Calcium-channel blockers cause the blood vessels to relax by slowing the rate at which calcium passes into the heart muscle and blood vessel walls. As the blood vessels relax, more blood can flow through them, lowering the blood pressure. Calcium-channel blockers are prescribed to manage high blood pressure, chest pain (angina) or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia).
If these medications are prescribed, the doctor should be made aware of any other drug, vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement the patient is taking, especially:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids
- High blood pressure medicine (particularly beta blockers and ACE inhibitors)
- Medications for certain eye conditions
- Vitamin D