What Are Calcium Antagonists?
Calcium antagonists are better known by their alternate name: calcium channel blockers (CCBs). They are a large group of medications used to treat conditions like high blood pressure, arrhythmias, angina or severe chest pain, some types of congestive heart failure, and occasionally pulmonary hypertension. Less commonly, CCBs are employed for treatment of migraines or bipolar disorder, though these tend to be off-label uses. They’re principally found effective, though helpfulness may vary, because they inhibit the movement of calcium into the blood vessels and the heart. This relaxes and widens (dilates) blood vessels, which allows blood to flow with greater ease, improving blood vessel and circulatory function. Significant research suggests calcium antagonists aren’t always the drugs of choice to treat the above-mentioned conditions, and they may not be first-line treatment for high blood pressure. They may be second or third choices for many patients because they usually don’t control