The effect of drugs on the cardiovascular response to exercise
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Anti-hypertensives, diuretics, digitalis, beta-blockers, nitrates, anti-arrhythmics, and psychiatric drugs are reviewed for their effects on the cardiovascular response to exercise, in particular work capacity, heart rate, blood pressure, anginal threshold, and exertional arrhythmias. The limitations of these measurements to assess changes in the various aspects of cardiovascular performance in the presence of drugs becomes evident, emphasizing the need for an understanding of the relationship between drug effects on specific target organs and the altered integrated exercise response. The variable response of individuals to drug therapy, depending on the pathophysiological effects of their disease, demonstrates the value of exercise testing in selecting optimal drug regimens.
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