Plasma concentrations and hemodynamic effects of nifedipine: a study in anesthetized dogs

J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. Nov-Dec 1983;5(6):920-7. doi: 10.1097/00005344-198311000-00003.


The elimination kinetics of the calcium channel blocking agent nifedipine were studied in three male mongrel dogs after single intravenous bolus doses, and the drug's disposition followed first-order kinetics. After single intravenous doses, the elimination rate constant (mean +/- SE) was 0.693 +/- 0.069 h-1; the total body clearance, 0.736 +/- 0.226 L/h/kg; and the apparent volume of distribution, 1.15 +/- 0.12 L/kg. Based on these data, a model for the administration of nifedipine by an intravenous bolus-infusion regimen was developed to rapidly achieve and maintain stable plasma drug concentrations. Testing of this model in six anesthetized, open-chest dogs revealed pulmonary artery (mixed venous) drug concentrations that were consistently lower than those predicted, with stable plasma nifedipine levels achieved within 5 min and maintained over 60-min study periods. In these animals, a linear relationship was found between nifedipine concentrations in plasma and the total amount of drug administered (r = 0.92, p less than 0.001). Log-linear relationships were found between plasma nifedipine concentrations and mean arterial blood pressure (r = -0.93, p less than 0.001), cardiac output (r = 0.94, p less than 0.001), peripheral vascular resistance (r = -0.93, p less than 0.001), and pulmonary vascular resistance (r = -0.83, p less than 0.001). In addition, infusion of CaCl2 (3 mg/kg/min) resulted in increases in blood pressure despite the presence of stable plasma nifedipine concentrations. No electrocardiographic changes were seen at any plasma nifedipine level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, General
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Calcium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Nifedipine / blood
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology*
  • Vascular Resistance / drug effects


  • Nifedipine
  • Calcium Chloride