Verapamil and nifedipine are calcium-blocking agents that have a selective dilator effect on resistance vessels. Both drugs have been shown to lower arterial pressure when given in long-term therapy under conditions of a double-blind controlled trial. Both agents may be effective as sole therapy or when given in combination with a diuretic; nifedipine has been used successfully in conjunction with beta-adrenoceptor antagonist/diuretic combinations. Calcium-blocking agents do not evoke tolerance in long-term treatment; in contrast to other directly acting dilator drugs, they do not consistently lead to a rise in plasma renin activity and they induce little or no sodium retention. Calcium-blocking agents do not all share the same mechanism of action, and they vary considerably in their effect on the heart. These differences may be important in determining which compound is best suited for use in particular clinical situations.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association