JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Angina treatment by calcium channel blockers. Artwork showing a calcium antagonist drug blocking membrane calcium channels in smooth muscle. This drug treats angina, hypertension and certain kinds of cardiac arrhythmia. Calcium channel blockers (green) interfere with the entry of calcium ions (orange) into smooth muscle cells via calcium channels (mauve). This impairs contraction of muscle fibres (bottom) inside the cells and causes relaxation of muscle in blood vessel walls. This improves the circulation of blood through the heart and reduces the blood pressure. The passage of nerve impulses through the heart are slowed, which helps correct certain arrhythmias.
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