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Old 06-09-2011, 07:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Calcium Channel Blockers (CCB)

Hey everyone,

I just started CCB which is an alternative to beta blockers. It essentially does the same thing as beta blockers but I think slows the electrical firing in your heart, so there is less electric sparks flying around.

I just want to let everyone know how it goes for me. I am taking it because of my frequent heart palpitations caused by anxiety. Beta blocker didn't really help me so I am trying CCB.

I took it yesterday and it really calmed my heart completely. I tried my hardest to have anxiety but I couldn't. Also my heart would beat hard and fast when I experienced any pain, now my heart feels more under control.

The only side effect so far I have experienced was tiredness. Which is fine because I take it at night.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I used to take a calcium channel blocker but it made me sick. I hope it goes well for you!
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I used to take a calcium channel blocker but it made me sick. I hope it goes well for you!
What did you take it for? Did it make you stomach sick?
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Post an update just curious how this one going,
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Old 11-23-2011, 05:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Built tolerance to its effects, was placebo after a while. Inderals much better.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Hi barry do you have high blood pressure too?
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hi barry do you have high blood pressure too?
Not high blood pressure but bad heart palpitations. They wanted me to have a heart ablation done but I didn't want to because they diagnosed me with SVT and I had no symptoms of SVT.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Isn't Lyrica a Calcium Channel Blocker too? But it has nothing in common with beta-blockers in action.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Calcium channel blockers, as the name implies, block calcium entry into cells. Intracellular calcium is necessary for muscle contraction. Less calcium results in decreased muscle contraction, in the arterial smooth muscle causing vasodilation and in the heart muscle, causing decreased contractility and decreased cardiac output. This combines to reduces blood pressure. The heart compensates by increasing heart rate. Dihydropyridines are a class of CCBs which increase heart rate. Examples are nifedipine, amlodipine, nicardipine. Stay away from these if you are trying to treat anxiety.

The non dihydropyridine class has minimal peripheral vasodilation and actually decreases transmission of electrical impulses through the conduction systemic the heart. These can reduce heart rate. Some of these are verapamil and diltiazem.

I have not heard of calcium channel blockers being used to treat anxiety, they do cause a lot of side effects, so be sure to look into this before starting.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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so it wouldn't be good for someone who lifts weights?
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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There are three different class type of beta-blockers out there that give an entirely different effect. Good luck with the alternative. Heads up, there is always a downside in taking 'blockers' in general.
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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There are three different class type of beta-blockers out there that give an entirely different effect. Good luck with the alternative. Heads up, there is always a downside in taking 'blockers' in general.
Downside? Do you mean the lack of energy you get while on bb?
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Downside? Do you mean the lack of energy you get while on bb?
If I were you I'd take the medication for a week without looking up the side effect. If you feel different then look up the medicines side effect. Oh course beta blockers make you feel more tired. It blocks adrenaline entirely. I used to take them. I feel much better without them.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry1685 View Post
Downside? Do you mean the lack of energy you get while on bb?
If I were you I'd take the medication for a week without looking up the side effect. If you feel different then look up the medicines side effect. Oh course beta blockers make you feel more tired. It blocks adrenaline entirely. I used to take them. I feel much better without them.
Gotcha. I take beta blockers mainly for my heart rate problems. Not necessarily anxiety.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broflovski View Post
Isn't Lyrica a Calcium Channel Blocker too? But it has nothing in common with beta-blockers in action.

Yes i believe lyrica is a calcium channel blocker, i take 100 mg x 2 a day.
Its nothing like a beta blocker for me and actually stops the racing thoughts and high anxiety you can experience from GAD.

Im not sure what the long term affects are of the calcium channel blocker action though? Its supposed to be a lot easier to withdraw from than benzo's as its action mechanism is different. Ive not tried though as its helped me where ssri's etc were a waste of time.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barry1685 View Post
Gotcha. I take beta blockers mainly for my heart rate problems. Not necessarily anxiety.
Same here. I took it for my heart condition.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Is this the same thing as beta blockers? I know some people who have problems with SA and facial blushing that have had some good success with beta blocker.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Is this the same thing as beta blockers? I know some people who have problems with SA and facial blushing that have had some good success with beta blocker.
Not the same thing, but controls blood pressure.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:43 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Lots of misinformation in this thread.

First off Lyrica is NOT a calcium channel blocker, its an anticonvulsant (antiseizure medication) thats also used mostly for nerve pain. If you are using it for anxiety, it is an off label, non approved use.

Second off there are two types of calcium channel blockers:

1. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers: These DO NOT affect the heart at all and are totally useless in treating anxiety, but work very well for blood pressure. Examples are nifedipine and amlodipine.

2. NON-DIHYDROPYRIDINE calcium channel blockers, which do slow down heart rate like diltiazem and verapamil.

In my experience, NON-DIHYDROPYRIDINE calcium channel blockers are ineffective in treating social anxiety. Sure, they slow down the heart, BUT not in the way that beta blockers do.

Have you guys ever heard of the "Fight-or-Flight Response"? Basically its what your body does to help you out if you feel threatened. This is what happens:

-Heart rate and blood pressure increase
-Pupils dilate to take in as much light as possible
-Veins in skin constrict to send more blood to major muscle groups (responsible for the "chill" sometimes associated with fear -- less blood in the skin to keep it warm)
-Blood-glucose level increases
-Muscles tense up
-Smooth muscle relaxes in order to allow more oxygen into the lungs
-Trouble focusing on small tasks (brain is directed to focus only on big picture in order to determine where threat is coming from)

Sounds a lot like a panic attack doesn't it? Guess what is responsibe for all this: adrenaline. Beta blockers block the adrenergic receptors where adrenaline works. Thats why non-specific beta blockers like propranolol (Inderal) help reduce a lot of these symptoms.

Calcium channel blockers have no affect whatsoever on adrenergic receptors. They affect heart rate by blocking voltage gated calcium channels in the heart. And although they may slow down your heart rate, they won't do much else for anxiety.
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jericho187 View Post
Lots of misinformation in this thread.

First off Lyrica is NOT a calcium channel blocker, its an anticonvulsant (antiseizure medication) thats also used mostly for nerve pain. If you are using it for anxiety, it is an off label, non approved use.

Second off there are two types of calcium channel blockers:

1. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers: These DO NOT affect the heart at all and are totally useless in treating anxiety, but work very well for blood pressure. Examples are nifedipine and amlodipine.

2. NON-DIHYDROPYRIDINE calcium channel blockers, which do slow down heart rate like diltiazem and verapamil.

In my experience, NON-DIHYDROPYRIDINE calcium channel blockers are ineffective in treating social anxiety. Sure, they slow down the heart, BUT not in the way that beta blockers do.

Have you guys ever heard of the "Fight-or-Flight Response"? Basically its what your body does to help you out if you feel threatened. This is what happens:

-Heart rate and blood pressure increase
-Pupils dilate to take in as much light as possible
-Veins in skin constrict to send more blood to major muscle groups (responsible for the "chill" sometimes associated with fear -- less blood in the skin to keep it warm)
-Blood-glucose level increases
-Muscles tense up
-Smooth muscle relaxes in order to allow more oxygen into the lungs
-Trouble focusing on small tasks (brain is directed to focus only on big picture in order to determine where threat is coming from)

Sounds a lot like a panic attack doesn't it? Guess what is responsibe for all this: adrenaline. Beta blockers block the adrenergic receptors where adrenaline works. Thats why non-specific beta blockers like propranolol (Inderal) help reduce a lot of these symptoms.

Calcium channel blockers have no affect whatsoever on adrenergic receptors. They affect heart rate by blocking voltage gated calcium channels in the heart. And although they may slow down your heart rate, they won't do much else for anxiety.


Yeah thats right lyrica is an anticonvulsant now used off label for GAD.
the confusion arose as i guess this is what i read about it re calcium channels :-

Pregabalin is structurally related to the antiepileptic drug gabapentin and the site of action of both drugs is similar, the alpha2–delta (α2–δ) protein, an auxiliary subunit of voltage-gated calcium channels.
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