Common Antihypertensive Drugs: Calcium Antagonists

Calcium antagonist is a widely used antihypertensive drug. It is suitable for elderly hypertension, simple systolic hypertension, carotid intima-media thickening or plaque stable angina pectoris, post-stroke and peripheral vascular diseases.

    Commonly used long-acting calcium antagonists include: nifedipine controlled-release tablets, nifedipine sustained-release tablets III, amlodipine, levamlodipine, felodipine, lacidipine; Medium-acting calcium antagonist: usually taken twice a day in the morning and evening, commonly used are nitrendipine and nifedipine sustained-release tablets (I, II); Short-acting calcium antagonists include nifedipine, usually 2-3 times per day.

The drugs mentioned above are all dihydropyridine calcium antagonists. It can be used for basically all hypertension patients.

Adverse reaction

Adverse reactions of calcium antagonists:

Individual patients will have headache, facial flushing, lower limb edema, palpitation and other adverse reactions. For patients with lower limb edema, combined application of low-dose diuretics or ACEI/ARB drugs can reduce lower limb edema.

Very few patients will have gingival hyperplasia.

Short-acting preparations, such as nifedipine, can cause tachycardia, so medium-acting preparations are generally selected.

For patients with heart failure, faster basal heart rate or patients complicated with atrial fibrillation or other types of arrhythmia, it is better not to use dihydropyridine calcium antagonists alone.


Non-dihydropyridine calcium antagonists mainly include verapamil and diltiazem, which can also be used to reduce blood pressure, but their application is not so extensive. The side effects are that these two drugs may affect cardiac function and cause arrhythmia.

Therefore, patients with cardiac conduction dysfunction and heart failure cannot use non-dihydropyridine calcium antagonists. Before using such drugs, electrocardiogram examination should be carried out, and electrocardiogram should be reexamined 2 ~ 6 weeks after medication.

Responsible Editor: Zhang Jingyuan