Efficacy of cardioselective beta adrenergic blockade with intravenously administered tolamolol in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias

Ezra A Amsterdam, G. Lee, S. Morrison, M. J. Tonkin, A. N. DeMaria, D. T. Mason

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6 Scopus citations


The efficacy of tolamolol, a cardioselective beta adrenergic blocking agent, was evaluated in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in 27 patients. Nineteen patients had supraventricular arrhythmias and eight had ventricular arrhythmias. Evaluation was by double blind randomized trial in 23 patients. Tolamolol was effective in reducing ventricular rate in 17 (85 percent) of 19 patients with supraventricular arrhythmias and resulted in conversion to sinus rhythm in 2 of the 17. The mean ventricular rate in 17 patients decreased from 135 to 102/min 10 minutes after initiation of administration of tolamolol and gradually decreased further to 93/min after 60 minutes. Reduction in ventricular rate was sustained for 2 hours of monitoring undergone by all patients and for 4 and 6 hours monitoring in two subgroups. Among the eight patients with ventricular ectopic beats, tolamolol reduced their frequency in four patients and had no effect in four. Six patients had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and experienced no adverse clinical effects on respiratory function in association with administration of tolamolol. Untoward effects occurred in 10 patients, including hypotension in 3, 1 of whom required vasopressor therapy. Other side effects were sedation, nausea, dyspnea and warmth in the chest, all of which were mild and transient, requiring no treatment. Cardioselective beta adrenergic blockade with tolamolol was highly effective in controlling ventricular rate in supraventricular arrhythmias and reduced the frequency of ventricular ectopic beats in half of the small group of patients with this arrhythmia. It is particularly applicable in patients with obstructive pulmonary disease in whom cardiac beta adrenergic blockade is indicated. Hypotension is an important potential side effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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