Why Prescribe CCB?
Your health care provider may prescribe a category of medication called a calcium channel blocker (CCB) for multiple medical conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and abnormal heart rhytm. Commonly prescribed CCB’s include amlodipine, nifedipine, felodipine, and diltiazem.
How Calcium Antagonist Work?
Calcium channel blockers work through various mechanisms that reduce the transport of calcium into muscle cells in the blood vessels and heart, and slowing the conduction of electrical impulses in the heart. Reduced calcium transport into muscle cells in the blood vessels and heart causes blood vessels to enlarge and reduction of blood pressure. Slowed conduction of the electrical impulse in the heart causes reduction of the heart rate.
Calcium antagonists exhibit protective effects against stroke and heart disease.
Most people who are prescribed these medications are able to enjoy their beneficial effects without experiencing bothersome side effects. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people taking CCB may experience swelling of the legs, fatigue, headache, and constipation. Ensure that you discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider immediately who may need to choose an alternative medicine to treat your condition.
Calcium antagonists exhibit protective effects against brain ischemia and heart disease. There is also a lower potential for rapid heart rate when this medication is no longer being used and retention of fluid compared to other blood pressure medicines that work by causing blood vessels to enlarge.
The Importance of Compliance
Seeing your healthcare provider on a routine basis is not enough if you do not follow the instructions that have been given once a health and wellness concern is identified. One of the most important steps that you can take to prevent worsening of your health is to take any medications that are prescribed. Most people will require lifetime treatment with medications for certain chronic diseases, but some will be able to eventually stop taking their medicines if strict compliance with diet and lifestyle changes can be maintained. Chronic health problems such as diabetes type 2, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are significant contributors to worse events such as heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure if not appropriately managed.