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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Aug;62(8):613-9. Epub 2006 Jul 4.

Cardiovascular effects of (R)- and (S)-verapamil and racemic verapamil in humans: a placebo-controlled study.

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Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Stuttgart, Germany.



To characterise the comparative potency of optically pure (R)- and (S)-verapamil as regards negative dromotropic effects on atrioventricular (AV) node conduction and to compare the hemodynamic effects of single doses of the enantiomers in healthy volunteers.


Eight healthy volunteers received a single oral dose of 120 mg (S)-verapamil, 480 mg (R)-verapamil, 240 mg racemic verapamil (rac-verapamil) or placebo on 4 separate occasions. Serum concentrations of (R)- and (S)-verapamil were measured up to 24 h. Cardiovascular effects were assessed by electrocardiography, measurement of blood pressure and transthoracic impedance cardiography (cardiac output and total peripheral resistance). The comparative potency of (R)- and (S)-verapamil with regard to prolongation of the PR interval in the surface ECG was estimated by use of the areas under the effect-time and serum concentration-time curves and linear regression analyses of per cent change in PR interval from baseline versus the logarithm of serum (R)- or (S)-verapamil concentration.


The PR interval was significantly prolonged after all verapamil treatments as compared with placebo. (S)-verapamil was 20.6-21.8 times more potent than (R)-verapamil with regard to negative dromotropic effects. (R)-verapamil caused a significantly greater maximum reduction in the mean arterial pressure (MAP) than placebo [15.9+/-6.8 versus 8.7+/-3.2 mmHg (mean+/-SD); 95% CI on the difference, 0.79-13.7 mmHg; p<0.05], whereas MAP was not affected by the other verapamil treatments. No significant changes were observed in heart rate, cardiac output and total peripheral resistance after any verapamil treatment as compared with placebo.


(S)-verapamil was about 20 times more potent than (R)-verapamil with regard to negative dromotropic effects on AV node conduction. (R)-verapamil but not (S)-verapamil significantly reduced the MAP as compared with placebo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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