A series of dihydropyridines substituted at the 2-position by basic side chains are described and their potencies as calcium antagonists listed. One compound, 2-[(2-aminoethoxy)methyl]-4-(2-chlorophenyl)-3-ethoxycarbonyl-5- methoxycarbonyl-6-methyl-1,4-dihydropyridine (17, amlodipine) was found to be comparable in potency to nifedipine and to have an elimination half-life of 30 h in dogs. Oral bioavailability approached 100%, and hemodynamic responses were gradual in onset and long-lasting in effect. The two enantiomers have been prepared, and the bulk of the activity was found to reside with the (-) isomer, 18. X-ray crystallographic studies, carried out on a close analogue of 17, suggest the existence of a weak hydrogen bond between the side-chain oxygen and the proton on the ring nitrogen.