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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1988 Apr;43(4):387-92.

Dose-response of inhaled diltiazem on airway reactivity to methacholine and exercise in subjects with mild asthma.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.


Methacholine challenges were performed by 10 asthmatic subjects, 2 hours before and 15 minutes after placebo (diluent alone) and 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 mg inhaled diltiazem given in a single-blind crossover manner. There was no significant change from placebo in the dose of methacholine required to produce a 20% decrease in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) (PD20); the fold increase in PD20 from baseline was 1.1 +/- 0.1 after placebo, 1.4 +/- 0.2 after 5 mg, 1.8 +/- 0.3 after 10 mg, 1.4 +/- 0.2 after 15 mg, 1.6 +/- 0.2 after 30 mg, and 1.2 +/- 0.1 after 60 mg. There was a 1% chance that we missed a twofold difference between placebo and the 10 mg dose because of inadequate sample size. Fifteen minutes before a standardized exercise challenge, 10 subjects received placebo, 10 mg, and the highest dose tolerated during the methacholine study (20 to 45 mg) in a randomized double-blind crossover design. The mean +/- SE maximum postexercise decrease in FEV1 was 28.8% +/- 5.7% after placebo, 23.4% +/- 4.6% after 10 mg, and 20.8% +/- 3.0% after high-dose diltiazem (P greater than 0.05). There was a 12% chance that we missed a 15% difference between placebo and the high-dose regimen because of inadequate sample size. We conclude that diltiazem does not attenuate airway reactivity to methacholine or exercise even when high concentrations are delivered to the lungs.

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