Calcium Antagonism

The concept of calcium antagonism as a specific mechanism of drug action was pioneered by Albrecht Fleckenstein and his colleagues, who observed that ve-rapamil and subsequently other drugs of this class mimicked in reversible fashion the effects of Ca++ withdrawal on cardiac excitability. These drugs inhibited the Ca++ component of the ionic currents carried in the cardiac action potential. Because of this activity, these drugs are also referred to as slow channel blockers, calcium channel antagonists, and calcium entry blockers.

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