Effect of βblockers on sodium and potassium content of human erythrocytes

I. Nathan, A. Dvilansky, M. Gross, A. D. Korczyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Recently, hyperpotassemia was reported in patients treated with propranolol, but the mechanism has not yet been delineated. We have investigated the effects of various βadrenergic blockers and of D-propranolol on the Na+ and K+ distribution intra- and extracellularly in human erythrocytes. K+ loss and Na+ gain by cells was demonstrated at drug concentrations of 10-4 M or greater. D-Propranolol was more effective than L-propranolol, whereas pindolol was ineffective. Practolol increased Na+ content but did not influence K+ The results suggest that electrolyte redistribution across cell membranes is not a likely explanation for hyperpotassemia in patients treated with propranolol, or for the local anaesthetic effect of this drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-941
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1979


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