Antiarrhythmic actions of meptazinol, a partial agonist at opiate receptors, in acute myocardial ischaemia

Olu Fagbemi, Kathleen A. Kane, Istvan Leprán, James R. Parratt, Laszlo Szekeres

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The intravenous administration, to anaesthetized rats, of meptazinol (1 and 2 mg kg−1), a partial agonist at opiate receptors, greatly reduced the incidence of ventricular extrasystoles that resulted from acute coronary artery occlusion. The incidence of ventricular fibrillation (VF) was reduced from 50% (in the controls) to 10% and the mortality from 30% to zero. In similar doses, pretreatment with meptazinol also reduced ventricular arrhythmias, including fibrillation, in conscious rats subjected to coronary artery occlusion. In this model, survival at 16 h was increased from 27% in the controls to 50% and 83% respectively in rats pre treated with 1 and 2 mg kg−1 of the drug. In antiarrhythmic doses, meptazinol had little effect on either heart rate or systemic arterial blood pressure. Intracellular action potential recordings from papillary muscle removed from rats given meptazinol (2 mg kg−1) 15 min previously showed an increase in APD50 and APD90 of more than 40%. There was no effect on dV/dtmax. When superfused with meptazinol in vitro normal rat papillary muscle stimulated at 1 or 3 Hz showed an increase in APD90 and a decrease in dV/dtmax. The antiarrhythmic effect of meptazinol in these models can probably be explained by direct actions on the cardiac muscle action potential (increase in APD) although effects on opiate receptors cannot be ruled out. It is suggested that meptazinol might be useful in relieving pain, and in reducing the severity of arrhythmias in the early stages of acute myocardial infarction. 1983 British Pharmacological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-460
Number of pages6
JournalBritish journal of pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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