Calcium antagonists are widely used antihypertensive agents whose hemodynamic effects consist of a reduction in blood pressure and peripheral vascular resistance that is associated, in case of short-term administration, with a reflex increase in heart rate and cardiac output. These compounds exert several additional positive effects besides blood pressure reduction. Among them, calcium antagonists exert their antihypertensive effect without negatively interfering with both central and reflex neural control of circulation. The only change in baroreflex function observed during the administration of these compounds is a resetting of the baroreflex toward the lower blood pressure values achieved by treatment. New calcium antagonists of the dihydropyridine type are characterized by a greater vascular selectivity, and by the ability to exert a persistent blood pressure reduction throughout the 24 hours when administered in a single oral dose. The latter feature can be properly assessed by means of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring techniques.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine