ORIGINAL ARTICLE: PDF OnlyKlaus DieterJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology: 1992 - p 5-14 Free Abstract Summary Calcium antagonists are of particular importance in the treatment of hypertension because they influence the free cytoplasmic calcium concentration and thereby many pressor mechanisms in the smooth muscle cell. A fall in the peripheral resistance is the main hemodynamic effect, and this is more marked with the second-generation calcium antagonists because they are more vasoselective than the first calcium-channel blockers. Particularly important is their lack of effect on lipid and glucose metabolism, as well as the absence of serious side effects. It has not yet been possible to confirm that the antiatherogenic effect found in some animal models also occurs in humans. Calcium antagonists are effective, safe, and well-tolerated antihypertensive agents that can be combined with all other antihypertensives with the exception of the combination of verapamil and a β-blocker. They are easy to dose for individualized “stepped” therapy. They have a particular role in hypertensive patients with cardiac effects secondary to hypertension, coronary artery disease, obstructive bronchial diseases, diabetes, renal disease, and peripheral arterial occlusive disease. Copyright © 1992 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.