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Br J Pharmacol. 1985 May;85(1):89-96.

Effect of verapamil and diltiazem on calcium-dependent electrical activity in cardiac Purkinje fibres.


The effects of verapamil and diltiazem on normal action potentials, abnormal automaticity at depolarized membrane potential and oscillatory afterpotentials were compared in sheep cardiac Purkinje fibres. Concentrations of verapamil and diltiazem exerting the same action on abnormal automaticity due to slow action potentials, caused different effects on action potential characteristics and on oscillatory afterpotentials. Diltiazem significantly shortened action potential duration whereas verapamil slightly lengthened it (NS). Diltiazem appeared to be more effective than verapamil in preventing the development of oscillatory afterpotentials induced by barium or by strophanthidin. In 50% of barium-treated preparations, verapamil caused the appearance of spontaneous activity due to enhanced normal diastolic depolarization, while diltiazem had no such effect. The observed differences were explained in terms of the different effects of the two drugs on currents other than the slow inward current, since diltiazem was more potent than verapamil in depressing Vmax.

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