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      Comparative pharmacology of calcium antagonists: nifedipine, verapamil and diltiazem.

      The American Journal of Cardiology

      therapeutic use, pharmacology, metabolism, Verapamil, Vasodilator Agents, Tetrodotoxin, Sheep, Pyridines, Nifedipine, drug therapy, Myocardial Infarction, drug effects, Myocardial Contraction, Muscle, Smooth, Vascular, Kinetics, Ion Channels, Hypertension, Humans, Electrophysiology, Dogs, Diltiazem, Cardiovascular System, antagonists & inhibitors, Calcium, Benzazepines, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Animals, Angina Pectoris, Variant, Angina Pectoris

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          Abstract

          Calcium antagonists (slow channel blocking agents) are a very heterogeneous group of agents with dissimilar structural, electrophysiologic and pharmacologic properties. Nifedipine is a potent, long-acting vasodilator that has proved highly efficacious in relieving anginal symptoms caused by coronary vasospasm. In vivo, it exerts no myocardial depressant effects and has no antiarrhythmic properties. Treatment with nifedipine can safely be combined with administration of a beta receptor blocking agent. VErapamil prolongs atrioventricular (A-V) conduction (A-H interval) in a dose-dependent manner. It is the drug of choice for the treatment of reentrant supraventricular arrhythmias, irrespective of whether reentry occurs within the A-V node or through an accessory pathway (the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome). Verapamil is only moderately effective as an antianginal agent. Diltiazem is efficacious for the treatment of angiospastic angina, but its value as an antiarrhythmic agent remains to be delineated.

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