Treating Hypertension with Calcium Channel Blockers

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Are you new to calcium channel blockers? CCB is a type of medication used in the treatment of hypertension, blood pressure, and other conditions like chest pain and irregular heartbeats. They lower your blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering the cells of your heart and arteries. Besides, some calcium channel blockers have the added benefit of slowing your heart rate which can further control an irregular heartbeat. They are also known as calcium antagonists and are available in the form of short-acting and long-acting medications. In short CCB are general medications having a low risk of complications. Many times, a doctor may prescribe calcium channel blockers to treat high blood pressure and different heart ailments. Check out here for an in-depth analysis of CCB. 

Variant types of calcium channel blocker 

Generally, all approved calcium channel blockers inhibit the L-type calcium channel on cells. But still, they are divided into two major categories based on their predominant physiologic effects. 

Dihydropyridines 

These dihydropyridines are potent vasodilators with little or no negative effect clinically upon cardiac contractility or conduction. They are typically used to manage hypertension or chronic stable angina. The agents such as nifedipine, isradipine, nisoldipine, lacidipine, amlodipine, felodipine, nicardipine, and levamlodipine have been favored over the non-dihydropyridines for the prescription of hypertension.

Non-dihydropyridines  

These non-dihydropyridines include verapamil and diltiazem which are used in the management of hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, chronic stable angina, or for proteinuria reduction. Besides, they are somewhat less potent vasodilators compared to dihydropyridines but have a greater depressive effect on cardiac conduction and contractility.

When to use calcium channel blockers? 

In addition to hypertension and blood pressure, doctors prescribe CCB to prevent or treat the symptoms in a variety of conditions like Coronary artery disease, Chest pain or angina, Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats, some circulatory conditions, such as Raynaud’s disease. For older people, these CCB medications work better compared to other pressure medications like beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin II receptor blockers.

Side effects of calcium channel blockers 

Well, there are no particular side effects for CCB. In the initial stages, few might experience ankle swelling, dizziness, headache, nausea, rash, etc. However, for some time it could be problematic, but its effect may improve with time.

How to intake these calcium channel blockers? 

You can take these CCB medications with food or milk, however, you may consult your doctor. Try to follow the label directions correctly. Equally, the number of doses you take each day and the time allowed between the doses, everything depends on the type of medication prescribed and on your condition. But, avoid taking grapefruit and grape juices as is it can affect the action of CCB. Also, make sure you consult the doctor on regular basis to ensure the medication is working for you and isn’t causing any intolerable side effects on your body.

In a nutshell 

Calcium channel blockers or CCB are a well-established class of medicine used in the treatment of hypertension and the prevention of angina. They work efficiently by relaxing the blood vessels and reducing pressure on the heart.

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