Increasing evidence has suggested that a disturbance of cellular calcium metabolism may have a role in initiating and maintaining elevated systemic vascular resistance in essential hypertension. Controversy exists over whether calcium can alleviate or exacerbate the hypertensive process, and diversity of calcium metabolism in hypertensive patients has been proposed. Calcium-channel blocking agents are potent vasodilators capable of correcting the elevated systemic vascular resistance. Clinical studies have shown that these drugs have antihypertensive efficacy comparable to established agents. The elderly, blacks, and patients with low renin activity respond well to calcium-channel blockers. These drugs may also offer potential advantages over established antihypertensive agents in patients with other coexisting diseases. Sustained release formulations have been developed, and initial experience with long-term efficacy and tolerability is encouraging. The calcium-channel blockers may become first-line therapy for treatment of hypertension in selected patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
- Pharmacology (medical)