Central effects of repeated administration of atenolol and captopril in healthy volunteers

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1994;46(1):23-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00195911.


The central effects of atenolol (50 mg tds) and captopril (50 mg tds) ingested for a period of seven days were studied in ten healthy volunteers. A placebo and two active control drugs, methyldopa (250 mg tds) and oxazepam (10 mg), were included in the design. Oxazepam was ingested on the seventh day only, with a placebo being taken on the preceding six days. On the seventh day, central effects of the drugs were tested at 10.00-11.00 h (session 1), immediately before the subjects' last dose of each drug and at 2.5-3.5 h after the final dose of each drug (1330-1430 h, session 2). Performance was assessed using digit symbol substitution, continuous attention, letter cancellation, choice reaction time, finger tapping, immediate and short-term memory, critical flicker fusion and two flash fusion. Subjects assessed their mood and well-being on a series of 12 visual analogue scales. Recordings of the EEG and body sway were carried out. Neither atenolol nor captopril altered performance at any of the skills tested. There were no effects on subjectively assessed alertness or mood with captopril, while atenolol significantly increased wakefulness in session 2 and when the two sessions were meaned. Similarly, captopril did not modify body sway, while with atenolol there was a significant decrease in activity in the frequency range 1.0-2.75 Hz from session 1 to session 2.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atenolol / blood
  • Atenolol / pharmacology*
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Captopril / blood
  • Captopril / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects*
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects
  • Flicker Fusion / drug effects
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects
  • Mental Recall / drug effects
  • Methyldopa / blood
  • Methyldopa / pharmacology
  • Oxazepam / blood
  • Oxazepam / pharmacology
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / drug effects


  • Atenolol
  • Methyldopa
  • Oxazepam
  • Captopril