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Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2006 Apr;20(2):129-34.

Reduced hemodynamic responses to physical and mental stress under low-dose rilmenidine in healthy subjects.

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Departament of Physiology and Pharmacology, Instituto Biomédico, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Prof. Hernani Melo, 101 Niterói, RJ, Brazil CEP 24210-131.


Activation of the sympathetic nervous system plays a major role in the pathogenesis and prognosis of cardiovascular diseases. Rilmenidine is an I(1)-imidazoline receptor agonist that reduces blood pressure by modulation of central sympathetic activity, but the effects of low-dose rilmenidine on the hemodynamic responses to physiological maneuvers that increase adrenergic drive is not known. To assess the effects of low-dose rilmenidine on the hemodynamic responses to stress, 32 healthy subjects (20-56 years old) underwent acute physical exercise (n = 15, individualized ramp protocol on treadmill) and mental stress (n = 17, word color Stroop and mental arithmetics tests) two hours after the oral administration of 0.5 mg of rilmenidine (RIL) or placebo (PLA) following a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled crossover study. No subject complained of any side effect. Rilmenidine reduced peak exercise heart rate (PLA: 187 +/- 7; RIL: 181 +/- 9 bpm; P = 0.003), but did not modify peak aerobic power (VO(2max) - PLA: 41.7 +/- 6.2; RIL: 42.3 +/- 6.7 ml/kg/min; P = 0.26). During mental stress, rilmenidine inhibited the peak systolic (PLA: 123 +/- 10; RIL: 114 +/- 8 mmHg; P = 0.02) and diastolic (PLA: 86 +/- 7; RIL: 81 +/- 7 mmHg; P <0.05) blood pressure responses. In conclusion, rilmenidine reduced the hemodynamic response to physical and mental stress stimuli without limiting exercise capacity. These results support the concept that rilmenidine, at a dose lower than the ones recommended to treat hypertension, reduced the myocardial oxygen demand to stress and may carry potential clinical impact.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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