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November 1981

Verapamil Therapy and Blood Glucose Concentration

Author Affiliations

Kfar-Saba, Israel

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(12):1724. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340130162048

To the Editor.  —The concentration of extracellular calcium ions influences insulin release from the pancreatic beta cells.1 Calcium antagonists acutely inhibit in vitro and in vivo the glucose- and sulfonylurea-induced insulin release, apparently by interfering with calcium entry into the beta cell.2,3 The long-term effects of verapamil administration on the normal pancreatic beta cell have not been defined. Therefore, we determined the basal blood glucose concentrations (by the glucose oxydase method) in a double-blind study of 28 nondiabetic subjects receiving either a placebo or verapamil in a dosage of 80 mg three times a day as treatment of chronic atrial fibrillation, as previously described.4 The basal blood glucose concentration was measured before the double-blind period, at the end of two weeks of treatment with a placebo, and two weeks after treatment with verapamil and was determined again at the end of seven months of treatment with verapamil.