Antihypertensive and renal effects of orally administered verapamil

G. Leonetti, C. Sala, C. Bianchini, L. Terzoli, A. Zanchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 12 in-patients with moderate uncomplicated hypertension, maintained on constant sodium intake for 15 days, single-blind oral administration of verapamil 80-160 mg t. i. d. for 10 days had a significant antihypertensive effect: in the supine position systolic blood pressure decreased from 177±5 to 150±3 mmHg, and diastolic pressure from 111±3 to 96±2 mmHg; standing values were similarly lowered from 171±7 to 143±4 mmHg, systolic, and from 118±4 to 97±2 mmHg, diastolic. The heart rate did not show any significant change (from 79±3 to 77±2 beats/min, supine, and from 92±3 to 87±3 beats/min, upright). The antihypertensive effect was uniform throughout the day, being similar 2, 3, 6 and 8 h after administration of a dose. Dynamic exercise (75-100 watts on a cycle-ergometer) caused identical increases in arterial pressure and heart rate on the last day of placebo and again on the last day with verapamil, but the peak levels of systolic pressure reached during exercise were lower after verapamil than with placebo, because of the lower blood pressure before exercise. Reduction of arterial pressure by verapamil was not accompanied by increased plasma renin activity, or by renal retention of sodium and water: there was a small increase in sodium excretion, at least during the first days of verapamil administration (from 107±15 to 113±15 mEq Na+/day), and a slight significant reduction in body weight (from 74.2±3.7 to 73.5±3.7 kg). It is concluded that oral administration of verapamil significantly lowers blood pressure without simultaneously inducing cardiac stimulation, renin secretion or salt and water retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1980


  • calcium antagonist
  • fluid balance
  • hypertension
  • mode of action
  • plasma renin activity
  • sodium balance
  • vasodilators
  • verapamil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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