What are the side effects of calcium channel blockers?
The most common side effects of calcium channel blockers are:
- Edema (swelling of the legs and feet with fluid)
- Low blood pressure
Liver dysfunction and over growth of the gums also occurs.
When diltiazem (Cardizem) or verapamil (Calan, Isoptin) are given to individuals with heart failure, symptoms of heart failure may worsen because these drugs reduce the ability of the heart to pump blood.
Like other blood pressure medications, calcium channel blockers are associated with sexual dysfunction.
For what conditions are calcium channel blockers used?
Calcium channel blockers are used for treating:
- hHigh blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythms (for example, atrial fibrillation, and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia)
Unlike beta blockers, calcium channel blockers have not been shown to reduce mortality or additional heart attacks after a heart attack.
Calcium channel blockers are as effective as ACE inhibitors in reducing blood pressure, but they may not be as effective as ACE inhibitors in preventing the kidney failure caused by high blood pressure or diabetes.
Calcium channel blockers may be more effective for people of African descent than other blood pressure medications.
They also are used for treating:
Calcium channel blockers are also used in the prevention of migraine headaches.
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