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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1993 Aug;54(2):194-204.

The cardiovascular interaction between caffeine and nicotine in humans.

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Department of Medicine, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


In a placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized design, we investigated the cardiovascular interaction between caffeine (250 mg intravenously) and nicotine (4 mg chewing gum) in 10 healthy volunteers, both under baseline conditions and during physical and mental stress (standing up and mental arithmetic). Caffeine alone induced a significant increase in blood pressure associated with a decrease in heart rate, whereas nicotine alone increased both blood pressure and heart rate. The combination of caffeine and nicotine increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 10.8 +/- 2.0 and 12.4 +/- 1.9 mm Hg, respectively. This pressor response did not differ significantly from the calculated additive effects of caffeine and nicotine on blood pressure, measuring 12.9 +/- 2.0 and 14.2 +/- 2.1 mm Hg, respectively. Heart rate and forearm blood flow also showed a similar response when the combination of caffeine and nicotine was compared with the calculated sum. During physical stress (standing up), blood pressure, heart rate, and plasma catecholamines increased in the placebo test. The pressor response to standing up was less pronounced after the combination of caffeine and nicotine compared with the sum of the separate effects (combination versus sum: delta diastolic blood pressure, 24.7 +/- 1.9 versus 35.2 +/- 2.6 mm Hg [p < 0.01]; delta mean arterial pressure, 22.1 +/- 2.0 mm Hg versus 28.6 +/- 1.6 mm Hg [p < 0.05]). The plasma catecholamine response did not differ between the combination and the sum of both drugs. During mental arithmetic, blood pressure, heart rate, and forearm blood flow increased in the placebo test. The forearm vasodilator response to mental stress was attenuated by the combination of caffeine and nicotine compared with the sum of both drugs (combination versus sum: delta forearm blood flow, -0.1 +/- 0.3 versus 1.4 +/- 0.5 ml/100 ml/min [p < 0.05]). We conclude that the combined administration of caffeine and nicotine shows additive effects on cardiovascular parameters during baseline conditions but less than additive effects during sympathoadrenal stimulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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