Which medications in the drug class Glucose-Elevating Agents are used in the treatment of Calcium Channel Blocker Toxicity?

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

Glucagon uses a different receptor than that used by sympathomimetics to stimulate intracellular cAMP production, increasing cardiac conduction and contractility. Glucagon has positive inotropic and chronotropic effects, which may be useful for treating bradycardia caused by calcium channel blockers.

Glucagon (GlucaGen)

Glucagon binds to a specific cell surface receptor found on cardiac myocytes and stimulates adenyl cyclase via G proteins. This results in the release of intracellular cAMP, thereby increasing phosphorylation of L-type calcium channels and calcium influx into cells.

One study showed that glucagon performed its action on cardiac function best in a normocalcemic environment. Mix glucagon with 0.9% sodium chloride (NaCl) to yield 1 mg/mL (1 U = 1 mg); do not use the diluent (propylene glycol) supplied with the single-dose ampule.

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