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Calcium Channel Blockers- Amlodipine (Norvasc) and Diltiazem (Cardizem)

Calcium channel blockers are drugs that block the entry of calcium into the muscle cells of the heart and arteries. The entry of calcium through channels is critical for the conduction of electrical signals that pass from muscle cell to muscle cell in the heart and arteries for contractions. Calcium channel blockers reduce the amount of calcium that enters into these muscle cells causing the muscles to relax and arteries to dilate or widen, because calcium is not able to enter. The dilation allows for blood pressure to be reduced and reduce the amount of work of the heart. This increases oxygen delivery, which can also relieve and prevent angina. 
Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience swollen feet and ankles. This is a common side effect of calcium channel blockers.               


Here is a helpful handout from BC Renal Agency to help you learn about this medication!