Effects of verapamil on indirect muscle twitch responses

Anesth Analg. 1983 Sep;62(9):827-30.


The effects on indirectly elicited muscle twitch amplitude associated with the calcium (slow) channel blocker, verapamil, with or without pancuronium were investigated using isolated bullfrog sciatic nerve-sartorius muscle preparations. Verapamil (2-8 mM) produced a dose-related depression of indirect muscle twitch height (P less than 0.05). Twitch response was depressed 11% below control by the lowest concentration employed and 86% by the highest concentration. Pancuronium (0.07 mM) depressed neuromuscular function 35% below control (P less than 0.05). The combination of 5 mM or 8 mM verapamil with 0.07 mM pancuronium caused significantly greater degrees of depression than either drug alone. Verapamil produced significant depression of twitch height in vitro in relatively high concentrations. The mechanism of action remains unknown. Verapamil possesses pharmacologic properties that may be unrelated to slow (calcium) channel inhibition. The reduction of muscle twitch height caused by verapamil alone (5 mM) could not be antagonized by neostigmine, calcium, or frequent washings.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Interactions
  • Electric Stimulation
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / drug effects*
  • Pancuronium / pharmacology*
  • Rana catesbeiana
  • Verapamil / pharmacology*


  • Verapamil
  • Pancuronium