Physiol. Res. 54: 515-520, 2005

Enalapril and Diltiazem Co-Administration and Respiratory Side Effects of Enalapril


Department of Pharmacology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University,
Martin, Slovakia

Received February 9, 2004
Accepted November 30, 2004
On-line available January 10, 2005

A persistent, chronic dry cough is the most common adverse effect of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors therapy. The mechanism of this respiratory adverse effect is related to the inhibition of ACE and the accumulation of bradykinin, substance P, prostanoids and other inflammatory neuropeptides in the airways. The aim of this study was to follow the relationship between 15-day administration of enalapril and the defense reflexes (cough and bronchoconstriction) of the airways in experimental animals, as well as the possibility of their pharmacological restriction with simultaneous diltiazem administration. Cough reflex was investigated by the method of mechanical irritation of laryngopharyngeal and tracheobronchial area in non-anesthetized cats. The reactivity of tracheal smooth muscles of the airways to bronchoconstrictor mediators (histamine 10 nM – 1 mM, acetylcholine 10 nM – 1 mM and KCl 1 mM – 100 mM) was evaluated by an in vitro method in guinea pigs. Enalapril 5 mg/kg/day and diltiazem 30 mg/kg/day were administered perorally for 15 days. The results showed that long-lasting administration of enalapril resulted in a significant increase of measured cough parameters and increased reactivity of tracheal smooth muscle to histamine and KCl. Simultaneous administration of enalapril together with diltiazem significantly decreased the enalapril induced cough, and decreased enalapril induced hyperreactivity of tracheal smooth muscles to KCl. The results showed a partially protective effect of diltiazem and enalapril co-administration on the respiratory adverse effects induced by enalapril therapy.

Key words
Enalapril • Cough • Bronchoconstriction • Diltiazem

© 2005 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences