Author + information
- Dennis M. Krikler, MD, FACC* and
- Edward Rowland, MB
- ↵*Address for reprints: Dennis M. Krikler, MD, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, 150 Du Cane Road, London W12 OHS, England.
All calcium antagonists have the ability to decrease the symptoms and signs in some patients with ischemic heart disease and help lower the blood pressure in hypertensive persons, but in clinical doses nifedipine does not exhibit antiarrhythmic properties, although these are an important part of the action of verapamil, diltiazem and some substances with a similar chemical structure. In certain disorders beta-adrenergic blocking drugs are useful adjuncts, and under some circumstances, particularly variant angina and supraventricular arrhythmias, specific calcium antagonists are the drugs of choice. More data are needed to define the role of calcium antagonists during cardiopulmonary bypass, in the protection of the ischemic myocardium, in the management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and in specific cases of primary pulmonary hypertension. When used with an appropriate sense of perspective and careful observation, calcium antagonists provide useful additional means of helping selected patients suffering from particular cardiovascular diseases.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation