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Drugs. 1992 Nov;44(5):835-57.

Bepridil. A review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic use in stable angina pectoris.

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  • 1Adis International Limited, Auckland, New Zealand.


Bepridil is a calcium antagonist with direct negative chronotropic, dromotropic, inotropic and vasodilatory actions which reduces myocardial oxygen consumption and increases coronary blood flow, leading to a significant anti-ischaemic and antianginal effect in the absence of reflex tachycardia. In contrast to other calcium channel blockers, bepridil produces only modest peripheral vasodilatation and displays weak antihypertensive activity. Its plasma elimination half-life of 1 to 2 days permits once daily administration. Results of short term clinical trials have shown bepridil to be of comparable efficacy to nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem, propranolol and nadolol in decreasing the frequency of anginal attacks and consumption of nitroglycerin (glyceryl trinitrate) in patients with stable angina. Bepridil is more effective than nifedipine in improving exercise performance in patients with stable angina. Although bepridil proved superior to diltiazem in improving exercise performance in patients refractory to diltiazem, further studies are required to confirm the efficacy of bepridil in patients refractory to, or intolerant of, other antianginal agents. Bepridil in therapeutic doses is well tolerated, and appears to have a similar adverse effect profile to the established calcium antagonists. However, rate-dependent prolongation of the QTc interval and development of torsade de pointes have been associated with the use of bepridil. Therefore, bepridil is contraindicated in patients with hypokalaemia, those receiving other drugs that may prolong the QT interval, and those with congenital QT interval prolongation. Future clinical research will help to further define the position of bepridil as an antianginal treatment relative to the traditional calcium antagonists; in the interim, bepridil is indicated for the treatment of patients with angina refractory to or intolerant of other agents.

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