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