Calcium Channel Blocker, probably a stupid question? - page 2

I recently had a Heartview scan. I haven't received the results yet. I know the results include whether or not calcium is seen and there can be a calcium level. I have been on Calan SR 240 for at... Read More

  1. by   papawjohn
    Hey Y'all

    I just noticed that the link to doesn't work. Use google. I don't know why the link won't take you there but it's a really good site for this kinda thing. I can ALMOST understand most of it <grin>.

    Papaw John
  2. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from papawjohn
    Hey DutchgirlRN

    I can't stand thinking I've made someone more confused. I apologize. I re-read my post and see why it doesn't seem clear. (It works so much better when I can draw a picture of a bell-tower in the atrium of a heart....)

    There is lots of information on the ca++ channels on line. It's almost all very dense and complex and not so helpful to Nurses that 'only' need to work with these kinda things or pts who 'only' have to take them. Here's a link:

    The simple way of saying it begins with 'automaticity'. The heart needs a method of causing it's own beats--but not too fast, not too slow. It does this by having little windows which must be open in a certain series. (They're actually called 'gates' or 'channels'.) There are lots of these!!! There are apparently 6 different calcium channels!! There are potassium channels and sodium channels. All kinds of 'channels'.

    Here's the point of my silly bell-ringer: All of these have to open in sequence. OK? See how the heart regulates its 'timer' by having all these 'shutters' open in sequence? (That was the point of the bell-ringer running up the stairs opening shutters as he goes--that it is in sequence and takes a certain amount of time--so it makes a 'schedule' for each heartbeat.

    Slowing down one channel with CALAN slows the entire series and so slows the heartbeat. Perhaps you remember phrases like "action potential" and "refractory period"--well, it's stuff like that which are controlled by 'blocking' that calcium channel.

    The vascular cells (not cardiac cells) have similar channels. Since they don't "beat"--the calcium blockade causes them to have less tension, less 'squeeze' on the blood. So CALAN also lowers the BP.

    Hope that's clearer.

    Papaw John
    Thanks Papaw John, I've got it now. 8 hours of sleep has made a big difference! I appreciate all of your input.
  3. by   geekgolightly
    pawpawjohn you rock!
  4. by   windsurfr
    Sorry to tell you but Calan does not do most of what you are talking about... I hope you are not telling patients that stuff b/c you will confuse them.

    For your info, there are two types of CCB's. Calan is the type that does NOT work on blood vessels. It slows conduction through the AV node, therefore reducing the incidence of SVT (the most common type of SVT originates in the AV node, so by slowing it you break the cycle... and thus ablate the arrhythmia)

    CCB's have NO EFFECT on plaque. The calcium that accumulates in a plaque is extracellular... thus CCB's would in no way stabilize.

    Finally Calan is only RARELY used in hypertension.... the other CCB's that dilate vessels are used for that.

    So the simple answer to the "why CCB" question is that it simply slows down the rhythm of the heart so you are not symptomatic. If you are going to give advice/info, the info should be at least somewhat correct.