Diltiazem was compared to atenolol in a double-blind trial involving 78 patients suffering from coronary heart disease. Following a 2 week control period, patients were randomly allocated to 6 weeks treatment with one or the other drug. The patients themselves made daily records of anginal attacks, trinitrate requirements, well-being and exercise tolerance. With both drugs there were highly significant reductions in the anginal attack rate and trinitrate requirements, and significant improvement on the other measures. However, there were no significant between drug differences. The incidence of side effects with diltiazem was very low and no patient had to omit treatment for this reason, although three patients did so on atenolol.
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