Calcium-channel blocking agents, which include nifedipine, verapamil, and diltiazem have recently been licensed for use in this country. Calcium antagonists are a heterogeneous group of agents with dissimilar structural, electrophysiologic, and pharmacologic properties. The chemical structures of the most commonly used calcium blocking agents (nifedipine, verapamil, and diltiazem) differ and the molecular basis of their action remains unknown. These agents not only have established beneficial effects in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, but also serve as valuable research tools to elucidate the role of calcium flux in health and disease. Since many pathophysiologic events that underlie bronchial asthma and hyperreactive airway disease are calcium-dependent phenomena, it is possible that calcium antagonists may prove useful in both the therapy and prophylaxis of these conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine