ABSTRACT: Verapamil is a calcium channel blocking agent used primarily for treatment of arrhythmias and coronary artery disease. It may also depress myocardial contractility. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of verapamil on left ventricular function. Twelve normal men, 22-29 years of age, were studied at rest and during exercise, with and without verapamil, using first-pass radionuclide angiocardiography. Verapamil was administered by continuous intravenous infusion to produce steady-state blood levels of 106-123 ng/ml. The heart rate, ejection fraction, stroke volume index, and end-diastolic volume index were measured with and without the drug. Verapamil increased the mean resting heart rate from 74 to 78 beats/min (p = 0.001), decreased the mean stroke volume index from 48 to 42 ml/m2 (p = 0.01), and decreased the mean end-diastolic volume index from 77 to 71 ml/m2 (p less than 0.05). No changes in cardiac index, ejection fraction, end-systolic volume index, or peak systolic pressure/end-systolic volume ratio were observed at rest. No differences occurred in exercise hemodynamics. Thus verapamil at therapeutic dose levels did not significantly depress contractility or have other clinically important hemodynamic effects at rest or during exercise in normal subjects.
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 5(5):812-7. · 2.29 Impact Factor