Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium Channel Blockers are drugs that block the movement of calcium into heart and blood vessel muscle cells, which can decrease the pumping strength of the heart and relax blood vessels.

This causes the muscles to relax, lowering blood pressure, slowing the heart rate and decreasing oxygen demands of the heart. They are used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina) caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle, as well as some abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

Some noted possible side effects of calcium channel blockers:

  • Palpitations
  • Swollen ankles
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Calcium Channel Blockers like Diltiazem may provide better rate control and arrhythmia-related symptom relief than beta blockers in patients with permanent atrial fibrillation (AF). A study suggested that calcium channel blockers performed better than beta blockers on heart rate and arrhythmia-related symptoms in patients with permanent, rapidly conducted AF. and should be considered more often for rate control in patients with AF.