Dihydropyridinic calcium channel blockers are a subclass of antihypertensive drugs with growing significance in the therapeutic armamentarium. Early studies in the 1990s had aroused certain fears with regard to the safety of the first drugs from this class, since they had a fast onset of action and a short half-life, and thus they were associated with reflex adrenergic activation. New molecules with long half-lives and high lipophilia have shown safety and efficacy in the control of blood pressure, as well as in the reduction of several end points related to hypertension. Moreover, these new molecules, which block special subtypes of calcium channel receptors, provide drugs not only with an action profile that goes beyond the antihypertensive effect, but also with a lower rate of side effects. Therefore, in the light of new studies that include calcium channel blockers alone or in combination, these agents will probably be used even more extensively for the management of hypertension in the following years. © 2013 Expert Reviews Ltd.
- antihypertensive treatment
- L-type calcium channel blocker
- T-type calcium channel blocker