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Haemodynamic effects of intravenous verapamil at rest and during exercise in subjectively healthy middle-aged men

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Verapamil, 0.1 mg/kg body wt, was injected i.v. over 2 minutes in 8 subjectively healthy middle-aged men, followed by a continuous infusion of 0.007 mg/kg body wt per minute. Prior to the injection several of the subjects had raised pulmonary or systemic arterial pressures. At rest, the central pressures increased slightly, which was taken as a sign of a moderate negative inotropic effect, but there was no change in pre-ejection period or maximal dp/dt of the aortic pressure. The heart rate increased and there was a small decrease in systemic arterial pressure, probably due to a fall of systemic vascular resistance. The PQ time was prolonged. During exercise, with its positive inotropic stimulation, the moderate negative inotropic effect of verapamil disappeared, whereas the increase in heart rate and decrease in aortic pressures persisted. Some variables that reflected the oxygen demand of the heart decreased. The slight negative inotropic effect does not appear to be a particular contraindication to the use of verapamil, but it should be employed cautiously in conditions with a compensatory rise in systemic vascular resistance, or if atrioventricular conduction is impaired.

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Atterhög, J.-., Ekelund, L.-. Haemodynamic effects of intravenous verapamil at rest and during exercise in subjectively healthy middle-aged men. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 8, 317–322 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00562656

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Key words

  • Verapamil
  • haemodynamics
  • exercise
  • man
  • vascular resistance
  • negative inotropism