Time Course of Verapamil Interaction with Morphine Effects on Physiological Parameters in Rats

Andrea Della Puppa, Felicia Ford‐Rice, Frederick R. Snyder, Edward Cone, Edythe D. London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of subcutaneous doses of morphine and verapamil on respiratory and cardiovascular parameters have been assessed in conscious rats. Verapamil (10 mg kg−1) was injected simultaneously with morphine (16 mg kg−1) or at 10, 30, or 60 min before morphine administration. Morphine induced respiratory depression, as indicated by marked hypercapnia, hypoxia and acidosis, and caused marked tachycardia. Although morphine produced only a minor and inconsistent (but statistically significant, P<0·01) reduction of mean arterial blood pressure, morphine potentiated verapamil‐induced hypotension. Verapamil suppressed morphine‐induced hypercapnia only when injected simultaneously with morphine. Verapamil alone did not affect arterial blood gases or pH, but decreased heart rate and mean arterial blood pressure. Verapamil attenuated and delayed the maximum positive chronotropic effects of morphine at all times tested. Antagonism by verapamil of respiratory depression and tachycardia produced by morphine was unrelated to morphine levels in plasma. Thus, the explanation of verapamil‐morphine interactions on respiration and cardiovascular function is not pharmacokinetic. 1989 Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-623
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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