Covera-HS (verapamil)

The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.


Approval Status:

Approved January 1996

Specific Treatments:

hypertension, angina

General Information

Covera-HS is a once-daily controlled release calcium channel blocker for the treatment of hypertension and angina. Covera-HS incorporates ALZA's controlled onset, extended release delivery system.

The delivery system consists of two stages. First, it provides for a four-to five-hour delay in drug release after bedtime administration. At approximately three hours before awakening, drug release occurs so that peak levels of medication coincide with waking and the first hours of activity. Second, the extended release of drug in the gastrointestinal tract provides 24-hour control of blood pressure and symptoms of angina pectoris.

Covera-HS is a delayed sustained release version of verapamil hydrochloride, a non-dihydropyridine type compound that is a proven therapeutic agent in the treatment of hypertension and angina.

Covera-HS is available in both 180 mg and 240 mg tablets.

Clinical Results

In two double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies of 382 total subjects with mild to moderate hypertension, clinically significant 24-hour blood pressure control was demonstrated with once-daily, evening doses of Covera-HS (180 mg/day to 540 mg/day), with peak effects between 6 a.m. and noon.

Angina control with Covera-HS has been evaluated through exercise testing performed in the evening prior to the next day's dose, and in the morning. The drug's efficacy was measured by the period of time before symptom onset in subjects with moderate to severe angina. In two double-blind, randomized studies of 453 subjects, Covera-HS was shown to extend the duration of exercise before onset of symptoms compared to placebo.

Additional Information

Covera-HS mimics the body's typical 24-hour circadian variations in blood pressure and heart rate. The science of treating diseases that follow these circadian patterns is known as "chronotherapeutics" and is a well-established practice in medicine for the management of certain medical conditions including asthma, sleep, gastric and peptic ulcer diseases, arthritis, and now hypertension and angina.