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A study on the ocular and extraocular pharmacology of metipranolol

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Metipranolol (Betamann) is a clinically efficacious ocular hypotensive drug and preclinical experiments were undertaken to characterize this beta-adrenoceptor antagonist. In vitro beta1- and beta2-adrenoceptor antagonism was evaluated using the guinea pig atrium and the rat uterus, respectively. The respective pA2 values were 8.3 and 8.4. Topical metipranolol, 0.3% and 0.6%, blocked both the hypotension (beta2-mediated) and the tachycardia (beta1-mediated) elicited in ganglion-blocked, conscious rabbits by isoproterenol, 0.5 μg/kg, i.v. The Ki for displacement of3H-dihydroalprenolol binding to rabbit iris + ciliary body homogenates was 34 nM. The effect of metipranolol, 0.3% and 0.6%, was not particularly striking on the intraocular pressure (IOP) of conscious, normotensive rabbits. However, the elevated IOP of the alpha-chymotrypsinized rabbit eye was significantly decreased (maximum reduction of 5.8 mm Hg) following the instillation of metipranolol, 0.3%. IOP recovery in conscious rabbits following hyperosmotic challenge (i.v. infusion of a 20% NaCl solution) was not decreased by a 1-h pretreatment with a 0.3% solution. In contrast, a significant reduction of 41% was elicited by a 0.6% solution. Hence, the ocular hypotensive effect of metipranolol may result from decreased aqueous humor inflow. Metipranolol, 0.6%, was devoid of effect on rabbit pupil diameter. However, corneal local anesthesia was elicited in the rabbit by both 0.3% and 0.6% solutions of the drug, the effect being more marked with the higher concentration.

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Correspondence to M. F. Sugrue.

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Sugrue, M.F., Armstrong, J.M., Gautheron, P. et al. A study on the ocular and extraocular pharmacology of metipranolol. Graefe's Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 222, 123–127 (1985).

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  • Isoproterenol
  • Aqueous Humor
  • Ciliary Body
  • Pupil Diameter
  • Body Homogenate