Research Article

Calcium antagonists in exercise-induced asthma.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 21 March 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:932
  1. K R Patel


    Ten patients with exercise-induced asthma participated in a single-blind trial comparing the protective effects of inhaled verapamil (estimated dose 3 mg) and sodium cromoglycate (estimated dose 12 mg). Saline was used as control. Effects were assessed from the mean maximal percentage fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) after running on a treadmill for eight minutes. There was no significant change in baseline FEV1 values after each agent. In the exercise periods, however, FEV1 fell by 45.4% (SEM 4.0) after saline inhalation, 18.4% (5.1) after sodium cromoglycate, and 16.7% (4.3) after verapamil. The inhibitory effects of sodium cromoglycate and verapamil were comparable and significantly different from saline (p less than 0.02 and p less than 0.01 respectively). Nevertheless, considerable intrasubject variability was observed. The findings suggest that mediator release, which is calcium dependent, may play an important part in exercise-induced asthma, and calcium antagonists may inhibit post-exercise bronchoconstriction by their blocking effect on calcium channels.