The pharmacokinetics of the L-type calcium-channel blockers are outlined in Table.2. Notably, amlodipine has a longer half-life and is suitable for single night-time or twice-daily dosing in comparison with the better psychiatrically studied drugs nimodipine and isradipine. However, as long-acting preparations of these compounds become available, the importance of this half-life dissociation among the different compounds may dissipate. In our patient cohort at the National Institute of Mental Health, the pharmacokinetics of nimodipine (Bay e 9736) and its several metabolites (Bay o 1762, Bay m 5397, and Bay m 8922) were characterized by a rapid peaking (in 30-45 min) and decline in the second hour in response to a 60-mg challenge dose at steady state blood levels after an overnight fast. Additional small secondary peaks occurred when usual dosing of four times a day was resumed. There were no notable differences between capsule and tablet preparations.
Table 2 Half lives, dosages, and effectiveness of L-type calcium-channel inhibitors in mood disorders
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