Calcium Channel Blockers - Uses & Side Effects

Calcium channel blockers, also called calcium antagonists, can prevent calcium from entering cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, resulting in lower blood pressure. By affecting the muscle cells in the arterial walls, calcium channel blockers relax and widen your blood vessels.Moreover, some types of blockers additionally help slow your heart rate to further reduce blood pressure.

Examples of calcium channel blockers

Examples of calcium channel blockers include:

  • Amlodipine (Norvasc)
  • Diltiazem (Cardizem, Tiazac, others)
  • Felodipine
  • Isradipine
  • Nicardipine
  • Nifedipine (Adalat CC, Afeditab CR, Procardia)
  • Nisoldipine (Sular)
  • Verapamil (Calan, Verelan)

The type of calcium channel blockers you use depends on your personal condition. Consult your doctor for professional medical advice if you are not sure which one you should choose.


Calcium channel blockers are usually prescribed to prevent, treat or improve symptoms in a variety of conditions, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)
  • Some circulatory conditions, such as Raynaud’s disease

Side effects

Calcium channel blockers may lead to some side effects, involving:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Drowsiness
  • Flushing
  • Nausea
  • Swelling in the feet and lower legs

Besides, certain calcium channel blockers interact with grapefruit products.

If you are not certain how to use calcium channel blockers, please ask your doctor for help.

Keywords: calcium channel blockers; blood pressure.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.