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Calcium channel blockers (CCB) are used in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders for their actions on the voltage sensitive calcium channels in cardiac and smooth muscles. The N-type calcium channels are of particular importance in control of release of neurotransmitters from the peripheral and central terminals. Nifedipine is a potent agent used in cardiovascular diseases like hypertension and angina, it is a drug that is taken chronically by most patients. This study is geared towards assessment of the effects of nifedipine on anxiety, behaviour, memory, movement, and other CNS parameters, to provide knowledge on side effects and drug repurposing. Three different sets of twenty five mice each were used for this study. For the neurobehavioral models (open field, hole board, elevated plus maze, Y maze and activity cage) twenty five mice were randomly divided into five groups (n =5). The groups include two controls (distilled H2O and diazepam) and three treatment groups for doses 0.15, 0.30 and 0.6 mg/Kg (calculated based therapeutic dose of nifedipine). The muscle relaxant models (traction test and inclined plane) were done using another set of twenty five according to grouping above. The third sets of twenty five animals were used for the pentobarbitone induced hypnosis test also according to the five groups earlier described. The results generated from this study suggest that nifedipine does not have CNS depressant effect even though a chronic use of 0.15 mg/kg proved otherwise. Nifedipine show an anxiogenic effect at a chronic dose of ≥ 0.3 mg/kg. Central depressive activity might be seen on administration of high dose of Nifedipine. Chronic use of Nifedipine show mild effect on learning and memory.
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