The Side-Effects of Calcium Antagonist Therapy. Is Amlodipine Different?
In a Utopian world cardiovascular disorders would not exist, and even if they were to appear then the pharmacological agents developed for their control would undoubtedly lack any appreciable side-effects. Unfortunately, and despite its obvious attraction, even the concept or a Utopian world is pure fantasy, as is the likelihood of effective therapeutic agents being developed which lack any side-effects. In reality physicians have had to cope with the side-effects of therapeutically useful agents for centuries. Take digitalis for example — its side-effects of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea were described when the drug was first introduced over two hundred years ago, but its use persists. On a more recent note, the cough caused by the ACE inhibitors is now recognized as being an unwanted and troublesome side-effect of this particular form of therapy [due, probably to raised plasma levels of thromboxane A2, which is a potent bronchoconstrictor (Naomi et al., 1992)], as is the bronchospastic effect of the beta-adrenoceptor antagonists — but, again, these drugs are widely used. In some cases, however, the side-effects — such as skin irritations, lethargy, headache and insomnia — that some therapeutic agents cause are so severe as to be intolerable and result in discontinuation of the planned therapy. Clearly, therefore, the phenomenon of side-effects cannot be ignored and accordingly needs to be considered with respect to the calcium antagonists.
KeywordsConstipation Triglyceride Verapamil Renin Nifedipine
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