The effects of acute or chronic ingestion of propranolol or metoprolol on the physiological responses to prolonged, submaximal exercise in hypertensive men

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1984 Mar;17(3):273-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.1984.tb02342.x.


We have studied the physiological responses to 50 min of intermittent, moderate exercise in hypertensive men after the ingestion of a single dose of placebo, propranolol or metoprolol, and also after 28 days treatment. In addition, subjective assessments of mood were made during the last 7 days of each period of chronic treatment. Heart rate and blood pressure, both at rest and during exercise, were significantly reduced by a single dose of propranolol or metoprolol; more marked effects were observed after chronic treatment. Ventilation and gas exchange during exercise were only slightly disturbed by single doses of propranolol or metoprolol, whereas chronic treatment had no effect. Perceived exertion scores were increased after a single dose of either drug, compared to placebo, and the effect of propranolol was greater than that of metoprolol. With chronic treatment there were fewer differences between the perceived exertion scores during exercise, although 'leg' fatigue remained greater after propranolol than after placebo. Sweating from the forehead during exercise was enhanced by a single dose of either beta-adrenoceptor antagonist, with propranolol having the greater effect. After chronic treatment the effect of propranolol was diminished, whereas the effect of metoprolol was maintained. Very few disturbances of mood were found after chronic ingestion of the beta-adrenoceptor antagonists.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Emotions / drug effects
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Metoprolol / administration & dosage*
  • Metoprolol / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Propranolol / administration & dosage*
  • Propranolol / blood
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Sweating / drug effects
  • Time Factors


  • Propranolol
  • Metoprolol