Possibly by deforming the channel, inhibiting ion-control gating mechanisms, and/or interfering with the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, clevidipine inhibits the influx of extracellular calcium across both the myocardial and vascular smooth muscle cell membranes. The resultant inhibition of the contractile processes of the myocardial smooth muscle cells leads to dilation of the coronary and systemic arteries and improved oxygen delivery to the myocardial tissue.
Clevidipine belongs to a well-known class of drugs called dihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists. Clevidpine is the first third generation intravenous dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker. In vitro studies demonstrated that clevidipine acts by selectively relaxing the smooth muscle cells that line small arteries, resulting in arterial dilation, widening of the artery opening, and without reducing central venous pressure or reducing cardiac output.