Modification by propranolol of cardiovascular effects of induced hypoglycaemia

Lancet. 1975 May 31;1(7918):1213-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(75)92195-9.


The cardiovascular effects of hypoglycaemia, with and without beta-blockade, were compared in fourteen healthy men. Eight received insulin alone, and eight, including two of the original insulin-only group, were given propranolol and insulin. In the insulin-group the period of hypoglycaemia was associated with an increase in heart-rate and a fall in diastolic blood-pressure. In the propranolol-insulin group there was a significant fall in heart-rate in most subjects and an increase in diastolic pressure. Typical S-T/T changes occurred in the insulin-group but in none of the propranolol-insulin group. Hypertension in diabetics prone to hypoglycaemia attacks should not be treated with beta-blockers because these drugs may cause a sharp rise in blood-pressure in such patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmia, Sinus / etiology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Bradycardia / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Drug Antagonism
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemia / complications
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology*
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Propranolol / adverse effects
  • Propranolol / pharmacology*


  • Insulin
  • Propranolol