Amlodipine Use in Pediatric Hypertension

Marcia L. Buck, Pharm.D., FCCP

Pediatr Pharm. 2003;9(7) 

In This Article


Since its release in 1992, amlodipine, a vasoselective dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, has become a frequent component of antihypertensive regimens in adults. It offers several potential advantages compared to other agents in this class, including once daily dosing, few significant drug interactions, and a relatively mild adverse effect profile. Although there have been only a small number of studies to document its efficacy in children, many pediatric institutions are now using amlodipine as a primary therapy for managing hypertension.

Like all calcium channel blockers, amlodipine inhibits the movement of calcium ions across cell membranes. It acts primarily via inhibition of the influx of calcium into vascular smooth muscle and, to a lesser extent, cardiac muscle. As a result, amlodipine produces peripheral arterial vasodilation and lowers blood pressure, with relatively little negative inotropic effect. Amlodipine interacts with calcium ion channels by an ongoing association/dissociation with the receptor binding site, producing a gradual onset of action.[1,2,3]


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