Amlodipine Besylate Tablets - Pharmaceutical Information, Clinical Trials, Detailed Pharmacology, Toxicology.
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Amlodipine Besylate Tablets - Scientific Information

Manufacture: Epic Pharma LLC
Country: United States
Condition: Angina, Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure (Congestive Heart Failure), High Blood Pressure (Hypertension), Raynaud's Syndrome
Class: Calcium channel blocking agents
Form: Tablets
Ingredients: Amlodipine besylate, cellulose, microcrystalline, starch, corn, sodium starch glycolate typea potato, magnesium stearate.


Amlodipine besylate is the besylate salt of amlodipine, a long-acting calcium channel blocker.

Amlodipine besylate is chemically described as 3-Ethyl-5-methyl (±)-2-[(2-aminoethoxy)methyl]-4-(2-chlorophenyl)-1,4-dihydro-6-methyl-3,5-pyridinedicarboxylate, monobenzenesulphonate. Its empirical formula is C20H25CIN2O5•C6H6O3S, and its structural formula is:

Amlodipine besylate is a white crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 567.1. It is slightly soluble in water and sparingly soluble in ethanol. Amlodipine besylate tablets, USP are formulated as white tablets equivalent to 2.5, 5, and 10 mg of amlodipine for oral administration. In addition to the active ingredient, amlodipine besylate, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, sodium starch glycolate and magnesium stearate.

Clinical Pharmacology

Mechanism of Action

Amlodipine is a dihydropyridine calcium antagonist (calcium ion antagonist or slow-channel blocker) that inhibits the transmembrane influx of calcium ions into vascular smooth muscle and cardiac muscle. Experimental data suggest that amlodipine binds to both dihydropyridine and nondihydropyridine binding sites. The contractile processes of cardiac muscle and vascular smooth muscle are dependent upon the movement of extracellular calcium ions into these cells through specific ion channels. Amlodipine inhibits calcium ion influx across cell membranes selectively, with a greater effect on vascular smooth muscle cells than on cardiac muscle cells. Negative inotropic effects can be detected in vitro but such effects have not been seen in intact animals at therapeutic doses. Serum calcium concentration is not affected by amlodipine. Within the physiologic pH range, amlodipine is an ionized compound (pKa=8.6), and its kinetic interaction with the calcium channel receptor is characterized by a gradual rate of association and dissociation with the receptor binding site, resulting in a gradual onset of effect.

Amlodipine is a peripheral arterial vasodilator that acts directly on vascular smooth muscle to cause a reduction in peripheral vascular resistance and reduction in blood pressure.

The precise mechanisms by which amlodipine relieves angina have not been fully delineated, but are thought to include the following:

Exertional Angina

In patients with exertional angina, amlodipine besylate reduces the total peripheral resistance (afterload) against which the heart works and reduces the rate pressure product, and thus myocardial oxygen demand, at any given level of exercise.

Vasospastic Angina

Amlodipine besylate has been demonstrated to block constriction and restore blood flow in coronary arteries and arterioles in response to calcium, potassium epinephrine, serotonin, and thromboxane A2 analog in experimental animal models and in human coronary vessels in vitro. This inhibition of coronary spasm is responsible for the effectiveness of amlodipine besylate in vasospastic (Prinzmetal's or variant) angina.



Following administration of therapeutic doses to patients with hypertension, amlodipine besylate produces vasodilation resulting in a reduction of supine and standing blood pressures. These decreases in blood pressure are not accompanied by a significant change in heart rate or plasma catecholamine levels with chronic dosing. Although the acute intravenous administration of amlodipine decreases arterial blood pressure and increases heart rate in hemodynamic studies of patients with chronic stable angina, chronic oral administration of amlodipine in clinical trials did not lead to clinically significant changes in heart rate or blood pressures in normotensive patients with angina.

With chronic once daily oral administration, antihypertensive effectiveness is maintained for at least 24 hours. Plasma concentrations correlate with effect in both young and elderly patients. The magnitude of reduction in blood pressure with amlodipine is also correlated with the height of pretreatment elevation; thus, individuals with moderate hypertension (diastolic pressure 105–114 mmHg) had about a 50% greater response than patients with mild hypertension (diastolic pressure 90–104 mmHg). Normotensive subjects experienced no clinically significant change in blood pressures (+1/–2 mmHg).

In hypertensive patients with normal renal function, therapeutic doses of amlodipine besylate resulted in a decrease in renal vascular resistance and an increase in glomerular filtration rate and effective renal plasma flow without change in filtration fraction or proteinuria.

As with other calcium channel blockers, hemodynamic measurements of cardiac function at rest and during exercise (or pacing) in patients with normal ventricular function treated with amlodipine besylate have generally demonstrated a small increase in cardiac index without significant influence on dP/dt or on left ventricular end diastolic pressure or volume. In hemodynamic studies, amlodipine besylate has not been associated with a negative inotropic effect when administered in the therapeutic dose range to intact animals and man, even when co-administered with beta-blockers to man. Similar findings, however, have been observed in normal or well-compensated patients with heart failure with agents possessing significant negative inotropic effects.

Electrophysiologic Effects

Amlodipine besylate does not change sinoatrial nodal function or atrioventricular conduction in intact animals or man. In patients with chronic stable angina, intravenous administration of 10 mg did not significantly alter A-H and H-V conduction and sinus node recovery time after pacing. Similar results were obtained in patients receiving amlodipine besylate and concomitant beta-blockers. In clinical studies in which amlodipine besylate was administered in combination with beta-blockers to patients with either hypertension or angina, no adverse effects on electrocardiographic parameters were observed. In clinical trials with angina patients alone, amlodipine besylate therapy did not alter electrocardiographic intervals or produce higher degrees of AV blocks.

Drug Interactions


When amlodipine and sildenafil were used in combination, each agent independently exerted its own blood pressure lowering effect. [see Drug Interactions].


After oral administration of therapeutic doses of amlodipine besylate, absorption produces peak plasma concentrations between 6 and 12 hours. Absolute bioavailability has been estimated to be between 64 and 90%. The bioavailability of amlodipine besylate is not altered by the presence of food.

Amlodipine is extensively (about 90%) converted to inactive metabolites via hepatic metabolism with 10% of the parent compound and 60% of the metabolites excreted in the urine. Ex vivo studies have shown that approximately 93% of the circulating drug is bound to plasma proteins in hypertensive patients. Elimination from the plasma is biphasic with a terminal elimination half-life of about 30–50 hours. Steady-state plasma levels of amlodipine are reached after 7 to 8 days of consecutive daily dosing.

The pharmacokinetics of amlodipine are not significantly influenced by renal impairment. Patients with renal failure may therefore receive the usual initial dose.

Elderly patients and patients with hepatic insufficiency have decreased clearance of amlodipine with a resulting increase in AUC of approximately 40–60%, and a lower initial dose may be required. A similar increase in AUC was observed in patients with moderate to severe heart failure.

Drug Interactions

In vitro data indicate that amlodipine has no effect on the human plasma protein binding of digoxin, phenytoin, warfarin, and indomethacin.

Impact of Other Drugs on Amlodipine

Co-administered cimetidine, magnesium-and aluminum hydroxide antacids, sildenafil, and grapefruit juice have no impact on the exposure to amlodipine.

CYP3A inhibitors

Co-administration of a 180 mg daily dose of diltiazem with 5 mg amlodipine in elderly hypertensive patients resulted in a 60% increase in amlodipine systemic exposure. Erythromycin co-administration in healthy volunteers did not significantly change amlodipine systemic exposure. However, strong inhibitors of CYP3A (e.g., itraconazole, clarithromycin) may increase the plasma concentrations of amlodipine to a greater extent [see Drug Interactions].

Impact of Amlodipine on Other Drugs

Co-administered amlodipine does not affect the exposure to atorvastatin, digoxin, ethanol and the warfarin prothrombin response time.


Co-administration of multiple doses of 10 mg of amlodipine with 80 mg simvastatin resulted in a 77% increase in exposure to simvastatin compared to simvastatin alone [see Drug Interactions].


A prospective study in renal transplant patients (N=11) showed on an average of 40% increase in trough cyclosporine levels when concomitantly treated with amlodipine [see Drug Interactions].


A prospective study in healthy Chinese volunteers (N=9) with CYP3A5 expressers showed a 2.5- to 4-fold increase in tacrolimus exposure when concomitantly administered with amlodipine compared to tacrolimus alone. This finding was not observed in CYP3A5 non-expressers (N=6). However, a 3-fold increase in plasma exposure to tacrolimus in a renal transplant patient (CYP3A5 nonexpresser) upon initiation of amlodipine for the treatment of post-transplant hypertension resulting in reduction of tacrolimus dose has been reported. Irrespective of the CYP3A5 genotype status, the possibility of an interaction cannot be excluded with these drugs [see Drug Interactions].

Pediatric Patients

Sixty-two hypertensive patients aged 6 to 17 years received doses of amlodipine besylate between 1.25 mg and 20 mg. Weight-adjusted clearance and volume of distribution were similar to values in adults.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Rats and mice treated with amlodipine maleate in the diet for up to two years, at concentrations calculated to provide daily dosage levels of 0.5, 1.25, and 2.5 amlodipine mg/kg/day, showed no evidence of a carcinogenic effect of the drug. For the mouse, the highest dose was, on a mg/m2 basis, similar to the maximum recommended human dose of 10 mg amlodipine/day3. For the rat, the highest dose was, on a mg/m2 basis, about twice the maximum recommended human dose.3

Mutagenicity studies conducted with amlodipine maleate revealed no drug related effects at either the gene or chromosome level.

There was no effect on the fertility of rats treated orally with amlodipine maleate (males for 64 days and females for 14 days prior to mating) at doses up to 10 mg amlodipine/kg/day (8 times the maximum recommended human dose3 of 10 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis).

3 Based on patient weight of 50 kg

Clinical Studies

Effects in Hypertension

Adult Patients

The antihypertensive efficacy of amlodipine besylate has been demonstrated in a total of 15 doubleblind, placebo-controlled, randomized studies involving 800 patients on amlodipine besylate and 538 on placebo. Once daily administration produced statistically significant placebo-corrected reductions in supine and standing blood pressures at 24 hours postdose, averaging about 12/6 mmHg in the standing position and 13/7 mmHg in the supine position in patients with mild to moderate hypertension. Maintenance of the blood pressure effect over the 24-hour dosing interval was observed, with little difference in peak and trough effect. Tolerance was not demonstrated in patients studied for up to 1 year. The 3 parallel, fixed dose, dose response studies showed that the reduction in supine and standing blood pressures was dose-related within the recommended dosing range. Effects on diastolic pressure were similar in young and older patients. The effect on systolic pressure was greater in older patients, perhaps because of greater baseline systolic pressure. Effects were similar in black patients and in white patients.

Pediatric Patients

Two hundred and sixty-eight hypertensive patients aged 6 to 17 years were randomized first to amlodipine besylate 2.5 or 5 mg once daily for 4 weeks and then randomized again to the same dose or to placebo for another 4 weeks. Patients receiving 2.5 mg or 5 mg at the end of 8 weeks had significantly lower systolic blood pressure than those secondarily randomized to placebo. The magnitude of the treatment effect is difficult to interpret, but it is probably less than 5 mmHg systolic on the 5 mg dose and 3.3 mmHg systolic on the 2.5 mg dose. Adverse events were similar to those seen in adults.

Effects in Chronic Stable Angina

The effectiveness of 5 to 10 mg/day of amlodipine besylate in exercise-induced angina has been evaluated in 8 placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials of up to 6 weeks duration involving 1038 patients (684 amlodipine besylate, 354 placebo) with chronic stable angina. In 5 of the 8 studies, significant increases in exercise time (bicycle or treadmill) were seen with the 10 mg dose. Increases in symptom-limited exercise time averaged 12.8% (63 sec) for amlodipine besylate 10 mg, and averaged 7.9% (38 sec) for amlodipine besylate 5 mg. Amlodipine besylate 10 mg also increased time to 1 mm ST segment deviation in several studies and decreased angina attack rate. The sustained efficacy of amlodipine besylate in angina patients has been demonstrated over long-term dosing. In patients with angina, there were no clinically significant reductions in blood pressures (4/1 mmHg) or changes in heart rate (+0.3 bpm).

Effects in Vasospastic Angina

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 4 weeks duration in 50 patients, amlodipine besylate therapy decreased attacks by approximately 4/week compared with a placebo decrease of approximately 1/week (p<0.01). Two of 23 amlodipine and 7 of 27 placebo patients discontinued from the study due to lack of clinical improvement.

Effects in Documented Coronary Artery Disease

In PREVENT, 825 patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease were randomized to amlodipine besylate (5 to 10 mg once daily) or placebo and followed for 3 years. Although the study did not show significance on the primary objective of change in coronary luminal diameter as assessed by quantitative coronary angiography, the data suggested a favorable outcome with respect to fewer hospitalizations for angina and revascularization procedures in patients with CAD.

CAMELOT enrolled 1318 patients with CAD recently documented by angiography, without left main coronary disease and without heart failure or an ejection fraction <40%. Patients (76% males, 89% Caucasian, 93% enrolled at US sites, 89% with a history of angina, 52% without PCI, 4% with PCI and no stent, and 44% with a stent) were randomized to double-blind treatment with either amlodipine besylate (5 to 10 mg once daily) or placebo in addition to standard care that included aspirin (89%), statins (83%), beta-blockers (74%), nitroglycerin (50%), anti-coagulants (40%), and diuretics (32%), but excluded other calcium channel blockers. The mean duration of follow-up was 19 months. The primary endpoint was the time to first occurrence of one of the following events: hospitalization for angina pectoris, coronary revascularization, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, hospitalization for heart failure, stroke/TIA, or peripheral vascular disease. A total of 110 (16.6%) and 151 (23.1%) first events occurred in the amlodipine besylate and placebo groups, respectively, for a hazard ratio of 0.691 (95% CI: 0.540–0.884, p = 0.003). The primary endpoint is summarized in Figure 1 below. The outcome of this study was largely derived from the prevention of hospitalizations for angina and the prevention of revascularization procedures (see Table 1). Effects in various subgroups are shown in Figure 2.

In an angiographic substudy (n=274) conducted within CAMELOT, there was no significant difference between amlodipine and placebo on the change of atheroma volume in the coronary artery as assessed by intravascular ultrasound.

Figure 1 - Kaplan-Meier Analysis of Composite Clinical Outcomes for Amlodipine Besylate versus Placebo

Figure 2 – Effects on Primary Endpoint of Amlodipine Besylate versus Placebo across Sub-Groups

Table 1 below summarizes the significant composite endpoint and clinical outcomes from the composites of the primary endpoint. The other components of the primary endpoint including cardiovascular death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure, stroke/TIA, or peripheral vascular disease did not demonstrate a significant difference between amlodipine besylate and placebo.

Table 1 Incidence of Significant Clinical Outcomes for CAMELOT
Clinical Outcomes
N (%)
Amlodipine Besylate
Risk Reduction
Composite CV
Hospitalization for

* Total patients with these events

Studies in Patients With Heart Failure

Amlodipine besylate has been compared to placebo in four 8 to 12 week studies of patients with NYHA Class II/III heart failure, involving a total of 697 patients. In these studies, there was no evidence of worsened heart failure based on measures of exercise tolerance, NYHA classification, symptoms, or left ventricular ejection fraction. In a long-term (follow-up at least 6 months, mean 13.8 months) placebo-controlled mortality/morbidity study of amlodipine besylate 5 to 10 mg in 1153 patients with NYHA Classes III (n=931) or IV (n=222) heart failure on stable doses of diuretics, digoxin, and ACE inhibitors, amlodipine besylate had no effect on the primary endpoint of the study which was the combined endpoint of all-cause mortality and cardiac morbidity (as defined by life-threatening arrhythmia, acute myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for worsened heart failure), or on NYHA classification, or symptoms of heart failure. Total combined all-cause mortality and cardiac morbidity events were 222/571 (39%) for patients on amlodipine besylate and 246/583 (42%) for patients on placebo; the cardiac morbid events represented about 25% of the endpoints in the study.

Another study (PRAISE-2) randomized patients with NYHA Class III (80%) or IV (20%) heart failure without clinical symptoms or objective evidence of underlying ischemic disease, on stable doses of ACE inhibitors (99%), digitalis (99%), and diuretics (99%), to placebo (n=827) or amlodipine besylate (n=827) and followed them for a mean of 33 months. There was no statistically significant difference between amlodipine besylate and placebo in the primary endpoint of all-cause mortality (95% confidence limits from 8% reduction to 29% increase on amlodipine besylate). With amlodipine besylate there were more reports of pulmonary edema.