What is Ranexa?
Ranexa is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with angina that keeps coming back (chronic angina). Ranexa may be used with other medicines that are used for heart problems and blood pressure control.
Please see Important Safety Information about Ranexa.
What is chronic angina?
Chronic angina means pain or discomfort that keeps coming back in any of these areas1:
There are other possible signs and symptoms of angina including shortness of breath.
Angina usually comes on when you are active or under stress. Chronic angina is a symptom of a heart problem called coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as coronary artery disease (CAD). When you have CHD, the blood vessels in your heart become stiff and narrow. Oxygen-rich blood cannot reach your heart muscle easily. Angina comes on when too little oxygen reaches your heart muscle.
What you might expect with Ranexa
The CARISA study was a 12-week clinical trial of about 800 patients with chronic angina. About a third of the patients took Ranexa (ranolazine) 1000 mg and their regular angina medicines. Another group of patients took their regular medicines without Ranexa. The average age of patients in the study was 64 years old. Over 75% of them were men.
The study showed that, compared to patients taking their regular angina medicines without Ranexa, patients taking Ranexa had2:
- More time walking
Exercise time on a treadmill stress test went up by 24 seconds.
- Fewer angina attacks
Angina attacks per week went down by more than 30% (from 3 to 2).
- Less nitroglycerin use
Patients taking Ranexa used fewer nitroglycerin tablets per week. The number of tablets taken per week went down more than 30% (from 3 to 2).
Not all patients respond to Ranexa the same way. Men improved more than women in exercise time and in lowering the number of angina attacks per week. In the CARISA study, the most common side effects reported were constipation, dizziness, nausea, and weakness.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Who should not take Ranexa?
Do not take Ranexa if:
- you take any of the following medicines:
- for fungus infection: ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox, Onmel)
- for infection: clarithromycin (Biaxin)
- for depression: nefazodone
- for HIV: nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), lopinavir and ritonavir (Kaletra), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase).
- for tuberculosis (TB): rifampin (Rifadin), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifapentine (Priftin)
- for seizures: phenobarbital, phenytoin (Phenytek, Dilantin, Dilantin‐125), carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- the herbal supplement St. John's wort
- you have scarring (cirrhosis) of your liver
See below for additional Important Safety Information.
Learn more about Ranexa:
What are the possible side effects of Ranexa?
- Ranexa may cause serious side effects, including
- changes in the electrical activity of your heart called QT prolongation.
Your doctor may do tests to check the electrical activity of your heart. Tell your doctor right away if you feel faint, lightheaded,
or feel your heart beating irregularly or fast, as these may be symptoms of QT prolongation. Also tell your doctor if you, or a
family member, have a history of a heart problem called "QT prolongation” or “long QT syndrome."
- kidney failure in people who already have severe kidney problems. Your doctor may need to do tests to check how your kidneys are working.
- The most common side effects of Ranexa include dizziness, headache, constipation and nausea.
- Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
What else do I need to know about taking Ranexa?
- Tell your doctor about all medical conditions you have and about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non‐prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Ranexa may affect the way other medicines work and other medicines may affect how Ranexa works.
- Swallow Ranexa tablets whole. Do not crush, break, or chew Ranexa tablets.
- If you miss a dose of Ranexa, wait to take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take more than 1 dose at a time.
- Limit the amount of grapefruit products you eat or drink. Grapefruit can cause your blood levels of Ranexa to increase.
- Ranexa can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. If you have these symptoms, do not drive a car, use machinery, or do anything that needs you to be alert.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch, or call 1‐800‐FDA‐1088.
Please see full Prescribing Information including Patient Information for Ranexa (ranolazine).
- Ranexa [patient information]. Foster City, CA: Gilead Sciences, Inc.; 2013.
- Chaitman BR, Pepine CJ, Parker JO, et al. Effects of ranolazine with atenolol, amlodipine, or diltiazem on exercise tolerance and angina frequency in patients with severe chronic angina: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004;291:309-316.