In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
 EMAIL TO FRIEND     |      PRINTER FRIENDLY     |    
          advertisement

Calcium Channel Blockers

Also called: CCB, Slow Channel Calcium Antagonists, Calcium Antagonists, Slow Channel Blockers, Calcium Channel Antagonists

- Summary
- About calcium channel blockers
- Conditions treated
- Conditions of concern
- Potential side effects
- Drug or other interactions
- Symptoms of overdose
- Lifestyle considerations
- Pregnancy use issues
- Child use issues
- Elderly use issues
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Kerry Prewitt, M.D., FACC
Abdou Elhendy, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA
Robert I. Hamby, M.D., FACC, FACP

Summary

First identified in the late 1960s, calcium channel blockers (also called CCBs or calcium antagonists) are non-habit-forming medications that are used to relax the smooth muscles of the arteries and arterioles as well as the heart muscle, which reduces the workload on the heart and causes a drop in blood pressure.

Calcium is considered an excitatory element. In other words, when calcium flows into certain cells, such as smooth muscle cells located in arteries or muscle cells in the heart, it causes them to contract. In a normal heart, the regular heart rhythm is controlled by the flow of ions such as calcium and potassium into and out of muscle cells.

Calcium channel blockers fall into one of two categories. Some of them affect the contractile strength of the heart, while others are vasodilators that cause arteries to relax and widen. The choice of which calcium channel blocker to use depends on the condition being treated. By inhibiting calcium, physicians are able to reduce the contractile energy of arterHypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure (the force of blood against artery walls).ial smooth muscle and heart muscle.  As a result, blood pressure is lowered and circulation is improved. Calcium channel blockers may be prescribed for people with high blood pressure (hypertension). They also reduce the workload of the heart, so they may be prescribed for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Other conditions that may be treated by these medications include coronary artery disease, certain abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and history of a specific type of heart attack.

Side effects may include a brief headache that should fade over time. The medication can also cause low blood pressure (hypotension), dizziness, swelling (edema) in the lower legs, constipation, fatigue, stomach discomfort, heart failure and conduction defects.

 

page 1 of 9 | Next Page




Review Date: 03-05-2007
Video

While the exact causes of high blood pressure can remain unknown, it's clear that two...

Sharon suffered with high blood pressure, cholesterol and anxiety. So doctor Jane Sadler,...

Chronic insomnia coupled with sleeping less than 5 hours a night...

Whether you're anxious, irritable, angry or suffering from insomnia,...

A condition called pre-eclampsia, which affects between 5 and 8...

Researchers discover marker that can warn pregnant women of...

News from Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Dr. Nancy Snyderman

Helpful tips and information on health and weight loss

Get the information you need
advertisement
advertisement

YourTotalHealth      

Home  |  Health Centers  |  Health A-Z  |  Staying Healthy  |  Diet & Fitness  |  Woman & Family  |   |   |  

also on iVision:  |   |   |   |   |   |   | 

 |   |  Site Map  |   | 

Copyright (c) 2000-2009 iVision Inc. All rights reserved. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.