Calcium channel blockers (CCB), calcium channel antagonists or calcium antagonists are several medications that disrupt the movement of calcium (Ca2+ ) through calcium channels.
Calcium channel blockers are used as antihypertensive drugs, i.e., as medications to decrease blood pressure in patients with hypertension. CCBs are particularly effective against large vessel stiffness, one of the common causes of elevated systolic blood pressure in elderly patients.
Calcium channel blockers are also frequently used to alter heart rate, to prevent cerebral vasospasm, and to reduce chest pain caused by angina pectoris.
N-type, L-type, and T-type voltage-dependent calcium channels are present in the zona glomerulosa of the human adrenal, and CCBs can directly influence the biosynthesis of aldosterone in adrenocortical cells, with consequent impact on the clinical treatment of hypertension with these agents.
CCBs have been shown to be slightly more effective than beta blockers at lowering cardiovascular mortality, but they are associated with more side effects.
Potential major risks however were mainly found to be associated with short-acting CCBs.