Papers And Originals

Mechanism of action of βadrenergic receptor blocking agents in angina pectoris: Comparison of action of propranolol with dexpropranolol and practolol

Br Med J 1969; 4 doi: (Published 15 November 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;4:399
  1. A. G. Wilson,
  2. O. G. Brooke,
  3. H. J. Lloyd,
  4. B. F. Robinson


    The effect on exercise tolerance of racemic propranolol has been assessed in eight angina pectoris patients and compared with that of dexpropranolol (the dextro isomer of propranolol), practolol (I.C.I. 50172), and saline. Dexpropranolol has the same local anaesthetic action as propranolol with negligible β-adrenergic receptor blocking activity, while practolol is a cardio-selective β-adrenergic blocking agent which does not have local anaesthetic activity.

    Saline and dexpropranolol had no significant effect on exercise time; racemic propranolol and practolol improved exercise tolerance in six subjects, the response to the two drugs being very similar in individual patients. It was concluded that the beneficial effect of propranolol in angina pectoris results from its action as a β-adrenergic receptor blocking agent and is not due to its local anaesthetic, or quinidine-like, activity.