The cardiovascular and hypokalaemic effects of equal doses of inhaled fenoterol, isoprenaline and salbutamol were compared in eight healthy male volunteers, in a double blind, placebo controlled study. Increasing doses of 400, 600, and 800 micrograms were given from a metered dose inhaler at 15 minute intervals, followed by measurements of heart rate, blood pressure, total electromechanical systole (as a measure of inotropic response), QTc interval, and plasma potassium concentration. After repeated inhalation, fenoterol resulted in significantly greater chronotropic, electrocardiographic, and hypokalaemic effects than either isoprenaline or salbutamol. The maximum inotropic effect of fenoterol was similar to that of isoprenaline.
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