Acute, subchronic, and chronic toxicity studies were conducted in dogs with the new vasodilator/cardiotonic drug isomazole (IMZ) to support, in part, clinical investigations of this agent in humans. Single oral doses of IMZ of 25, 50, or 100 mg/kg given to English pointer dogs (2/dose) caused a marked drop in systemic blood pressure and reflex-induced increases in heart rate to values well over 200 beats per minute. These responses were maintained for 12 to 22 hr depending on the dose given. One of the dogs receiving 100 mg/kg died at 4.5 hr postdose. Results of subchronic (3 months) and chronic (1 year) studies in beagle dogs (4/sex/dose group), in which measurable plasma levels of the drug and its metabolites were found, indicated that IMZ did not produce any discernible adverse findings when given in doses up to 16 mg/kg, other than expected cardiotoxic effects. The plasma t1/2 of IMZ at 16 mg/kg increased to between 4 and 8 hr from 2 hr noted at lower doses. In the 1-year study, at all doses and in both sexes, plasma levels of IMZ declined over the first month, stabilizing (at the 2 and 6 mg/kg doses) thereafter for the duration of the study. At the high dose of 16 mg/kg, after 1 year plasma levels of IMZ exceeded (females) or equaled (males) the 1-month values. At peak plasma levels of IMZ (2 hr postdose), plasma levels of parent drug increased linearly with the dose. The cardiotoxic effects consisted of substantial postdose increases in heart rate throughout the course of treatment (5 mg/kg and above), significant increases in heart weight (6 mg/kg and above), and multifocal myocardial fibrosis (6 mg/kg and above). There was a decline in basal heart rate at doses of 12.5 mg/kg and higher. The results of these studies demonstrated that repeated IMZ administration, as expected, was cardiotoxic to the dog, a species relatively sensitive to the pharmacological activity and hemodynamic changes induced by vasodilator/cardiotonic drugs. The no-effect dose level for cardiotoxicity in the repeated dose studies was considered to be 2 mg/kg, the lowest dose tested.
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