What Are Calcium Channel Blockers?
Calcium channel blockers are prescription medications used in the treatment of several cardiovascular conditions. The Texas Heart Institute notes that they work by slowing calcium absorption. Function The function of calcium channel blockers is to help dilate and relax the blood vessels, which allows for easier blood flow. This reduces the overall load on both heart and vessels. Uses The Mayo Clinic reports that calcium channel blockers are used in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension), angina (pressure and chest pain), and arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm). Types Cvpharmacology.com reports that there are three distinct classes of calcium channel blocker: dihydropyridines, phenylalkylamines, and benzothiazepines. Side Effects Side effects can vary depending on the specific medication but may include headaches, heartburn, edema (swelling from fluid retention), and flushing. In extreme cases, side effects may include jaundice, rash, dizziness, and gastrointestinal discomfo