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Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Trade names Coreg
AHFS/ monograph
MedlinePlus a697042
  • C
Legal status
  • (Prescription only)
Routes of
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 25–35%
Protein binding 98%
Metabolism Liver (CYP2D6, CYP2C9)
Biological half-life 7–10 hours
Excretion Urine (16%), Feces (60%)
CAS Registry Number 72956-09-3 YesY
ATC code C07AG02
PubChem CID: 2585
DrugBank DB01136 YesY
ChemSpider 2487 YesY
UNII 0K47UL67F2 YesY
KEGG D00255 YesY
Chemical data
Formula C24H26N2O4
Molecular mass 406.474
 YesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Carvedilol is a nonselective beta blocker/alpha-1 blocker used in the treatment of mild to severe congestive heart failure (CHF) and high blood pressure. It is marketed under various trade names including Carvil (Zydus Cadila), Coreg (GSK), Dilatrend , Kredex (Roche), Eucardic (Roche), and Carloc (Cipla) as a generic drug (as of September 5, 2007 in the U.S.),[1] and as a controlled-release formulation, marketed in the US as Coreg CR (GSK). Carvedilol was discovered by Fritz Wiedemann at Boehringer Mannheim.[2] It has had a significant role in the treatment of congestive heart failure.


Carvedilol is both a beta blocker1, β2) and alpha blocker1):

  • Norepinephrine stimulates the nerves that control the muscles of the heart by binding to the β1- and β2-adrenergic receptors. Carvedilol blocks the binding to those receptors,[3] which slows the heart rhythm and reduces the force of the heart's pumping. This lowers blood pressure thus reducing the workload of the heart, which is particularly beneficial in heart failure patients.
  • Norepinephrine also binds to the α1-adrenergic receptors on blood vessels, causing them to constrict and raise blood pressure. Carvedilol blocks this binding to the α1-adrenergic receptors too,[4] which also lowers blood pressure.

Relative to other beta blockers, carvedilol has minimal inverse agonist activity.[5] This suggests that carvedilol has a reduced negative chronotropic and inotropic effect compared to other beta blockers, which may decrease its potential to worsen symptoms of heart failure. However, to date this theoretical benefit has not been established in clinical trials, and the current version of the ACC/AHA guidelines on congestive heart failure management does not give preference to carvedilol over other beta-blockers.[citation needed]

Carvedilol also acts as a functional inhibitor of acid sphingomyelinase.[6]

Carvedilol is known to act as a calcium channel blocker at high doses.[7]

Carvedilol is lipid-soluble and is able to cross the blood-brain-barrier.[8][9][10]

Side effects[edit]

The most common side effects include dizziness, fatigue, low blood pressure, diarrhea, weakness, slowed heart rate, and weight gain.[11]


Carvedilol has enantiomers with distinct pharmacodynamics.[12]

The term "racemic carvedilol" is sometimes used to explicitly denote that both enantiomers are applied.[13]

Clinical use[edit]

Main article: Beta blocker

Carvedilol is indicated in the management of congestive heart failure (CHF), as an adjunct to conventional treatments (ACE inhibitors and diuretics). The use of carvedilol has been shown to provide additional morbidity and mortality benefits in severe CHF.[14] Carvedilol (Carvil) is available at the following doses 3.125 mg (smallest), followed by 6.25 mg,12.5 mg, and 25 mg white tablets. Coreg CR is available at the following doses: 10 mg(white/green capsules), 20 mg(white/yellow capsules), 40 mg(yellow/green capsules), and 80 mg(white capsules).[15]

U.S. supply issues[edit]

On January 10, 2006 carvedilol supply became limited in the United States, due to changes in documentation procedures at a plant. This was lifted on April 27, 2006 in a Dear Pharmacist letter.[16]

Approval of controlled-release formulation[edit]

On October 20, 2006, the FDA approved a controlled release formulation of carvedilol; it is marketed as Coreg CR.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Press Release, FDA Approves First Generic Versions of Coreg, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Sep. 5, 2007
  2. ^ U.S. Patent 4503067
  3. ^ Stafylas PC, Sarafidis PA (2008). "Carvedilol in hypertension treatment". Vasc Health Risk Manag 4 (1): 23–30. doi:10.2147/vhrm.2008.04.01.23. PMC 2464772. PMID 18629377. 
  4. ^ Othman AA, Tenero DM, Boyle DA, Eddington ND, Fossler MJ (2007). "Population pharmacokinetics of S(−)-carvedilol in healthy volunteers after administration of the immediate-release (IR) and the new controlled-release (CR) dosage forms of the racemate". AAPS J 9 (2): E208–18. doi:10.1208/aapsj0902023. PMC 2751410. PMID 17614362. 
  5. ^ Vanderhoff BT, Ruppel HM, Amsterdam PB (November 1998). "Carvedilol: the new role of beta blockers in congestive heart failure". Am Fam Physician 58 (7): 1627–34, 1641–2. PMID 9824960. 
  6. ^ Kornhuber J, Muehlbacher M, Trapp S, Pechmann S, Friedl A, Reichel M, Mühle C, Terfloth L, Groemer T, Spitzer G, Liedl K, Gulbins E, Tripal P (2011). "Identification of novel functional inhibitors of acid sphingomyelinase". PLoS ONE 6 (8): e23852. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023852. PMC 3166082. PMID 21909365. 
  7. ^ Stephen Brennan (2009). MRCP Cardiology MCQs. Radcliffe Publishing. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-1-84619-358-3. 
  8. ^ Manuchair Ebadi (29 December 1997). CRC Desk Reference of Clinical Pharmacology. CRC Press. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-0-8493-9683-0. 
  9. ^ Stephen Jackson; Paul Jansen; Arduino Mangoni (22 April 2009). Prescribing for Elderly Patients. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 46–. ISBN 978-0-470-02429-4. 
  10. ^ Joseph Colombo; Rohit Arora; Nicholas L. DePace; Charlotte Ball (22 September 2014). Clinical Autonomic Dysfunction: Measurement, Indications, Therapies, and Outcomes. Springer. pp. 161–. ISBN 978-3-319-07371-2. 
  11. ^ Carvedilol Official FDA information, side effects and uses., October 11, 2009.
  12. ^ Horiuchi I, Nozawa T, Fujii N; et al. (May 2008). "Pharmacokinetics of R- and S-carvedilol in routinely treated Japanese patients with heart failure". Biol. Pharm. Bull. 31 (5): 976–80. doi:10.1248/bpb.31.976. PMID 18451529. [dead link]
  13. ^ Takekuma Y, Takenaka T, Yamazaki K, Ueno K, Sugawara M (November 2007). "Stereoselective metabolism of racemic carvedilol by UGT1A1 and UGT2B7, and effects of mutation of these enzymes on glucuronidation activity". Biol. Pharm. Bull. 30 (11): 2146–53. doi:10.1248/bpb.30.2146. PMID 17978490. [dead link]
  14. ^ Packer M, Fowler MB, Roecker EB; et al. (October 2002). "Effect of carvedilol on the morbidity of patients with severe chronic heart failure: results of the carvedilol prospective randomized cumulative survival (COPERNICUS) study". Circulation 106 (17): 2194–9. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000035653.72855.BF. PMID 12390947. 
  15. ^ "Facts & Comparisons® eAnswers". Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  16. ^ [1][dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Chakraborty, Subhashis; Shukla, Dali; Mishra, Brahmeshwar; Singh, Sanjay (February 2010). "Clinical updates on carvedilol: a first choice β-blocker in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases". Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism & Toxicology 6 (2): 237–250. doi:10.1517/17425250903540220. PMID 20073998. 

External links[edit]