What is the efficacy of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)?

Updated: Apr 25, 2018
  • Author: Kristin E Schwab, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) have been evaluated primarily in patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). [34, 35] In a controlled study of 70 patients treated with these agents, approximately 50% maintained actual long-term New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class improvement at 1 year, without the need for another treatment. [35] The most commonly observed adverse effects of these agents are systemic hypotension and lower-extremity edema. In one study, 10-14% of patients with IPAH were seen to develop Raynaud syndrome. CCBs act by inhibiting calcium ions from entering slow channels or select voltage-sensitive areas of vascular smooth muscle. CCBs may include nifedipine, diltiazem, and amlodipine.


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