In an earlier study one dose of the vasodilator felodipine improved haemodynamic function in patients with angina without having a negative inotropic effect. The haemodynamic response of sustained treatment with felodipine as a single agent in stable angina was investigated in a double blind crossover study of 25 patients. The dosage of felodipine was increased from 5 mg twice daily to 10 mg twice daily after two weeks. Twenty one patients completed the study, two were withdrawn because of acute myocardial infarction, and a further two because of symptoms of vasodilatation. Felodipine reduced both supine and erect blood pressure and increased the resting heart rate. Median exercise time was increased by 10% at two weeks and 7% at four weeks. There was a sustained reduction in the number of angina attacks and use of sublingual nitrate on active treatment. Felodipine has antianginal effects but these are limited and seem less than those of other related compounds. This finding is unexpected and possibly related to increased heart rate.
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