INTRODUCTION: Role of Ca++ in Contraction, and Wide Variety of Effects of Calcium Antagonists
The calcium antagonistic drugs are a relatively new class of drugs that have in common the effect of reducing Ca++ ion entry into excitable nerve and muscle cells through the voltage-dependent and time-dependent slow channels. Hence, these drugs are also known as Ca++ entry blockers, slow channel blockers, or organic calcium antagonistis (to contrast with the inorganic calcium antagonists, such as Mn++, Co++, Mg++, and La+++). The organic structure of the calcium antagonistic drugs varies widely, and the chemical formulae of some of the major sub-classes of these drugs are depicted in Figure 1.
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