Vesnarinone: A new inotropic agent for treating congestive heart failure

Erdal Cavusoglu, William H. Frishman, Marc Klapholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Vesnarinone is a new and novel inotropic drug that has unique and complex mechanisms of action. It inhibits phosphodiesterase, thereby leading to increased intracellular calcium, and also affects numerous myocardial ion channels, resulting in the prolongation of the opening time of sodium channels and the decrease in the delayed outward and inward rectifying potassium current. In vitro, it has also demonstrated significant effects on cytokine production, which may account for some of its observed clinical benefits. Hemodynamic studies in humans with congestive heart failure reveal that vesnarinone can improve ventricular function. Placebo-controlled studies in large numbers of patients with heart failure have suggested a morbidity and mortality benefit with a 60 mg daily dose. There is increased mortality with vesnarinone at the 120 mg daily dose, however, suggesting a narrow therapeutic window for the drug. Its predominant toxic side effect is a 2% incidence of reversible neutropenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-257
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


  • inotrope
  • vesnarinone

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