Calcium channel blockers are widely used in the treatment of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, and supraventricular tachycardia. The prototype agents, verapamil, nifedipine, and diltiazem, represent three classes of calcium channel blockers, each of which has different pharmacologic effects. Nifedipine and the other dihydropyridines primarily are vasodilators and have no clinical effects on cardiac conduction or contractility. Diltiazem and verapamil also are vasodilators, but they possess, to varying degrees, negative inotropic, chronotropic, and dromotropic effects. Side effects of these drugs are relatively rare and usually not serious, with the exception of potential conduction disturbances and heart failure in patients with underlying cardiac disease. To assess patients taking these medications and provide the necessary teaching, the nurse needs an understanding of the pharmacologic properties, clinical indications, and potential adverse effects of the various drugs
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Cardiovascular Pharmacology| May 01 1992
Calcium Channel Blockers
Pamela White, RN, MS, CCRN
From the Department of Nursing, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York.
Reprint requests to Pamela White, RN, MS, CCRN, 8384 Short Tract Rd., Nunda, NY 14517.
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AACN Adv Crit Care (1992) 3 (2): 437–446.
Pamela White; Calcium Channel Blockers. AACN Adv Crit Care 1 May 1992; 3 (2): 437–446. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/15597768-1992-2015
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