Calcium Antagonistic Agents: Uptake into Various Muscles and their Effects on Calcium Binding

  • David C. Pang
  • Nick Sperelakis
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 39)


Calcium antagonistic drugs (1,2) belong to a new pharmacological class of organic compounds, which includes verapamil (3), bepridil (4), nifedipine (5), nitrendipine (6) and diltiazem (7) (Figure 1). These drugs interfere with the normal function of calcium in the cell, and they exert a strong negative inotropic effect on cardiac muscle. The normal action potential remains unchanged or is only slightly affected? that is, these drugs produce uncoupling of contraction from excitation. Their action can be greatly counteracted by increasing concentration of external calcium. Electrophysiological studies show that the mode of action of these drugs is due to a decrease of transmembrane conductance for calcium ions and, consequently, to a reduction of the slow inward calcium current.


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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, Boston 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Pang
  • Nick Sperelakis

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