Amlodipine, a potent long‐acting dihydropyridine calcium antagonist, was compared with placebo in a parallel, randomized, double‐blind study in 134 patients with chronic stable angina pectoris maintained on betaadrenergic blocking agents. After a single‐blind, two‐week placebo period, patients were randomized to receive either amlodipine (2.5, 5, and 10 mg) or placebo once daily for four weeks. The effects of amlodipine on maximal exercise time, work, time to angina onset, and subjective indices including angina frequency, nitroglycerin tablet consumption, and patient and investigator ratings were assessed. Each dose of amlodipine produced increases in exercise time and calculated total work accomplished compared to baseline. Improvements at 5 and 10 mg were significantly greater than placebo which produced no significant change (p<0.05). Qualitative improvements in the severity of angina were produced by amlodipine at 5 and 10 mg daily assessed by patient‐rating questionnaires (p<0.05). Reductions in angina frequency attacks per week and weekly nitroglycerin tablet consumption occurred but were not statistically significant when compared with placebo. Adverse effects observed during amlodipine treatment prompted discontinuation of treatment in only 2 out of 100 patients. Three patients discontinued treatment for reported lack of efficacy. No laboratory abnormalities prompted treatment discontinuation and minor side effects of dizziness, nausea, headache, and fatigue were observed infrequently. The results of this controlled, large‐scale multicenter trial suggest that amlodipine significantly increased exercise capacity and was well tolerated when added to the antianginal regimen of patients remaining symptomatic while receiving beta‐blocking agents. Copyright © 1992 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.