The recommended dosage depends on the type, strength, and form of calcium channel blocker and the condition for which it is prescribed. Correct dosage is determined by the prescribing physician and further information can be obtained from the pharmacist.
Calcium channel blockers should be taken as directed. Larger or more frequent doses should not be taken, nor should doses be missed. This medicine may take several weeks to noticeably lower blood pressure. The patient taking calcium channel blockers should keep taking the medicine, to give it time to work. Once it begins to work and symptoms improve, it should continue to be taken as prescribed.
This medicine should not be discontinued without checking with the prescribing physician. Some conditions may worsen when patients stop taking calcium channel blockers abruptly. The prescribing physician will advise as to how to gradually taper down before stopping the medication completely.
A report from the European Cardiology Society in 2000 found that patients taking certain calcium channel blockers had a 27% greater risk of heart attack, and a 26% greater risk of heart failure than patients taking other high blood pressure medicines. However, there are many patients affected by conditions that still make calcium channel blockers the best choice for them. The patient should discuss this issue with the prescribing physician.
The expected result of taking a calcium channel blocker is to either correct abnormal heart rhythms, return blood pressure to normal, or relieve chest pain.
Deanna M. Swartout-Corbeil R.N., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,