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Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 649–656 | Cite as

Effects of oral calcium blocker, diltiazem, on esophageal contractions

Studies in volunteers and patients with nutcracker esophagus
  • Joel E. Richter
  • Timothy J. Spurling
  • Carmel M. Cordova
  • Donald O. Castell
Original Articles

Abstract

Animal studies have shown that calcium blocking drugs decrease lower esophageal sphincter pressure and inhibit peristaltic amplitude and duration. In a single-dose acute study, we compared the effects of a new oral calcium blocker, diltiazem (90, 120, 150 mg) with placebo in five volunteers and 10 patients with chest pain/dysphagia and high amplitude peristaltic contractions in the distal esophagus-nutcracker esophagus. In volunteers, diltiazem had no effect on esophageal contractions when compared to baseline values or placebo. In contrast, most doses of diltiazem significantly (<0.05) decreased amplitude and duration of peristaltic contractions in patients with nutcracker esophagus. Despite adequate blood levels, interstudy analysis was not statistically significant because placebo also decreased these parameters. During an eight-week open-labeled study, diltiazem 90 mg QID significantly (P<0.01) improved symptoms of chest pain and dysphagia. Side effects were minimal. Although oral diltiazem has minimal effect on baseline esophageal contractions our chronic study suggests it may modify transient increases in neuromuscular tone associated with esophageal chest pain. These observations warrant further placebo-controlled studies.

Keywords

Placebo Chest Pain Diltiazem Lower Esophageal Sphincter Blocking Drug 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel E. Richter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Timothy J. Spurling
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carmel M. Cordova
    • 1
    • 2
  • Donald O. Castell
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Gastroenterology BranchNational Naval Medical CenterBethesda
  2. 2.Digestive Diseases Division, Department of MedicineUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesda

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