Amrinone, a new cardiotonic drug, has received attention as a better therapeutic agent than the cardiac glycosides in the treatment of congestive heart failure. In this study, the effects of amrinone on isolated rat uterus and its probable mechanism of action were investigated. At two different concentrations (0.1 and 0.5 m M) the inhibitory effects of amrinone on the spontaneous contractions of rat uterus were noted. In addition, amrinone (0.5 m M) was found to inhibit the tonic contractions induced by potassium sulphate (K2SO4)-Ringer solution (91.74%) and calcium chloride (CaCl2) (93.04%). These inhibitory effects were compared with regulators of the phosphodiesterase enzyme (PDE). It was concluded that amrinone could behave as a calcium antagonist and PDE inhibitor. © 1994 Springer-Verlag.