BACKGROUND: Antihypertensive agents such as verapamil and esmolol are well known for their effects of hemodynamic stabilization on tracheal intubation. But hemodynamic discrepancies in these agents may result from different techniques of anesthetic induction. The aim of the present study was to compare and evaluate their efficacy in controlling hemodynamic responses to tracheal intubation under the different anesthetic induction agents. METHODS: Seventy-two patients, ASA physical status I or II, were randomly assigned to one of six groups (n = 12 each): a Thiopental-Saline (T-S) group and a Propofol-Saline (P-S) group in saline 10 ml; a Thiopental-Verapamil (T-V) group and a Propofol-Verapamil (P-V) group in verapamil 0.1 mg/kg; a Thiopental-Esmolol (T-E) group and a Propofol-Esmolol (P-E) group in esmolol 1 mg/kg according to the induction agents, thiopental or propofol. Anesthesia was induced with thiopental 5 mg/kg or propofol 2 mg/kg intravenous, respectively. Next, saline, verapamil and esmolol were administered as a bolus, and were immediately followed by succinylcholine 1.5 mg/kg. Tracheal intubation was carried out 60 s and 90 s after the intravenous injections of verapamil and esmolol, respectively. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate were measured before induction and every minute for 5 minutes after tracheal intubation. RESULTS: There was a significant attenuation in systolic and diastolic arterial pressure after tracheal intubation in the verapamil groups compared to the esmolol groups. Heart rates were significantly lower in the esmolol groups than in the verapamil groups after tracheal intubation. CONCLUSIONS: Verapamil 0.1 mg/kg and esmolol 1 mg/kg attenuated increases in blood pressure and heart rate after tracheal intubation. The different anesthetic induction agents did not influence the hemodynamic effects of verapamil and esmolol on tracheal intubation.