The calcium channel blocker controversy

Norman M Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A major controversy about the safety of calcium channel blockers (CCBs) has arisen since the publication of a case-control study showing that hypertensives who suffered an acute myocardial infarction (MI) were more likely than hypertensives who had not had an MI to be taking one of these (short-acting) agents than other antihypertensive agents. This study was accompanied by a republication of older studies showing that large doses of short-acting nifedipine given to post-MI patients increased their mortality rate. The danger of massive doses of short-acting nifedipine in a post-MI patient is real but irrelevant to current practice. On the other hand, the putative dangers of short-acting CCBs in the treatment of hypertension do not apply to the current use of long-acting CCBs. Therefore the scare over their use is both irrational and unfortunate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalHypertension Research - Clinical and Experimental
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Coronary disease
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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