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Calcium channel blocking agents

A drug may be classified by the chemical type of the active ingredient or by the way it is used to treat a particular condition. Each drug can be classified into one or more drug classes.

Calcium channel blockers block voltage gated calcium channels and inhibits the influx of calcium ions into cardiac and smooth muscle cells. The decrease in intracellular calcium reduces the strength of heart muscle contraction, reduces conduction of impulses in the heart, and causes vasodilatation.

Decrease in intracellular calcium in the heart decreases cardiac contractility. Decreased calcium in the vascular smooth muscle reduces its contraction and therefore causes vasodilatation.

Decrease in cardiac contractility decreases cardiac output and vasodilatation decreases total peripheral resistance, both of which cause a drop in blood pressure.

Calcium channel blocking agents are used to treat hypertension.

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