What is the progression of calcium channel blocker (CCB) toxicity?

Updated: Jan 04, 2021
  • Author: B Zane Horowitz, MD, FACMT; Chief Editor: Michael A Miller, MD  more...
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Answer

Ingestion of excessive calcium channel blocker (CCB) agents is one of the most potentially lethal prescription drug overdoses. Overdoses of immediate-release CCBs are characterized by rapid progression to hypotension, bradydysrhythmia, and cardiac arrest, while overdoses of extended-release formulations can result in delayed onset of dysrhythmias, shock, sudden cardiac collapse, and bowel ischemia. [1]

The image below illustrates the chemical structure of the calcium channel blocker diltiazem.

Calcium channel blocker; diltiazem. Calcium channel blocker; diltiazem.

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