Superiority of oral verapamil therapy to digoxin in treatment of chronic atrial fibrillation

R. Lang, H. O. Klein, E. Weiss, D. David, P. Sareli, A. Levy, J. Guerrero, E. Di Segni, E. Kaplinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The efficacy and safety of oral verapamil, 240 mg, with or without digoxin were studied in 52 patients with chronic atrial fibrillation at rest, and during mild and maximal exercise. Twenty-four patients were studied during the following therapeutic modalities: no therapy; digoxin, 0.25 mg and 0.5 mg daily; digoxin, 0.25 mg and verapamil; and verapamil alone. Heart rate at rest and during all levels of exercise was decreased significantly (p < 0.005), either by combining digoxin with verapamil or by verapamil therapy alone. In contrast, the excessive heart rate response to exercise was not prevented by digoxin even with good serum concentrations. The improved control of heart rate with verapamil was associated with a significantly improved exercise capacity. Verapamil is an important and safe modality of treatment, with or without digoxin, in the long-term control of heart rate in chronic atrial fibrillation. It is superior to digoxin in controlling the ventricular rate and in improving exercise capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-499
Number of pages9
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983


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