European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 297–303 | Cite as

Comparative potency of atenolol and propranolol as beta-adrenergic blocking agents in man

  • J. F. De Plaen
  • A. Amery
  • T. Reybrouck


The comparative potency of two beta-blockers, propranolol and atenolol, in the inhibition of exercise tachycardia and isoproterenol-tachycardia has been studied in two groups of hypertensive patients, using oral doses which were increased weekly. A linear correlation was observed between the reduction in exercise tachycardia and the dose of each drug, up to a daily dose of propranolol 480 mg and atenolol 600 mg. Propranolol was slightly (0.7/1) more potent in decreasing maximal exercise tachycardia than atenolol when tested in low doses (below 100 mg); at higher doses (480 mg) no differences were found. However, atenolol was 10 times less potent than propranolol in blocking isoprenaline-induced tachycardia, which seems to be related to the cardioselectivity of atenolol.

Key words

Hypertension beta-blockers atenolol propranolol isoprenaline-tachycardia exercise tachycardia 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. De Plaen
    • 1
  • A. Amery
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. Reybrouck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Leuven (KUL)Belgium
  2. 2.Hypertension and Cardiovascular Rehabilitation UnitUniversity Hospital St. Rafael KapucijnenvoerBelgium

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