Objectives: This study was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of amlodipine, a long-acting calcium channel blocker, in patients with vasospastic angina.
Background: Previous studies have established the value of short-acting calcium channel blockers in the treatment of coronary spasm.
Methods: Fifty-two patients with well documented vasospastic angina were entered into the present study. After a single-blind placebo run-in period, patients were randomized (in a double-blind protocol) to receive either amlodipine (10 mg) or placebo every morning for 4 weeks. Twenty-four patients received amlodipine and 28 received placebo. All patients were given diaries in which to record both the frequency, severity, duration and circumstances of anginal episodes and their intake of sublingual nitroglycerin tablets.
Results: The rate of anginal episodes decreased significantly (p = 0.009) with amlodipine treatment compared with placebo and the intake of nitroglycerin tablets showed a similar trend. Peripheral edema was the only adverse event seen more frequently in amlodipine-treated patients. No patient was withdrawn from the double-blind phase of the study because of an adverse event. Patients who completed the double-blind phase as responders to amlodipine or as nonresponders to placebo were offered the option of receiving amlodipine in a long-term, open label extension phase. During the extension, the daily dose of amlodipine was adjusted to 5 or 15 mg if needed and the rate of both anginal episodes and nitroglycerin tablet consumption showed statistically significant decreases between baseline and final assessment.
Conclusion: This study suggests that amlodipine given once daily is efficacious and safe in the treatment of vasospastic angina.