1. The effect of intravenous boluses of verapamil (0.15 mg/kg), flecainide (2 mg/kg), amiodarone (5 mg/kg), and sotalol (l.5 mg/kg) on mean arterial pressure, heart rate (HR), cardiac output (CO), total peripheral resistance (TPR), and peak rate of change of left ventricular pressure (LV dP/dt) were assessed in the conscious rabbit. 2. All four drugs had negative inotropic effects: verapamil reduced peak LV dP/dt by 19±4% (mean±s.e.m.; P<0.01), flecainide by 27 ± 9% (P<0.001), amiodarone by 11 ± 2% (P<0.01) and sotalol by 13 ± 3% (P<0.01). 3. The drugs had different effects on CO as a result of differences in their actions on peripheral blood vessels: verapamil and amiodarone produced, respectively, a 12 ± 4% (P<0.03) and 16 ± 6% (P<0.01) increase in CO associated with a substantial vasodilatory effect (TPR reduced 15 ± 7%P<0.05 and 20 ± 5% [P<0.01], respectively). Flecainide caused only a small (6 ± 1%; P<0.01) increase in CO and sotalol had no effect on either CO or TPR. 4. Bolus intravenous injections of verapamil, flecainide and amiodarone produced an increase in HR, while sotalol reduced HR by 10 ± 2% (P<0.01). The increase in HR and cardiac output seen with verapamil, flecainide and amiodarone was in part secondary to reflex increase in sympathetic tone and these changes were abolished after total cardiac autonomic blockade. 5. The modest reduction in cardiac performance associated with sotalol was abolished by cardiac autonomic blockade, suggesting that the predominant effect of sotalol on contractility was mediated through its β‐adrenoceptor blocking effect.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1994|
- antiarrhythmic drugs
- haemodynamic effects