A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study was conducted to test the peak and trough antianginal and antiischemic monotherapy efficacy and safety of a new extended-release formulation of nisoldipine (nisoldipine Coat Core [Bayer Corporation], 20 mg, 40 mg, and 60 mg once daily compared to placebo). Study patients had a history of chronic, stable angina pectoris, exercise-induced angina in association with ST segment depression, and exercise test reproducibility. Of the 483 patients enrolled in the study, results were valid for safety analysis for 312 and for efficacy analysis for 284. There was a statistically significant improvement in total exercise time at both peak and trough for patients taking 20 mg and 60 mg of nisoldipine compared with patients taking placebo, but the group taking 60 mg was not better than the group taking 20 mg (33.9 and 33.7 seconds, respectively, at trough). The results were similar for the secondary endpoints (time to onset of angina and time to 1 mm ST segment depression). No correlation was evident between plasma nisoldipine levels and total exercise duration. Headache and peripheral edema were the most frequently reported adverse events and were dose related. There were no discontinuations due to adverse events in patients randomized to the 20-mg nisoldipine group. No deaths occurred while patients were receiving active nisoldipine therapy. Therapy with this extended-release formulation of nisoldipine is an effective once-daily treatment for chronic stable angina pectoris. It represents one of the few dihydropyridine calcium channel antagonists that has shown efficacy when administered as monotherapy to patients with angina.