Effect of diltiazem on the pharmacokinetics of propranolol, metoprolol and atenolol

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1989;36(1):67-70. doi: 10.1007/BF00561026.


The pharmacokinetic interaction between diltiazem and three beta-adrenoceptor blockers propranolol, metoprolol and atenolol was investigated in healthy volunteers given diltiazem 30 mg or placebo t.d.s. for 3 days, followed by a single dose of propranolol 20 mg, metoprolol 40 mg or atenolol 50 mg. The AUCs of propranolol and metoprolol were significantly increased after diltiazem and it significantly prolonged the elimination half-life of metoprolol. In contrast, it did not significantly affect the pharmacokinetics of atenolol. Propranolol significantly decreased the resting pulse rate after diltiazem pretreatment as compared to placebo. The results indicate that diltiazem impaired the clearance of propranolol and metoprolol, which are principally metabolized by an oxidative pathway, and that the kinetic interaction between diltiazem and propranolol may partly be related to the significant reduction in the pulse rate produced by the latter.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atenolol / blood
  • Atenolol / pharmacokinetics*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Diltiazem / pharmacology*
  • Half-Life
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metoprolol / blood
  • Metoprolol / pharmacokinetics*
  • Propranolol / blood
  • Propranolol / pharmacokinetics*


  • Atenolol
  • Propranolol
  • Diltiazem
  • Metoprolol