European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 58, Issue 7, pp 449–452

The contractility enhancing effect of the calcium sensitiser levosimendan is not attenuated by carvedilol in healthy subjects

  • Lasse Lehtonen
  • Stig Sundberg

DOI: 10.1007/s00228-002-0500-3

Cite this article as:
Lehtonen, L. & Sundberg, S. Eur J Clin Pharmacol (2002) 58: 449. doi:10.1007/s00228-002-0500-3


Objective. It was assessed whether the contractility enhancing effect of the calcium sensitiser levosimendan is altered by carvedilol.

Methods. Twelve healthy subjects received 2 mg levosimendan i.v. both alone and in addition to a 7–9-day treatment with 25 mg carvedilol orally, twice daily, in a cross-over, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomised study. Systolic time intervals, heart rate, and blood pressure were measured at baseline and up to 2 h after drug administration.

Results. When levosimendan was administered in addition to carvedilol, the shortening of electromechanical systole QS2i (indicating increased contractility) was similar to that found with levosimendan alone (P=0.475). Also, the maximum heart rate change was similar, although a statistically significant difference in heart rate was detected due to minor differences at two time points during the 2-h follow-up (P=0.018). There were no differences in diastolic blood pressure response (P=0.962), but the systolic blood pressure response was attenuated by about 4 mmHg with the combination (P=0.013).

Conclusions. The contractility enhancing effect of levosimendan was not altered in healthy subjects who had received carvedilol for at least 1 week. Heart rate and diastolic blood pressure responses were not altered either, while the systolic blood pressure response was blunted.

Levosimendan Calcium sensitisation Carvedilol Beta-blockade Contractility

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lasse Lehtonen
    • 2
  • Stig Sundberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Orion Pharma, Clinical Research, Cardiovascular Projects, Espoo, Finland
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland