Which medications in the drug class Calcium Channel Blockers are used in the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension?

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

Calcium channel blockers act by inhibiting calcium ions from entering slow channels or select voltage-sensitive areas of vascular smooth muscle.

Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia, Nifedical)

Nifedipine is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker. It is a vasodilator that dilates both systematic and pulmonary vascular beds. Higher doses of nifedipine are required for optimal vasodilation of pulmonary arteries.

Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Cartia XT, Tiazac)

Diltiazem is a nondihydropyridine calcium channel blocker. During depolarization, diltiazem inhibits the influx of extracellular calcium across both the myocardial and vascular smooth muscle cell membranes. Serum calcium levels remain unchanged. The resultant decrease in intracellular calcium inhibits the contractile processes of myocardial smooth muscle cells, resulting in dilation of the coronary and systemic arteries and improved oxygen delivery to the myocardial tissue. It decreases conduction velocity in atrioventricular node and increases refractory period via blockade of calcium influx.

Amlodipine (Norvasc)

Amlodipine is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker that has antianginal and antihypertensive effects. Amlodipine is a peripheral arterial vasodilator that acts directly on vascular smooth muscle to cause a reduction in peripheral vascular resistance and reduction in blood pressure.

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