Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

High Blood Pressure and Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers are drugs used to lower blood pressure. They work by slowing the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, which makes it easier for the heart to pump and widens blood vessels. As a result, the heart doesn't have to work as hard, and blood pressure lowers.

Examples of calcium channel blockers include:

Recommended Related to Hypertension

Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements for High Blood Pressure

In the past 10 years, many Americans have turned to omega-3 fish oil supplements. Dietary fish and fish oil supplements have benefits for healthy people and also those with heart disease. Omega-3 fish oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 fatty acids are very important in preventing and managing heart disease. Findings show omega-3 fish oil may help to: Lower blood pressure Reduce triglycerides Slow the development of plaque in the arteries ...

Read the Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements for High Blood Pressure article > >

 

 

 

Side Effects of Calcium Channel Blockers

Potential side effects from taking a calcium channel blocker include:

 

Guidelines for Calcium Channel Blockers

Before taking a calcium channel blocker, tell your doctor:

  • About any medical conditions you have, including any heart or blood vessel disorders, kidney or liver disease
  • About every medication you are taking, including any over-the-counter or herbal medications; certain drugs may interact with calcium channel blockers.

How Should I Take Calcium Channel Blockers?

Most calcium channel blockers can be taken with food or milk; however, ask your doctor. Follow the label directions on how often to take it. The number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and how long you need to take the medicine will depend on the type of medication prescribed and on your condition. Avoid grapefruit juice while taking these medications, because grapefruit prevents the breakdown of the drug in the body.

Be sure to see your doctor on a regular basis to make sure the medicine is working as it should and isn't causing any intolerable side effects. Your doctor may want to change the dosage if the drug isn't having the intended effect.

Interactions With Calcium Channel Blockers

  • Grapefruits and grapefruit juice can affect the action of many of the calcium channel blockers. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your calcium channel blocker is affected by grapefruit juice.
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking a calcium channel blocker. Alcohol interferes with the effects of the drug and increases the side effects.
  • Taking other blood pressure medications in combination with a calcium channel blocker may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. Discuss with your doctor the best way to take the medication if you are taking other drugs.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on October 31, 2013
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW
man in bed
TOOL
 
heart-shaped stethoscope
Quiz
Overturned salt shaker
Quiz
 
heart healthy living
ARTICLE
Erectile Dysfunction Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Bernstein Hypertension Affects Cardiac Risk
VIDEO
Compressed heart
Article
 
Heart Disease Overview Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
thumbnail for lowering choloesterol slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Heart Foods Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Low Blood Pressure
VIDEO
 

WebMD Special Sections