Chronic stable angina monotherapy. Nifedipine versus propranolol.
A placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study was conducted to determine the effects of nifedipine (60 to 90 mg per day) monotherapy and propranolol (240 mg per day) monotherapy on symptoms, angina threshold, and cardiac function in patients with chronic stable angina. Following a two-week placebo period, patients were randomly assigned to receive either nifedipine or propranolol for a five-week treatment period, after which they crossed over to the alternative regimen. All 21 patients were men with chronic stable angina pectoris, 13 of whom had symptoms both at rest and on exertion. New York Heart Association functional class improved in patients taking either nifedipine or propranolol, and nitroglycerin consumption decreased with both treatments compared with placebo. Nifedipine significantly delayed the onset of chest pain and 1 mm of ST-segment depression during bicycle exercise; increases with propranolol were smaller and not statistically significant. Nine patients had a preferential clinical response to nifedipine compared with six patients to propranolol; this was unrelated to the presence or absence of pain at rest or to any baseline hemodynamic finding. Nifedipine and propranolol were equally effective in relieving exertional ischemia as shown by improvement in radionuclide ejection fraction at identical work loads. Exercise wall motion, assessed by a semiquantitative wall motion score, also improved with both drugs. Propranolol treatment decreased exercise cardiac output by 14 percent (p = 0.01) through its effect on heart rate. In contrast, nifedipine treatment had no effect on cardiac output. Thus, nifedipine is more effective on several measurements than propranolol when administered as single drug therapy in stable angina and has the advantage of preserving cardiac output during exercise.
Higginbotham, MB; Morris, KG; Coleman, RE; Cobb, FR
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