Diltiazem Pharmacology

Diltiazem is a non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker that can be used in atrial fibrillation as well as hypertension.

One big downside to diltiazem is that it does have a few drug interactions via CYP3A4.

Aripiprazole, apixaban, and certain statins are all examples of medication that can have concentrations increased by adding diltiazem to a patient’s regimen.

Diltiazem works a little differently from dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (like amlodipine) as it works on the heart AND the vessels.

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Hydralazine Pharmacology

Hydralazine Pharmacology

Hydralazine Pharmacology

Hydralazine works as a direct vasodilator. It primarily works on the arterioles versus the venous system.

Hydralazine can cause a unique adverse reaction. It can cause a Lupus type syndrome that can result in fever, myopathy and symptoms that mimic arthritis.

I discuss drug interactions with hydralazine and how you need to be aware of certain medications that can have additive effects and also those that can oppose the effects of the drug.

One of the downsides to using hydralazine is that patients don’t like to take it as often as it requires. It is typically dosed three to four times per day.

Orthostasis is a risk with any drug that reduces blood pressure and hydralazine is no different.

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Clonidine Pharmacology

Clonidine is classified as an antihypertensive. Clonidine pharmacology involves having agonist activity at central alpha 2 receptors. This leads to lower sympathetic outflow and a reduction in blood pressure.

Clonidine has numerous reported uses in addition to its antihypertensive effect. It can potentially be used for ADHD, menopausal type symptoms, and opioid withdrawal.

Clonidine has historically been on the Beers’ list of drugs as it can cause some CNS side effects like sedation, dizziness, and rarely delirium.

Clonidine is unique in the antihypertensive class as it does have a patch formulation.

Because of the blood pressure lowering effect of clonidine, we have to be aware of patients who report dizziness. Monitoring is critical.

Clonidine can also lower heart rate and contribute to dry mouth. Keep an eye out for drugs that can have a cumulative effect on these symptoms.

Drugs like beta-blockers, non-DHP CCB’s, and digoxin can all have a cumulative effect with clonidine and lower pulses. Monitoring is important.

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