Development and feasibility of a porcine model of amlodipine toxicity
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INTRODUCTION: Toxicity related to calcium-channel blockers remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Amlodipine-induced shock is unique in that its mechanism of action is thought to occur in part via the release of nitric oxide (NO) in the peripheral vasculature. Specific therapeutic interventions, including methylene blue (an NO scavenger), have been suggested, but efficacy studies are severely limited. To facilitate a larger porcine study into the effect of various interventions on amlodipine toxicity, we undertook this model development and feasibility study. METHODS: Intravenous amlodipine was prepared by dissolving commercially obtained amlodipine tablets in dimethylsulfoxide. The concentration of the drug was verified using ultraviolet spectroscopy. We administered this solution to three animals in order to determine a toxic dose, capable of facilitating a two-arm study of amlodipine toxicity. RESULTS: The first pig died rapidly after the bolus infusion. The second pig developed mild toxicity, but the dissolution of the plastic tubing by the solvent and subsequent leakage limited the interpretability of the result. The third animal developed expected toxicity with an infusion rate between 2.0 and 5.5 mg/kg/h. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates a potentially repeatable model of amlodipine-induced toxic shock using intravenous administration of amlodipine and several methodological considerations for researchers undertaking similar work.
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