Evaluation of the Renal Effects of Calcium Antagonists

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Calcium antagonists exert renal effects consisting mainly of renal vasodilation and facilitation of renal excretion of sodium through a direct action on renal tubules. These effects facilitate the antihypertensive action of this class of drugs and make them suitable for therapy of different forms of human hypertension, including that accompanying chronic renal failure. At the same time, renal vasodilation and enhanced natriuresis could also be of value for correcting the renal defect that initiates essential hypertension. Renal effects of calcium antagonists have also fostered the concept of a renoprotective effect of these drugs in different situations. A demonstration of this concept has been shown in cyclosporinerelated nephrotoxicity. Calcium antagonists can improve the short- and long-term prognosis for renal function in human transplantation through their effects in avoiding cyclosporine-induced renal vasoconstriction and in facilitating renal sodium output.

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