Verapamil therapy for Prinzmetal's variant angina: Comparison with placebo and nifedipine

Michael D. Winniford, Stacey M. Johnson, David R. Mauritson, James S. Rellas, Gregory A. Redish, James T. Willerson, L. David Hillis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This study was performed (1) to assess the efficacy and safety of verapamil in patients with variant angina, and (2) to compare verapamil and nifedipine in patients with this clinical syndrome. In 27 patients, placebo and verapamil were administered in a long-term, randomized, and double-blind study of 9 months' duration. In comparison to placebo, verapamil reduced the frequency of angina, nitroglycerin usage, transient episodes of electrocardiographic S-T segment deviation (as assessed by 2-channel Holter monitoring), and hospitalisations required for clinical instability. Subsequently, 23 patients were treated with nifedipine in a nonblind fashion for 2 months, and this agent exerted a beneficial effect similar to that of verapamil. Finally, gated equilibrium blood pool scintigraphy, performed in 10 patients at rest and during exercise during treatment with placebo, verapamil, and nifedipine, demonstrated that neither calcium antagonist caused a deterioration of left ventricular performance. Thus, (1) long-term oral verapamil and nifedipine are each superior to placebo and are of similar efficacy in patients with variant angina, and (2) neither agent adversely influences left ventricular performance in patients with relatively normal left ventricular function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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