- ivabradine hydrochloride
POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Ivabradine 7.5mg Film-coated Tablets
Each film-coated tablet contains 7.5 mg ivabradine (as hydrochloride).
Excipient with known effect: 80.48 mg lactose monohydrate
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
White or almost white, triangular, biconvex, film-coated tablet, marked with “A267” on one side, tablet dimensions 7.5 x 7.2 mm.
Symptomatic treatment of chronic stable angina pectoris
Ivabradine is indicated for the symptomatic treatment of chronic stable angina pectoris in coronary artery disease adults with normal sinus rhythm and heart rate ≥ 70 bpm. Ivabradine is indicated:
- in adults unable to tolerate or with a contra-indication to the use of beta-blockers
- or in combination with beta-blockers in patients inadequately controlled with an optimal beta-blocker dose.
Treatment of chronic heart failure
Ivabradine is indicated in chronic heart failure NYHA II to IV class with systolic dysfunction, in patients in sinus rhythm and whose heart rate is ≥ 75 bpm, in combination with standard therapy including beta-blocker therapy or when beta-blocker therapy is contraindicated or not tolerated (see section 5.1).
For the different doses, film-coated tablets containing 5 mg and 7.5 mg ivabradine are available.
Symptomatic treatment of chronic stable angina pectoris
It is recommended that the decision to initiate or titrate treatment takes place with the availability of serial heart rate measurements, ECG or ambulatory 24-hour monitoring.
The starting dose of ivabradine should not exceed 5 mg twice daily in patients aged below 75 years. After three to four weeks of treatment, if the patient is still symptomatic, if the initial dose is well tolerated and if resting heart rate remains above 60 bpm, the dose may be increased to the next higher dose in patients receiving 2.5 mg twice daily or 5 mg twice daily. The maintenance dose should not exceed 7.5 mg twice daily.
If there is no improvement in symptoms of angina within 3 months after start of treatment, treatment of ivabradine should be discontinued.
In addition, discontinuation of treatment should be considered if there is only limited symptomatic response and when there is no clinically relevant reduction in resting heart rate within three months.
If, during treatment, heart rate decreases below 50 beats per minute (bpm) at rest or the patient experiences symptoms related to bradycardia such as dizziness, fatigue or hypotension, the dose must be titrated downward including the lowest dose of 2.5 mg twice daily (one half 5 mg tablet twice daily). After dose reduction, heart rate should be monitored (see section 4.4). Treatment must be discontinued if heart rate remains below 50 bpm or symptoms of bradycardia persist despite dose reduction.
Treatment of chronic heart failure
The treatment has to be initiated only in patient with stable heart failure. It is recommended that the treating physician should be experienced in the management of chronic heart failure.
The usual recommended starting dose of ivabradine is 5 mg twice daily. After two weeks of treatment, the dose can be increased to 7.5 mg twice daily if resting heart rate is persistently above 60 bpm or decreased to 2.5 mg twice daily (one half 5 mg tablet twice daily) if resting heart rate is persistently below 50 bpm or in case of symptoms related to bradycardia such as dizziness, fatigue or hypotension. If heart rate is between 50 and 60 bpm, the dose of 5 mg twice daily should be maintained.
If during treatment, heart rate decreases persistently below 50 beats per minute (bpm) at rest or the patient experiences symptoms related to bradycardia, the dose must be titrated downward to the next lower dose in patients receiving 7.5 mg twice daily or 5 mg twice daily. If heart rate increases persistently above 60 beats per minute at rest, the dose can be up titrated to the next upper dose in patients receiving 2.5 mg twice daily or 5 mg twice daily.
Treatment must be discontinued if heart rate remains below 50 bpm or symptoms of bradycardia persist (see section 4.4).
In patients aged 75 years or more, a lower starting dose should be considered (2.5 mg twice daily i.e. one half 5 mg tablet twice daily) before up-titration if necessary.
No dose adjustment is required in patients with renal insufficiency and creatinine clearance above 15 ml/min (see section 5.2).
No data are available in patients with creatinine clearance below 15 ml/min. Ivabradine should therefore be used with precaution in this population.
No dose adjustment is required in patients with mild hepatic impairment. Caution should be exercised when using ivabradine in patients with moderate hepatic impairment. Ivabradine is contra-indicated for use in patients with severe hepatic insufficiency, since it has not been studied in this population and a large increase in systemic exposure is anticipated (see sections 4.3 and 5.2).
The safety and efficacy of ivabradine for the treatment of chronic heart failure in children aged below 18 years have not been established.
Available data are described in sections 5.1 and 5.2 but no recommendation on a posology can be made.
Method of administration
Tablets must be taken orally twice daily, i.e. once in the morning and once in the evening during meals (see section 5.2).
- Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1
- Resting heart rate below 70 beats per minute prior to treatment
- Cardiogenic shock
- Acute myocardial infarction
- Severe hypotension (< 90/50 mmHg)
- Severe hepatic insufficiency
- Sick sinus syndrome
- Sino-atrial block
- Unstable or acute heart failure
- Pacemaker dependent (heart rate imposed exclusively by the pacemaker)
- Unstable angina
- AV-block of 3rd degree
- Combination with strong cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors such as azole antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole), macrolide antibiotics (clarithromycin, erythromycin per os, josamycin, telithromycin), HIV protease inhibitors (nelfinavir, ritonavir) and nefazodone (see sections 4.5 and 5.2)
- Combination with verapamil or diltiazem which are moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors with heart rate reducing properties (see section 4.5)
- Pregnancy, lactation and women of child-bearing potential not using appropriate contraceptive measures (see section 4.6)
Lack of benefit on clinical outcomes in patients with symptomatic chronic stable angina pectoris Ivabradine is indicated only for symptomatic treatment of chronic stable angina pectoris because ivabradine has no benefits on cardiovascular outcomes (e.g. myocardial infarction or cardiovascular death) (see section 5.1).
Measurement of heart rate
Given that the heart rate may fluctuate considerably over time, serial heart rate measurements, ECG or ambulatory 24-hour monitoring should be considered when determining resting heart rate before initiation of ivabradine treatment and in patients on treatment with ivabradine when titration is considered. This also applies to patients with a low heart rate, in particular when heart rate decreases below 50 bpm, or after dose reduction (see section 4.2).
Ivabradine is not effective in the treatment or prevention of cardiac arrhythmias and likely loses its efficacy when a tachyarrhythmia occurs (e.g. ventricular or supraventricular tachycardia). Ivabradine is therefore not recommended in patients with atrial fibrillation or other cardiac arrhythmias that interfere with sinus node function.
In patients treated with ivabradine the risk of developing atrial fibrillation is increased (see section 4.8). Atrial fibrillation has been more common in patients using concomitantly amiodarone or potent class I anti-arrhythmics. It is recommended to regularly clinically monitor ivabradine treated patients for the occurrence of atrial fibrillation (sustained or paroxysmal), which should also include ECG monitoring if clinically indicated (e.g. in case of exacerbated angina, palpitations, irregular pulse).
Patients should be informed of signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation and be advised to contact their physician if these occur.
If atrial fibrillation develops during treatment, the balance of benefits and risks of continued ivabradine treatment should be carefully reconsidered.
Chronic heart failure patients with intraventricular conduction defects (bundle branch block left, bundle branch block right) and ventricular dyssynchrony should be monitored closely.
Use in patients with AV-block of 2nd degree
Ivabradine is not recommended in patients with AV-block of 2nd degree.
Use in patients with a low heart rate
Ivabradine must not be initiated in patients with a pre-treatment resting heart rate below 70 beats per minute (see section 4.3).
If, during treatment, resting heart rate decreases persistently below 50 bpm or the patient experiences symptoms related to bradycardia such as dizziness, fatigue or hypotension, the dose must be titrated downward or treatment discontinued if heart rate below 50 bpm or symptoms of bradycardia persist (see section 4.2).
Combination with calcium channel blockers
Concomitant use of ivabradine with heart rate reducing calcium channel blockers such as verapamil or diltiazem is contraindicated (see sections 4.3 and 4.5). No safety issue has been raised on the combination of ivabradine with nitrates and dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine. Additional efficacy of ivabradine in combination with dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers has not been established (see section 5.1).
Chronic heart failure
Heart failure must be stable before considering ivabradine treatment. Ivabradine should be used with caution in heart failure patients with NYHA functional classification IV due to limited amount of data in this population.
The use of ivabradine is not recommended immediately after a stroke since no data is available in these situations.
Ivabradine influences retinal function. There is no evidence of a toxic effect of long-term ivabradine treatment on the retina (see section 5.1). Cessation of treatment should be considered if any unexpected deterioration in visual function occurs. Caution should be exercised in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.
Precautions for use
Patients with hypotension
Limited data are available in patients with mild to moderate hypotension, and ivabradine should therefore be used with caution in these patients. Ivabradine is contra-indicated in patients with severe hypotension (blood pressure < 90/50 mmHg) (see section 4.3).
Atrial fibrillation - Cardiac arrhythmias
There is no evidence of risk of (excessive) bradycardia on return to sinus rhythm when pharmacological cardioversion is initiated in patients treated with ivabradine. However, in the absence of extensive data, non-urgent DC-cardioversion should be considered 24 hours after the last dose of ivabradine.
Use in patients with congenital QT syndrome or treated with QT prolonging medicinal products
The use of ivabradine in patients with congenital QT syndrome or treated with QT prolonging medicinal products should be avoided (see section 4.5). If the combination appears necessary, close cardiac monitoring is needed.
Heart rate reduction, as caused by ivabradine, may exacerbate QT prolongation, which may give rise to severe arrhythmias, in particular Torsade de pointes.
Hypertensive patients requiring blood pressure treatment modifications.
In the SHIFT trial more patients experienced episodes of increased blood pressure while treated with ivabradine (7.1%) compared to patients treated with placebo (6.1%). These episodes occurred most frequently shortly after blood pressure treatment was modified, were transient, and did not affect the treatment effect of ivabradine. When treatment modifications are made in chronic heart failure patients treated with ivabradine blood pressure should be monitored at an appropriate interval (see section 4.8).
Since Ivabradine tablets contain lactose, patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption should not take this medicinal product.
Concomitant use not recommended
QT prolonging medicinal products
- Cardiovascular QT prolonging medicinal products (e.g. quinidine, disopyramide, bepridil, sotalol, ibutilide, amiodarone).
- Non cardiovascular QT prolonging medicinal products (e.g. pimozide, ziprasidone, sertindole, mefloquine, halofantrine, pentamidine, cisapride, intravenous erythromycin).
The concomitant use of cardiovascular and non cardiovascular QT prolonging medicinal products with ivabradine should be avoided since QT prolongation may be exacerbated by heart rate reduction. If the combination appears necessary, close cardiac monitoring is needed (see section 4.4).
Concomitant use with precaution
Potassium-depleting diuretics (thiazide diuretics and loop diuretics): hypokalemia can increase the risk of arrhythmia. As ivabradine may cause bradycardia, the resulting combination of hypokalemia and bradycardia is a predisposing factor to the onset of severe arrhythmias, especially in patients with long QT syndrome, whether congenital or substance-induced.
Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4)
Ivabradine is metabolised by CYP3A4 only and it is a very weak inhibitor of this cytochrome. Ivabradine was shown not to influence the metabolism and plasma concentrations of other CYP3A4 substrates (mild, moderate and strong inhibitors). CYP3A4 inhibitors and inducers are liable to interact with ivabradine and influence its metabolism and pharmacokinetics to a clinically significant extent. Drug-drug interaction studies have established that CYP3A4 inhibitors increase ivabradine plasma concentrations, while inducers decrease them. Increased plasma concentrations of ivabradine may be associated with the risk of excessive bradycardia (see section 4.4).
Contra-indication of concomitant use
The concomitant use of potent CYP3A4 inhibitors such as azole antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole), macrolide antibiotics (clarithromycin, erythromycin per os, josamycin, telithromycin), HIV protease inhibitors (nelfinavir, ritonavir) and nefazodone is contra-indicated (see section 4.3). The potent CYP3A4 inhibitors ketoconazole (200 mg once daily) and josamycin (1 g twice daily) increased ivabradine mean plasma exposure by 7 to 8 fold.
Moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors: specific interaction studies in healthy volunteers and patients have shown that the combination of ivabradine with the heart rate reducing agents diltiazem or verapamil resulted in an increase in ivabradine exposure (2 to 3 fold increase in AUC) and an additional heart rate reduction of 5 bpm. The concomitant use of ivabradine with these medicinal products is contraindicated (see section 4.3).
Concomitant use not recommended
Grapefruit juice: ivabradine exposure was increased by 2-fold following the co- administration with grapefruit juice. Therefore the intake of grapefruit juice should be avoided.
Concomitant use with precautions
- Moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors: the concomitant use of ivabradine with other moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g. fluconazole) may be considered at the starting dose of 2.5 mg twice daily and if resting heart rate is above 70 bpm, with monitoring of heart rate.
- CYP3A4 inducers: CYP3A4 inducers (e.g. rifampicin, barbiturates, phenytoin, Hypericum perforatum [St John's Wort]) may decrease ivabradine exposure and activity. The concomitant use of CYP3A4 inducing medicinal products may require an adjustment of the dose of ivabradine. The combination of ivabradine 10 mg twice daily with St John's Wort was shown to reduce ivabradine AUC by half. The intake of St John's Wort should be restricted during the treatment with ivabradine.
Other concomitant use
Specific drug-drug interaction studies have shown no clinically significant effect of the following medicinal products on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ivabradine: proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole, lansoprazole), sildenafil, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (simvastatin), dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (amlodipine, lacidipine), digoxin and warfarin. In addition there was no clinically significant effect of ivabradine on the pharmacokinetics of simvastatin, amlodipine, lacidipine, on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of digoxin, warfarin and on the pharmacodynamics of aspirin.
In pivotal phase III clinical trials the following medicinal products were routinely combined with ivabradine with no evidence of safety concerns: angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II antagonists, beta-blockers, diuretics, anti- aldosterone agents, short and long acting nitrates, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, fibrates, proton pump inhibitors, oral antidiabetics, aspirin and other anti- platelet medicinal products.
Interaction studies have only been performed in adults.
Women of childbearing potential
Women of child-bearing potential should use appropriate contraceptive measures during treatment (see section 4.3).
There are no or limited amount of data from the use of ivabradine in pregnant women.
Studies in animals have shown reproductive toxicity. These studies have shown embryotoxic and teratogenic effects (see section 5.3). The potential risk for humans is unknown. Therefore, ivabradine is contra-indicated during pregnancy (see section 4.3).
Animal studies indicate that ivabradine is excreted in milk. Therefore, ivabradine is contra-indicated during breast-feeding (see section 4.3).
Women that need treatment with ivabradine should stop breast-feeding, and choose for another way of feeding their child.
Studies in rats have shown no effect on fertility in males and females (see section 5.3).
A specific study to assess the possible influence of ivabradine on driving performance has been performed in healthy volunteers where no alteration of the driving performance was evidenced. However, in post-marketing experience, cases of impaired driving ability due to visual symptoms have been reported. Ivabradine may cause transient luminous phenomena consisting mainly of phosphenes (see section 4.8). The possible occurrence of such luminous phenomena should be taken into account when driving or using machines in situations where sudden variations in light intensity may occur, especially when driving at night.
Ivabradine has no influence on the ability to use machines.
Summary of the safety profile
Ivabradine has been studied in clinical trials involving nearly 45,000 participants.
The most common adverse reactions with ivabradine, luminous phenomena (phosphenes) and bradycardia, are dose dependent and related to the pharmacological effect of the medicinal product.
Tabulated list of adverse reactions
The following adverse reactions have been reported during clinical trials and are ranked using the following frequency: very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000); not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).
System Organ Class
Blood and lymphatic system disorders
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Nervous system disorders
Headache, generally during the first month of treatment
Dizziness, possibly related to bradycardia
Syncope, possibly related to bradycardia
Luminous phenomena (phosphenes)
Ear and labyrinth disorders
AV 1st degree block (ECG prolonged PQ interval)
Palpitations, supraventricular extrasystoles
AV 2nd degree block, AV 3rd degree block
Sick sinus syndrome
Uncontrolled blood pressure
Hypotension, possibly related to bradycardia
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
General disorders and administration site conditions
Asthenia, possibly related to bradycardia
Fatigue, possibly related to bradycardia
Malaise, possibly related to bradycardia
Elevated creatinine in blood
ECG prolonged QT interval
* Frequency calculated from clinical trials for adverse events detected from spontaneous report
Description of selected adverse reactions
Luminous phenomena (phosphenes) were reported by 14.5% of patients, described as a transient enhanced brightness in a limited area of the visual field. They are usually triggered by sudden variations in light intensity. Phosphenes may also be described as a halo, image decomposition (stroboscopic or kaleidoscopic effects), coloured bright lights, or multiple image (retinal persistency). The onset of phosphenes is generally within the first two months of treatment after which they may occur repeatedly. Phosphenes were generally reported to be of mild to moderate intensity. All phosphenes resolved during or after treatment, of which a majority (77.5%) resolved during treatment. Fewer than 1% of patients changed their daily routine or discontinued the treatment in relation with phosphenes.
Bradycardia was reported by 3.3% of patients particularly within the first 2 to 3 months of treatment initiation. 0.5% of patients experienced a severe bradycardia below or equal to 40 bpm.
In the SIGNIFY study atrial fibrillation was observed in 5.3% of patients taking ivabradine compared to 3.8% in the placebo group. In a pooled analysis of all the Phase II/III double blind controlled clinical trials with a duration of at least 3 months including more than 40,000 patients, the incidence of atrial fibrillation was 4.86% in ivabradine treated patients compared to 4.08% in controls, corresponding to a hazard ratio of 1.26, 95% CI [1.15-1.39].
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
Overdose may lead to severe and prolonged bradycardia (see section 4.8).
Severe bradycardia should be treated symptomatically in a specialised environment. In the event of bradycardia with poor haemodynamic tolerance, symptomatic treatment including intravenous beta-stimulating medicinal products such as isoprenaline may be considered. Temporary cardiac electrical pacing may be instituted if required.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Cardiac therapy, other cardiac preparations, ATC code: C01EB17.
Mechanism of action
Ivabradine is a pure heart rate lowering agent, acting by selective and specific inhibition of the cardiac pacemaker If current that controls the spontaneous diastolic depolarisation in the sinus node and regulates heart rate. The cardiac effects are specific to the sinus node with no effect on intra-atrial, atrioventricular or intraventricular conduction times, nor on myocardial contractility or ventricular repolarisation.
Ivabradine can interact also with the retinal current Ih which closely resembles cardiac If. It participates in the temporal resolution of the visual system, by curtailing the retinal response to bright light stimuli. Under triggering circumstances (e.g. rapid changes in luminosity), partial inhibition of Ih by ivabradine underlies the luminous phenomena that may be occasionally experienced by patients. Luminous phenomena (phosphenes) are described as a transient enhanced brightness in a limited area of the visual field (see section 4.8).
The main pharmacodynamic property of ivabradine in humans is a specific dose dependent reduction in heart rate. Analysis of heart rate reduction with doses up to 20 mg twice daily indicates a trend towards a plateau effect which is consistent with a reduced risk of severe bradycardia below 40 bpm (see section 4.8).
At usual recommended doses, heart rate reduction is approximately 10 bpm at rest and during exercise. This leads to a reduction in cardiac workload and myocardial oxygen consumption. Ivabradine does not influence intracardiac conduction, contractility (no negative inotropic effect) or ventricular repolarisation:
- in clinical electrophysiology studies, ivabradine had no effect on atrioventricular or intraventricular conduction times or corrected QT intervals;
- in patients with left ventricular dysfunction (left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) between 30 and 45%), ivabradine did not have any deleterious influence on LVEF.
Clinical efficacy and safety
The antianginal and anti-ischaemic efficacy of ivabradine was studied in five double-blind randomised trials (three versus placebo, and one each versus atenolol and amlodipine). These trials included a total of 4,111 patients with chronic stable angina pectoris, of whom 2,617 received ivabradine.
Ivabradine 5 mg twice daily was shown to be effective on exercise test parameters within 3 to 4 weeks of treatment. Efficacy was confirmed with 7.5 mg twice daily. In particular, the additional benefit over 5 mg twice daily was established in a reference-controlled study versus atenolol: total exercise duration at trough was increased by about 1 minute after one month of treatment with 5 mg twice daily and further improved by almost 25 seconds after an additional 3-month period with forced titration to 7.5 mg twice daily. In this study, the antianginal and anti-ischaemic benefits of ivabradine were confirmed in patients aged 65 years or more. The efficacy of 5 and 7.5 mg twice daily was consistent across studies on exercise test parameters (total exercise duration, time to limiting angina, time to angina onset and time to 1 mm ST segment depression) and was associated with a decrease of about 70% in the rate of angina attacks. The twice-daily dosing regimen of ivabradine gave uniform efficacy over 24 hours.
In a 889-patients randomised placebo-controlled study, ivabradine given on top of atenolol 50 mg once daily showed additional efficacy on all ETT parameters at the trough of drug activity (12 hours after oral intake).
In a 725-patients randomised placebo-controlled study, ivabradine did not show additional efficacy on top of amlodipine 10 mg o.d. at the trough of drug activity (12 hours after oral intake) while an additional efficacy was shown at peak (3-4 hours after oral intake).
In a 1277-patients randomised placebo-controlled study, ivabradine demonstrated a statistically significant additional efficacy on response to treatment (defined as a decrease of at least 3 angina attacks per week and/or an increase in the time to 1 mm ST segment depression of at least 60 s during a treadmill ETT) on top of amlodipine 5 mg once daily or nifedipine GITS 30 mg once daily at the trough of drug activity (12 hours after oral ivabradine intake) over a 6-week treatment period (OR = 1.3, 95% CI [1.0–1.7]; p = 0.012). Ivabradine did not show additional efficacy on secondary endpoints of ETT parameters at the trough of drug activity while an additional efficacy was shown at peak (3-4 hours after oral ivabradine intake).
Ivabradine efficacy was fully maintained throughout the 3- or 4-month treatment periods in the efficacy trials. There was no evidence of pharmacological tolerance (loss of efficacy) developing during treatment nor of rebound phenomena after abrupt treatment discontinuation. The antianginal and anti-ischaemic effects of ivabradine were associated with dose-dependent reductions in heart rate and with a significant decrease in rate pressure product (heart rate x systolic blood pressure) at rest and during exercise. The effects on blood pressure and peripheral vascular resistance were minor and not clinically significant.
A sustained reduction of heart rate was demonstrated in patients treated with ivabradine for at least one year (n = 713). No influence on glucose or lipid metabolism was observed.
The antianginal and anti-ischaemic efficacy of ivabradine was preserved in diabetic patients (n = 457) with a similar safety profile as compared to the overall population.
A large outcome study, BEAUTIFUL, was performed in 10917 patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction (LVEF < 40%) on top of optimal background therapy with 86.9% of patients receiving beta-blockers. The main efficacy criterion was the composite of cardiovascular death, hospitalization for acute MI or hospitalization for new onset or worsening heart failure. The study showed no difference in the rate of the primary composite outcome in the ivabradine group by comparison to the placebo group (relative risk ivabradine:placebo 1.00, p = 0.945).
In a post-hoc subgroup of patients with symptomatic angina at randomisation (n = 1507), no safety signal was identified regarding cardiovascular death, hospitalization for acute MI or heart failure (ivabradine 12.0% versus placebo 15.5%, p = 0.05).
A large outcome study, SIGNIFY, was performed in 19102 patients with coronary artery disease and without clinical heart failure (LVEF > 40%), on top of optimal background therapy. A therapeutic scheme higher than the approved posology was used (starting dose 7.5 mg twice a day. (5 mg twice a day, if age ≥ 75 years) and titration up to 10 mg twice a day). The main efficacy criterion was the composite of cardiovascular death or non-fatal MI. The study showed no difference in the rate of the primary composite endpoint (PCE) in the ivabradine group by comparison to the placebo group (relative risk ivabradine/placebo 1.08, p = 0.197). Bradycardia was reported by 17.9% of patients in the ivabradine group (2.1% in the placebo group). Verapamil, diltiazem or strong CYP 3A4 inhibitors were received by 7.1% of patients during the study.
A small statistically significant increase in the PCE was observed in a pre-specified subgroup of patients with angina patients in CCS class II or higher at baseline (n = 12049) (annual rates 3.4% versus 2.9%, relative risk ivabradine/placebo 1.18, p = 0.018), but not in the subgroup of the overall angina population in CCS class ≥ I (n = 14286) (relative risk ivabradine/placebo 1.11, p = 0.110).
The higher than approved dose used in the study did not fully explain these findings.
The SHIFT study was a large multicentre, international, randomised double-blind placebo controlled outcome trial conducted in 6505 adult patients with stable chronic CHF (for ≥ 4 weeks), NYHA class II to IV, with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF ≤ 35%) and a resting heart rate ≥ 70 bpm.
Patients received standard care including beta-blockers (89%), ACE inhibitors and/or angiotensin II antagonists (91%), diuretics (83%), and anti-aldosterone agents (60%). In the ivabradine group, 67% of patients were treated with 7.5 mg twice a day. The median follow-up duration was 22.9 months. Treatment with ivabradine was associated with an average reduction in heart rate of 15 bpm from a baseline value of 80 bpm. The difference in heart rate between ivabradine and placebo arms was 10.8 bpm at 28 days, 9.1 bpm at 12 months and 8.3 bpm at 24 months.
The study demonstrated a clinically and statistically significant relative risk reduction of 18% in the rate of the primary composite endpoint of cardiovascular mortality and hospitalisation for worsening heart failure (hazard ratio: 0.82, 95% CI [0.75;0.90] – p<0.0001) apparent within 3 months of initiation of treatment. The absolute risk reduction was 4.2%. The results on the primary endpoint are mainly driven by the heart failure endpoints, hospitalisation for worsening heart failure (absolute risk reduced by 4.7%) and deaths from heart failure (absolute risk reduced by 1.1%).
Treatment effect on the primary composite endpoint, its components and secondary endpoints
Primary composite endpoint
0.82 [0.75; 0.90]
Components of the composite:
- CV death
- Hospitalisation for worsening HF
0.91 [0.80; 1.03]
0.74 [0.66; 0.83]
Other secondary endpoints:
- All cause death
- Death from HF
- Hospitalisation for any cause
- Hospitalisation for CV reason
0.90 [0.80; 1.02]
0.85 [0.78; 0.92]
The reduction in the primary endpoint was observed consistently irrespective of gender, NYHA class, ischaemic or non-ischaemic heart failure aetiology and of background history of diabetes or hypertension.
In the subgroup of patients with HR ≥ 75 bpm (n = 4150), a greater reduction was observed in the primary composite endpoint of 24% (hazard ratio: 0.76, 95% CI [0.68;0.85] – p<0.0001) and for other secondary endpoints, including all cause death (hazard ratio: 0.83, 95% CI [0.72;0.96] – p = 0.0109) and CV death (hazard ratio: 0.83, 95% CI [0.71;0.97] – p = 0.0166). In this subgroup of patients, the safety profile of ivabradine is in line with the one of the overall population.
A significant effect was observed on the primary composite endpoint in the overall group of patients receiving beta blocker therapy (hazard ratio: 0.85, 95% CI [0.76;0.94]). In the subgroup of patients with HR ≥ 75 bpm and on the recommended target dose of beta-blocker, no statistically significant benefit was observed on the primary composite endpoint (hazard ratio: 0.97, 95% CI [0.74;1.28]) and other secondary endpoints, including hospitalisation for worsening heart failure (hazard ratio: 0.79, 95% CI [0.56;1.10]) or death from heart failure (hazard ratio: 0.69, 95% CI [0.31;1.53]).
There was a significant improvement in NYHA class at last recorded value, 887 (28%) of patients on ivabradine improved versus 776 (24%) of patients on placebo (p = 0.001).
In a 97-patient randomized placebo-controlled study, the data collected during specific ophthalmologic investigations, aiming at documenting the function of the cone and rod systems and the ascending visual pathway (i.e. electroretinogram, static and kinetic visual fields, colour vision, visual acuity), in patients treated with ivabradine for chronic stable angina pectoris over 3 years, did not show any retinal toxicity.
A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study was performed in 116 paediatric patients (17 aged [6-12] months, 36 aged [1-3] years and 63 aged [3-18] years) with CHF and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) on top of optimal background treatment. 74 received ivabradine (ratio 2:1).
The starting dose was 0.02 mg/kg bid in age-subset [6-12] months, 0.05 mg/kg bid in [1-3] years and [3-18] years <40 kg, and 2.5 mg bid in [3-18] years and ≥ 40 kg. The dose was adapted depending on the therapeutic response with maximum doses of 0.2 mg/kg bid, 0.3 mg/kg bid and 15 mg bid respectively. In this study, ivabradine was administered as oral liquid formulation or tablet twice daily. The absence of pharmacokinetic difference between the 2 formulations was shown in an open-label randomised two-period cross-over study in 24 adult healthy volunteers.
A 20% heart rate reduction, without bradycardia, was achieved by 69.9% of patients in the ivabradine group versus 12.2% in the placebo group during the titration period of 2 to 8 weeks (Odds Ratio: E = 17.24, 95% CI [5.91 ; 50.30]).
The mean ivabradine doses allowing to achieve a 20% HRR were 0.13 ± 0.04 mg/kg bid, 0.10 ± 0.04 mg/kg bid and 4.1 ± 2.2 mg bid in the age subsets [1-3] years, [3-18] years and <40 kg and [3-18] years and ≥ 40 kg, respectively.
Mean LVEF increased from 31.8% to 45.3% at M012 in ivabradine group versus 35.4% to 42.3% in the placebo group. There was an improvement in NYHA class in 37.7% of ivabradine patients versus 25.0% in the placebo group. These improvements were not statistically significant.
The safety profile, over one year, was similar to the one described in adult CHF patients.
The long-term effects of ivabradine on growth, puberty and general development as well as the long-term efficacy of therapy with ivabradine in childhood to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality have not been studied.
The European Medicines Agency has waived the obligation to submit the results of studies with the reference product containing ivabradine in all subsets of the paediatric population for the treatment of angina pectoris.
The European Medicines Agency has waived the obligation to submit the results of studies with the reference product containing ivabradine in children aged 0 to less than 6 months for the treatment of chronic heart failure.
Under physiological conditions, ivabradine is rapidly released from tablets and is highly water-soluble (> 10 mg/ml). Ivabradine is the S-enantiomer with no bioconversion demonstrated in vivo. The N-desmethylated derivative of ivabradine has been identified as the main active metabolite in humans.
Absorption and bioavailability
Ivabradine is rapidly and almost completely absorbed after oral administration with a peak plasma level reached in about 1 hour under fasting condition. The absolute bioavailability of the film-coated tablets is around 40%, due to first-pass effect in the gut and liver.
Food delayed absorption by approximately 1 hour, and increased plasma exposure by 20 to 30%. The intake of the tablet during meals is recommended in order to decrease intra-individual variability in exposure (see section 4.2).
Ivabradine is approximately 70% plasma protein bound and the volume of distribution at steady-state is close to 100 l in patients. The maximum plasma concentration following chronic administration at the recommended dose of 5 mg twice daily is 22 ng/ml (CV = 29%). The average plasma concentration is 10 ng/ml (CV = 38%) at steady-state.
Ivabradine is extensively metabolised by the liver and the gut by oxidation through cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) only. The major active metabolite is the N-desmethylated derivative (S 18982) with an exposure about 40% of that of the parent compound. The metabolism of this active metabolite also involves CYP3A4. Ivabradine has low affinity for CYP3A4, shows no clinically relevant CYP3A4 induction or inhibition and is therefore unlikely to modify CYP3A4 substrate metabolism or plasma concentrations. Inversely, potent inhibitors and inducers may substantially affect ivabradine plasma concentrations (see section 4.5).
Ivabradine is eliminated with a main half-life of 2 hours (70-75% of the AUC) in plasma and an effective half-life of 11 hours. The total clearance is about 400 ml/min and the renal clearance is about 70 ml/min. Excretion of metabolites occurs to a similar extent via faeces and urine. About 4% of an oral dose is excreted unchanged in urine.
The kinetics of ivabradine is linear over an oral dose range of 0.5-24 mg.
- Elderly: no pharmacokinetic differences (AUC and Cmax) have been observed between elderly (≥ 65 years) or very elderly patients (≥ 75 years) and the overall population (see section 4.2).
- Renal impairment: the impact of renal impairment (creatinine clearance from 15 to 60 ml/min) on ivabradine pharmacokinetic is minimal, in relation with the low contribution of renal clearance (about 20%) to total elimination for both ivabradine and its main metabolite S 18982 (see section 4.2).
- Hepatic impairment: in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child Pugh score up to 7) unbound AUC of ivabradine and the main active metabolite were about 20% higher than in subjects with normal hepatic function. Data are insufficient to draw conclusions in patients with moderate hepatic impairment. No data are available in patients with severe hepatic impairment (see sections 4.2 and 4.3).
- Paediatric population: The pharmacokinetic profile of ivabradine in paediatric chronic heart failure patients aged 6 months to less than 18 years is similar to the pharmacokinetics described in adults when a titration scheme based on age and weight is applied.
Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) relationship
PK/PD relationship analysis has shown that heart rate decreases almost linearly with increasing ivabradine and S 18982 plasma concentrations for doses of up to 15-20 mg twice daily. At higher doses, the decrease in heart rate is no longer proportional to ivabradine plasma concentrations and tends to reach a plateau. High exposures to ivabradine that may occur when ivabradine is given in combination with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors may result in an excessive decrease in heart rate although this risk is reduced with moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors (see sections 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5). The PK/PD relationship of ivabradine in paediatric chronic heart failure patients aged 6 months to less than 18 years is similar to the PK/PD relationship described in adults.
Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenic potential. Reproductive toxicity studies showed no effect of ivabradine on fertility in male and female rats. When pregnant animals were treated during organogenesis at exposures close to therapeutic doses, there was a higher incidence of foetuses with cardiac defects in the rat and a small number of foetuses with ectrodactylia in the rabbit.
In dogs given ivabradine (doses of 2, 7 or 24 mg/kg/day) for one year, reversible changes in retinal function were observed but were not associated with any damage to ocular structures. These data are consistent with the pharmacological effect of ivabradine related to its interaction with hyperpolarisation-activated Ih currents in the retina, which share extensive homology with the cardiac pacemaker If current.
Other long-term repeat dose and carcinogenicity studies revealed no clinically relevant changes.
Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA)
The environmental risk assessment of ivabradine has been conducted in accordance to European guidelines on ERA.
Outcomes of these evaluations support the lack of environmental risk of ivabradine and ivabradine does not pose a threat to the environment.
Magnesium stearate (E470 B)
Silica, colloidal anhydrous (E551)
Opadry II White 85F18422 containing;
Polyvinyl alcohol (E1203)
Titanium dioxide (E171)
Macrogol 3350 (E1521)
This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
OPA-Aluminium-PE-Desiccant/Aluminium-PE blister packs. The desiccant is embedded in a polyolefin sealant layer. Multi-layered foil does not allow contact between desiccant and tablets. The blisters are packed in cardboard boxes containing: 14, 28, 30, 56, 60, 84, 90, 112 and 120 film-coated tablets.
OPA-Aluminium-PE-Desiccant/Aluminium-PE calendar blister packs. The desiccant is embedded in a polyolefin sealant layer. Multi-layered foil does not allow contact between desiccant and tablets. The blisters are packed in cardboard boxes containing: 14, 28, 30, 56, 60, 84, 90, 112 and 120 film-coated tablets
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Any unused medicinal products or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
(Trading style: Accord)