European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 1–4 | Cite as

Intrinsic sympathomimetic activity ofβ-adrenoceptor blocking agents

  • G. Cocco
  • F. Burkart
  • D. Chu
  • F. Follath


The pharmacological methods used to assess the intrinsic sympathomimetic activity (ISA) of β-blockers are discussed. The clinical relevance of ISA to respiratory function, peripheral resistance and cardiac function is reviewed. It appears doubtful whether ISA is always of predominant clinical significance and an alternative explanation is offered for many clinical effects observed with certain β-blockers, e.g. pindolol, oxprenolol, tolamolol, metoprolol, etc. Some effects of these β-blockers resemble those of labetalol, a new drug with both α- and β-blocking activity. Some clinical effects of certain β-blockers are more likely to be due to α-blocking activity than to their ISA.

Key words

β-Blockers α-blocking activity intrinsic sympathomimetic activity partial agonist 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Cocco
    • 1
  • F. Burkart
    • 1
  • D. Chu
    • 2
  • F. Follath
    • 3
  1. 1.Cardiological Laboratory, KantonsspitalUniversity of BasleSwitzerland
  2. 2.SonnenrainZwingenSwitzerland
  3. 3.Clinical Pharmacology Department, KantonsspitalUniversity of BasleSwitzerland

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