We tested the hypothesis that resolution versus persistence of symptomatic ischaemia and/or development of nausea/dizziness on the third day of loading with perhexiline maleate (PM), is correlated with perhexiline plasma concentrations after the standard loading phase in patients with acute coronary syndromes. Forty consecutive patients with either unstable angina pectoris or non-Q-wave myocardial infarction with persistent angina pectoris, despite maximal pharmacological therapy (other than PM), were studied. All patients received PM 400 mg/day for 3 days and 200 mg/day thereafter. On days 2 and 3 observers blinded to the 72-96 h plasma perhexiline concentration assessed the patient regarding episodes of angina and/or nausea/dizziness. On the third day of loading with PM, 12 patients experienced angina and 11 patients had nausea and/or dizziness. Plasma perhexiline concentrations at 72-96 h varied widely: mean 0.46 ± 0.26 (range 0.11-1.77) μg/ml. There was a relationship of borderline statistical significance between resolution of anginal symptoms and plasma perhexiline concentration >0.15 μg/ml (p = 0.055). There was a close relationship between emergence of nausea/dizziness with plasma perhexiline concentration >0.60 μg/ml (p < 0.01). We conclude that this study (a) suggests that PM exerts incremental antianginal effects over those of other antiischaemic agents in patients with acute coronary syndromes and (b) establishes that the development of nausea and/or dizziness in such patients is strongly predictive of accumulation of perhexiline beyond the therapeutic range of the drug.
- Acute ischaemic syndromes
- Perhexiline maleate