DNA ILLUSTRATIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DNA ILLUSTRATIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Calcium channel blockers, or CCBs, are particularly effective for treating elderly patients with hypertension. They reduce the flow of calcium into the heart and smooth muscle cells of blood vessels by blocking voltage-gated calcium channels. This decrease causes the vessel walls to relax so blood can flow more freely into the heart. In turn, this lowers blood pressure and relieves angina pain. ACE inhibitors are primarily used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure. ACE inhibitors decrease blood volume by inhibiting the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II. This helps prevent damage to the kidneys. Shown in the image are closed calcium channels. The glomerulus of the kidney is shown in the background with an ACE inhibitor.
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