May 20, 2024

Warning: Popular COVID-19 Drug May Interact With Common Heart Medications

Paxlovid is an oral antiviral that is utilized to combat coronavirus infections by avoiding the infections growth within the body.
The review paper urges health systems to alert patients with cardiovascular disease who are utilizing COVID-19 of potential drug interactions.
Clients with cardiovascular disease who have symptomatic COVID-19 are typically treated with nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (Paxlovid) to avoid development to serious illness; nevertheless, it might hinder numerous previously prescribed drugs. An evaluation paper recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology investigates the possible drug-drug interactions (DDIs) between Paxlovid and consistently used cardiovascular medications, along with prospective methods to minimize severe negative effects.
” Awareness of the existence of drug-drug interactions of Paxlovid with common cardiovascular drugs is key. System-level interventions by integrating drug-drug interactions into electronic medical records might help prevent related negative occasions,” stated Sarju Ganatra, MD, director of the cardio-oncology program at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, and the senior author of the evaluation.
” The prescription of Paxlovid could be included into an order set, which enables doctors, whether it be medical care doctors or cardiology service providers, to purposely rule out any contraindications to the co-administration of Paxlovid. Assessment with other members of the healthcare group, especially pharmacists, can show to be extremely important. A health care service providers basic understanding of the drug-drug interactions with cardiovascular medications is essential.”

Dr. Ganatra talks about the potential drug-drug interactions between Paxlovid and typically utilized cardiovascular medications. Credit: American College of Cardiology
Paxlovid was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in December 2021 as an oral antiviral representative for the treatment of symptomatic, non-hospitalized people with moderate to moderate COVID-19 infection who are at high danger of progressing to extreme illness. Clients with heart disease and other threat aspects, consisting of as diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, and cigarette smoking, represent a considerable percentage of the high-risk group for whom Paxlovid works.
Paxlovid, according to the authors, has actually been demonstrated to be extremely advantageous in clients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, but it has considerable DDIs with regularly utilized cardiovascular drugs, highlighting the significance of all physicians being familiar with these DDIs. Since scientific information on DDI-related negative occasions is restricted, the authors utilized existing knowledge and data on how treatments like Paxlovid generally interact with other medications to provide assistance on possible interactions and the associated likely repercussions based on the degree of interaction.
The evaluation provides a thorough summary of a variety of cardiovascular medications utilized to treat numerous forms of heart problem. Five of the most important cardiovascular drug interactions with Paxlovid to be familiar with consist of:

Antiarrhythmic agents

While it may be possible to begin Paxlovid after 2-2.5- day temporary discontinuation of the antiarrhythmic agents, this may not be possible from a practical perspective. Clinicians are encouraged to consider alternative COVID-19 therapies and prevent co-administration of these agents with Paxlovid.

Antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants

Antiplatelet agents are used for the treatment of coronary artery illness, especially if a client has gotten a stent. Aspirin and prasugrel are safe to co-administer with Paxlovid. When Paxlovid is given along with clopidogrel and an increased risk of bleeding when given with ticagrelor, there is an increased danger of blood clots. When possible, these agents must be switched to prasugrel. If clients have contraindication to taking prasugrel, then co-administration of Paxlovid need to be prevented and alternative COVID-19 therapies need to be considered.
Anticoagulants or blood slimmers used to prevent or treat blood clots, such as warfarin may be co-administered with Paxlovid however require close monitoring of clotting elements in bloodwork. The plasma levels of all direct oral anticoagulants increase when co-administered with Paxlovid, therefore dose change or short-lived discontinuation and use of alternative anticoagulants may be required.

Immunosuppressive representatives

” The prescription of Paxlovid might be integrated into an order set, which enables physicians, whether it be primary care doctors or cardiology providers, to consciously rule out any contraindications to the co-administration of Paxlovid. While it may be possible to begin Paxlovid after 2-2.5- day short-term discontinuation of the antiarrhythmic representatives, this may not be practical from a practical viewpoint. Clinicians are advised to think about alternative COVID-19 treatments and avoid co-administration of these agents with Paxlovid. Plasma concentration of ranolazine utilized to treat angina and other heart-related chest discomfort is significantly increased in the existence of CPY450 inhibitors like Paxlovid, therefore increasing the danger of scientifically substantial QT prolongation and torsade de pointes (a type of arrhythmia). The plasma levels of immunosuppressive representatives recommended for patients who have undergone heart hair transplant significantly rise to harmful levels when co-administered with Paxlovid.

When co-administered with Paxlovid, the plasma levels of immunosuppressive agents recommended for clients who have gone through heart transplantation exponentially increase to hazardous levels. Short-term decrease of dosing of immunosuppressive agents would require regular tracking and be logistically challenging. Alternative COVID-19 therapies ought to be considered in these clients.

Co-administration of simvastatin or lovastatin with Paxlovid can lead to increased plasma levels and subsequent muscle weakness (myopathy) and rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which the breakdown of muscle tissue launches a destructive protein into the bloodstream. These representatives need to be stopped prior to initiation of Paxlovid.


Specific statins

Plasma concentration of ranolazine used to deal with angina and other heart-related chest discomfort is greatly increased in the existence of CPY450 inhibitors like Paxlovid, therefore increasing the risk of medically substantial QT prolongation and torsade de pointes (a kind of arrhythmia). Co-administration of Paxlovid is for that reason contraindicated. If prescribing Paxlovid, momentary discontinuation of ranolazine is recommended.

The authors conclude awareness and accessibility of other COVID-19 treatments enable clinicians to offer alternative treatment options to patients who are not able to take Paxlovid due to DDIs.
Recommendation: “Cardiovascular Drug Interactions With Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir in Patients With COVID-19” by Sonu Abraham, Anju Nohria, Tomas G. Neilan, Aarti Asnani, Anu Mariam Saji, Jui Shah, Tara Lech, Jason Grossman, George M. Abraham, Daniel P. McQuillen, David T. Martin, Paul E. Sax, Sourbha S. Dani, and Sarju Ganatra, 12 October 2022, Journal of the American College of Cardiology.DOI: 10.1016/ j.jacc.2022.08.800.