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Severe arrhythmia as a result of the interaction of cetirizine and pilsicainide in a patient with renal insufficiency: first case presentation showing competition for excretion via renal multidrug resistance protein 1 and organic cation transporter 2.

Author(s): Tsuruoka S, Ioka T, Wakaumi M, Sakamoto K, Ookami H, Fujimura A

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmacology, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Jichi Medical School, Tochigi, Japan. tsuru@jichi.ac.jp

Publication date & source: 2006-04, Clin Pharmacol Ther., 79(4):389-96.

Publication type: Case Reports; Clinical Conference; Randomized Controlled Trial

A 72-year-old woman with renal insufficiency who was taking oral pilsicainide (150 mg/d) complained of feeling faint 3 days after she was prescribed oral cetirizine (20 mg/d). She was found to have a wide QRS wave with bradycardia. Her symptoms were relieved by termination of pilsicainide. The plasma concentrations of both drugs were significantly increased during the coadministration, and the cetirizine concentration decreased on cessation of pilsicainide despite the fact that treatment with cetirizine was continued, which suggested that the fainting was induced by the pharmacokinetic drug interaction. A pharmacokinetic study in 6 healthy male volunteers after a single dose of either cetirizine (20 mg) or pilsicainide (50 mg), or both, found that the renal clearance of each drug was significantly decreased by the coadministration of the drugs (from 475 +/- 101 mL/min to 279 +/- 117 mL/min for pilsicainide and from 189 +/- 37 mL/min to 118 +/- 28 mL/min for cetirizine; P = .008 and .009, respectively). In vitro studies using Xenopus oocytes with microinjected human organic cation transporter 2 and renal cells transfected with human multidrug resistance protein 1 revealed that the transport of the substrates of these transporters was inhibited by either cetirizine or pilsicainide. Thus elevated concentrations of these drugs as a result of a pharmacokinetic drug-drug interaction via either human multidrug resistance protein 1 or human organic cation transporter 2 (or both) in the renal tubular cells might have caused the arrhythmia in our patient. Although cetirizine has less potential for causing arrhythmias than other histamine 1 blockers, such an interaction should be considered, especially in patients with renal insufficiency who are receiving pilsicainide.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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