Oral magnesium reduces ventricular ectopy in digitalised patients with chronic atrial fibrillation

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1990;38(2):107-10. doi: 10.1007/BF00265966.


We have examined the effects of magnesium replacement therapy upon post-exercise heart rate and incidence of ventricular premature beats (VPB) in digitalised patients with AF. In 11 such patients, all of whom had serum magnesium concentrations of less than 0.85 mmol/l, treatment with magnesium glycerophosphate was associated with a significant reduction in number of VPBs (982 v. 416 VPB/24 h). Five patients had a high prevalence of ventricular ectopy (greater than 300 VPB/24 h) and these subjects showed particularly marked decreases in VPBs during magnesium treatment (1998 v. 690 VPB/24 h). Three patients had slightly increased QTc intervals but these did not change during magnesium replacement. No significant changes were seen in the mean post-exercise heart rate although 2 subjects did show falls of 25% or more during magnesium replacement. We conclude that treatment with magnesium glycerophosphate may be associated with a decreased prevalence of ventricular ectopy in some digitalised patients with chronic AF and mild-moderate hypomagnesaemia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology*
  • Cardiac Complexes, Premature / chemically induced
  • Cardiac Complexes, Premature / prevention & control*
  • Digoxin / adverse effects*
  • Digoxin / blood
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / pharmacology*
  • Magnesium Deficiency / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Digoxin
  • Magnesium