108

Norlutin Norm.if1o' Normodyn NoroxinNorpace NorplantNorpramine" Nortryptiline NorvascNorvil'" NovantroneNovocain NovoHn LNovoHn N' Novohn R Novolin 70/J(} NPJ-I-lletin I NPH-Iletin II NPJ-I-N' NubainNupercainc" NumorphoneNuromaX"' Nystatin Octreotide Ofloxacin Olanzapine Olsalazine Omeprazole Oncovin Ondansetron Opium and Belladonna Oprelvekin ChalContraceptives OrapOrinase Oxacillin Oxandrolone Oxaprozin Oxazepam Oxybutynin Oxycodone OxycontinOxymetholone Oxymorphone Oxytocin Paclit<lxel Palivizumab PaminePamelorPancuronium Papaverine Paraaminosalicylic Acid Paraplatin Parathion ParlodelPamate Paroxetine

PAS Pathiloll* Pavabid

14. 81 22 108 7. 147 36 36 68

11. 128 32 154 154 154 154 154 154 154 50

32 48 30 118 143 108 44

135 92 130 45 51 84

147 44

155 104 145 137


28 48 48 145 48 148 130 go

28 36

30 66 113

124 26 46 38 36 113

28 66




Pax iI-


Paxipam. Pegasparaginasc ['emolinc Penatrex· Penbutolol Pencyclovir Penicillins Penicillin G Penicillin V Pentam" Pentamidine Pentazocine Pentobarbital Pentobutol Pentostatin Pentolhal Pepcid Pepto-Bismol Peroocet'" Percodan Pergolide PergonolPeriactin Pennax Perphenazine PersantinePhenelzillt;' PhenerganI'henindamine Phenobarbital Phenolphthalein Phenoxybenzamine Phensuximide Phentolamine Phenylalanine mustard Phenylephrine Phenylpropanolamine Phenytoin Phospholine iodide Photofrin' Physostigmine PilocarPilocarpine Pimozide Pindolol Pioglitazone Pipecuronium Piperacillin Pirbutt'rol Pirenzepine Piroxicam Pitocin Pitressin PlaquenilPlatino1 Plavix· Plendil I'lctal Plicamycin Po1ocaine-

162 Index

53 130


108 22,64


102, 104 104 104 117 117 50

53 22 126 56 92,140

9' 51 51

.6 1'9 151 '6 42

82 38 45,140 '140 52,53,54

96 22 54 22

12' 16 18 54

26 132 26 24 24 44 22,64 ISS

30 104 16,86 28

135 148 144 120,136

12. 82 68

82 128 32

Pontocaine Por£imer Prandin_

32 132 ISS


80 80

I'ravastatin I'raziquantel Prazosin PrecoscPrednisolone Prednisone Prcmarin I'revaddPrilocaine l'rilosec Primacoro Primaquine Primatene Mist Primaxin Primidone Prinivil PriscolinePro-B.mthencProbenecid Probucol Procainamide Procaine Procaine Pen G Procarbazine ProcardiaProchJorpcrazine Procydidine Progestaject Progesterone I'rogestins PrografProlastin Prolixin Promazine Promethazine PronC'Styl Propafenone Propanthcline PropeciaPropofol Propoxyphene Propranolol Propylthiouracil ProscarProstigmine Prostin Protamine Sulfate Protryptiline Provacholine* Proventil ProvocholineProzac· PsyllillITl

P11J Pu1mozymC'"' Pyridostigmine Pyrimethamine Pyrizinamide

120 22,64 ISS 151

151 146

92 32

92 72

120 86 102 54 66 66

28 106,136

80 76 32 104

130 68 42,45

28 146 146 132,146,147

138 90


42 45,140


78 28 1'5 56 50

22,56,6'1,78,152 152 145


148 81 36

24 86 24 38 %

152 90


120 113

PZA Quarzan Qua7.epam Quclicin Questran Quetiapin Quinidine Quinine Quinapril Quinupristin Raloxifenc Ramipril Ranitidinc Rcfludan_ RegitineReglan Regular Hetin IRelcnza Remeron Remifentanil ReaProRepaglinide Rescripto" Rescctisol Reserpine Restoril Retavase· Reteplase Retrovir Reversol ReVia Rezulin RhinocortRhoD lmmune Globulin RhoGAM RhythmclRibavirin Rifabutin Rifall1pin Rilutek" Riluzolc Rimantadjne Risperdal Risperidone Ritalin Ritonavir Ritodrine Rizatriprnn RobinulRocephin' Rocuronium Rofecoxib Rolan Ropivacaine Rosiglitazone Rythmol Salagen<o Saline solutions Salmcterol Sandimmunc

113 28

53 30 80,94 44

76 120 66 110 146 66 92,140 81 22 45,92

154 11. 38


82 155 116 60 20,66 53

82 82 116 26 50

ISS 90

138 138 78 11. 113 113

35 35

II' 44 44


116 16, 148

130 130 56

28 106

30 136 66 32

155 78 24 % 16,86



Saquinavir SargramostJm Scopolamine Secobarbllal Sectral


II. B4 28,45 53 22,"




96 96

Serokat Sensorcain

Sept" Serax Screnhl Serevent Seromycin Seroqud Serpasil Sertrahne

Sem''''' Simvastatin Singulair Sinequan SMZ Somalrem 5omatropin 5olalol 5olu-eortef. Sparfloxacin Sparineo Spironolactone Sporanex Stanozolol Stavudine Sielazlne Stim.ale Streptokinase Streptomycin Strepto7.ocin Stromectol Sublimaze Succinylcholine Sucralfatc Sufentilnil Sular" Sulfadim~inc

Sulfamclhoxa.lOle Sulfapyridine SulfaS<llazinc Sulfinpyrazonc Sulfisoxazole Suhndac Sumatriptan Suprofen Supro! Supprelin Surfactant Surmontil Survanta Susti\'a S)'mmetrel

32 109.117 53

.2 16,86 113


.2 38 38 80

88 36 109 1.3 1.3 22,78 151 1118 .2 60.151

118 145 II.

.2 I ....

82 113

124 120 '8 30 92 .8 68

109 109 109 136 136 109 135 56 135 135

143 90


II. 90






Synercid Synthroid

H/T3 Tacrolimus Tagamet Talwin Tambocor Tamoxifen Tamsulosin Tapazole

T"'ma< T.n:istTaxol TaxolereTazobactam Tegretol Telmisartan

Temarepam Temodal Temozolamide


110 152 152 138 92, 140 50 78


132 152 46

140 130 130 10< 54 66 53

12. 12. ZO,62 '30

Teniposide 22,64 Tenormin Tensilon 26 Terazosin 22,M.n Terbenafine 118 Terbutaline 16.86,148 145 Testosterone 32 TetTacaine Tetracydine 92. 110 88 Theo-Du' Theobromine 40 Theophylline 40,88 Thiabendazole IZO Thioguanine 12. 53,56 Thiopental Thioridazine '2 Thiotepa 12' Thiothixene Thorazine .2 Tiagabine 54 104 Ticarcillin 82 Ticlid Tidopidine82 88,140 Tilade Timolol 22.56.64 82 Tirofiban Tissue plasminogen activator 82 109.117 TMTX/LV 109.117 TMP/SMZ 110 Tobramycin Tocainide Tofranil 36 Tolazamide 155 Tolazoline 66 155 Tolbutamide 46 Tolcapone 135 Tolectin Tolinase 155 Tolmetin 13' 28 Tolterodine Tonocard




Topama Topiramale Topotecan Toradol Tomalale Torsemide



- - 54 54 130 135 16.86 60



Tracrium 30 Trandolapril 22,64 Trandate .5 Transderm-Scop Tranxene 53 Trandolapril 66 Tranylcypromine 38 _130 Trastuzumab Trazodone 38 Tremin 46 _ _ 132 Tretinoin Triamcinolone 88.90.151 60 Triamterine Triazolam 53 Tricor 80 Tridihexethylchloride _ _ _ 28 Trifluoperazine_~ ___ 42 Triflupromazine 42.~5 Trihexyphenidyl 28,46 Trilafon .2 _109 Trimethoprim TrimethoprimlSMZ 109.117 Trimetrexate 109. 117 155 Troglitazone Tro\'afloxactn 1118 Trovan lOB d-Tubocurarine 30 134 Tylenol _ _ 51 Tylenol w I Codeine No.3 51 Tylenol wi Codeine No.4 Ultiva-_ 48 --- --Univasc66 Urccholine 2. Urispas28 Urokinase --~--82 Valacydovir _ _ _ 53,54 Valium __ 54 Valproic Acid Valrubicin 129 Valsartan 66 Valtre Vancomycin 102 Vascor 68 Vasodilan 66 Vasopressin _ _ _ _ _ _ I.... Vasotcc 66 I. Vasoxyl" Vecuronium 30 Velosulin 154 Venlafaxine 36 Ventolin 16.86 --- --Verapamil 78 -----53 132 Vcsanoid .2 Vesprin








Vicodin, Videx"_ Vinblastine Vincristine Vinorelbine Vioxx.. ViraceptViramuneVirazole Visken

51 116 130 130 130 136 116 116 114 22,64




36 130 130 81 38 18 20,62 38,53 126 _ _ 16,86


VP-16 Warfarin Wellbutrin"o Wyaminc路

Wytensin Xanax Xeloda' Xopenex. Xylocainc Yutopar Zafirluk.lst

Zagam. Zalcitibine Zanamivir

Zanosar Zmtac路 Zebeta" 2cmuron" Zerit Ziagen' Zidovucline Zileulon Zithromax Zoco~

Zofran Zolade Zolmitriptan Zoloft路 Zomig z.ovirax


Zyprexa.. Zyrtec" Zyvox路

164 Index

_ _ 32, 76 16,148 8B 108 116 114 124

92,140 22,64 30 116 116 116 88 110

80 45 143 56 38

56 114

88 136

44 140



Pharma tricks


Pharma tricks