Uses for calcium channel blockers

Doctors prescribe calcium channel blockers to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in a variety of conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)
  • Some circulatory conditions, such as Raynaud's disease

For black people and older people, calcium channel blockers might be more effective than other blood pressure medications, such as beta blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers.

Side effects and cautions

Side effects of calcium channel blockers may include:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushing
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in the feet and lower legs

Certain calcium channel blockers interact with grapefruit products.

June 24, 2016 See more In-depth