My Heart Beats For You

So, the other day I was at the counter talking with a patient about their new blood pressure medication.  As we were talking, the patient asked me a question that I had not had before, “If this is a calcium channel blocker, will I need to change the amount of calcium I take in my diet?”  I explained that in all of the years of counseling patients, I had never been asked that question. 

No, the amount of calcium you ingest does not necessarily change how a calcium channel blocker medication works.  Calcium channel blockers work by decreasing the influx of calcium ions into vascular smooth muscle during contraction.  This process effectively relaxes this type of muscle. 

Relaxation of vascular smooth muscle allows for an opening up of the blood vessels which decreases blood pressure.  Relaxation of coronary (heart) vascular smooth muscle helps dilate (open up) the blood vessels in the heart and deliver more oxygen to the heart cells.  Oxygenation of the heart helps treat angina (chest pain).   This relaxation also slows down the rate at which the heart beats.   

By doing this, the resistance that the heart needs to pump against is decreased, heart rate is decreased, and the heart does not need to work as hard to pump blood.

To listen to a Medication Specific Counseling SessionTM on any of the following Calcium Channel Blockers, please registerto become a member of AudibleRxTM and then have full access to all of the counseling sessions for a full five years. 

  • Amlodipine (Norvasc-TM)
  • Diltiazem ER (Cardizem CD-TM, Dilacor XR-TM, Taztia XT-TM and others)
  • Felodipine (Plendil-TM)
  • Isradipine (Dynacirc CR-TM)
  • Nifedipine ER (Procardia XL-TM, Adalat CC-TM, and others)
  • Nisoldipine (Sular-TM)
  • Verapamil SR (Calan SR-TM, Isoptin SR-TM, and others)

You may also be interested in reading one of the following blogs about blood pressure, your heart and circulation.


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