Dihydropyridine derivative and an analogue of the calcium channel blocker
REVIEW Although the precise mechanism of action is not known, nimodipine blocks intracellular influx of calcium through voltage-dependent and receptor-operated slow calcium channels across the membranes of myocardial, vascular smooth muscle, and neuronal cells. Nimodipine binds specifically to L-type voltage-gated calcium channels. The inhibition of calcium ion transfer results in the inhibition of vascular smooth muscle contraction. Evidence suggests that the dilation of small cerebral resistance vessels, with a resultant increase in collateral circulation, and/or a direct effect involving the prevention of calcium overload in neurons may be responsible for nimodipine's clinical effect in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage.
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Belfort MA, Anthony J, Saade GR, Allen JC Jr: A comparison of magnesium sulfate and nimodipine for the prevention of eclampsia. N Engl J Med. 2003 Jan 23;348(4):304-11.
Kim JH, Park IS, Park KB, Kang DH, Hwang SH: Intraarterial nimodipine infusion to treat symptomatic cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2009 Sep;46(3):239-44. Epub 2009 Sep 30.
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