Comparison of cardiac effects of timolol and propranolol
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The cardiac effects of the beta-adrenergic blocking agent, timolol, were compared to those of propranolol after intravenous administration in 6 healthy male subjects. The effects of timolol and propranolol on maximal exercise-induced tachycardia were measured. Timolol was about ten times as potent as propranolol in antagonizing exercise-induced tachycardia. Dose-response curves to intravenous infusions of isoproterenol were obtained after three doses of each beta-antagonist. Changes in myocardial contractility were assessed by cardiac systolic time intervals and were compared to the simultaneous changes in heart rate elicited by isoproterenol. For the 6 subjects, the mean potency ratios of timolol to propranolol as an antagonist of the chronotropic and inotropic effects of isoproterenol were 13.8 (+/-0.8) and 12.7 (+/-1.0), respectively. Neither timolol nor propranolol acted more selectively on beta-receptors affecting heart rate than on those influencing contractility.
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