The key difference between Beta blocker and Calcium channel blocker is that the Beta blocker inhibits the action of hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine by blocking the binding of them into beta-adrenoreceptors. Calcium channel blocker, on the other hand, disrupts the movement of calcium ions through calcium channels.
Beta blocker and Calcium channel blocker are two anti-hypertension drugs that treat high blood pressure and related heart diseases.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Beta Blocker
3. What is a Calcium Channel Blocker
4. Similarities Between Beta Blocker and Calcium Channel Blocker
5. Side by Side Comparison – Beta Blocker vs Calcium Channel Blocker in Tabular Form
What is a Beta Blocker?
When our body is under stress, adrenal medulla and nervous system release two hormones: epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Their release causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels. Ultimately, it results in high blood pressure and heart rate. In order to prevent the effect of these two hormones, it is necessary to block the binding of these hormones (neurotransmitters) with beta-adrenoreceptors (beta1-, beta2-, and beta3-adrenoceptors). Beta blocker is a drug that blocks the binding of these two neurotransmitters to beta-adrenoreceptors. When you take beta blockers, your heart rate and blood pressure become normal.
Beta blocker not only reduces your high blood pressure and heart rate, it also treats several other disease conditions such as migraines, anxiety, certain types of tremors, and glaucoma, etc. Acebutolol, Atenolol, Bisoprolol, Metoprolol, Nadolol, Nebivolol and Propranolol some examples of beta blockers.
What is Calcium Channel Blocker?
Calcium channel blocker is a drug that disrupts the movement of calcium through calcium channels. Calcium is an essential ion for muscle contraction, excitation of neurons, regulation of gene expression and release of hormones or neurotransmitters. Moreover, calcium channels are permeable to calcium ions and allow the movement of calcium ions into the cells. Calcium channel blockers prevent the calcium ions from entering smooth and cardiac muscle cells. They also relax and widen blood vessels by affecting the muscle cells, ultimately, reducing the blood pressure.
Calcium channel blockers can also reduce heart rate, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. Amlodipine, Diltiazem, Felodipine, Isradipine, Nicardipine, Nifedipine, Nisoldipine, and Verapamil are several calcium channel blockers. Since calcium channel blockers are drugs, they also have several side effects such as constipation, headache, palpitations, dizziness, rash, drowsiness, flushing, nausea, and swelling in the feet and lower legs, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Beta Blocker and Calcium Channel Blocker?
- Both Beta Blocker and Calcium Channel Blocker are drugs.
- They are used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.
What is the Difference Between Beta Blocker and Calcium Channel Blocker?
Beta Blocker is a drug that acts on beta-adrenoreceptors. It blocks the binding of neurotransmitters to beta-adrenoreceptors. In contrast, Calcium channel blocker is a drug which acts on calcium channels. It prevents the calcium ions from entering muscle cells through calcium channels. This is the main difference between Beta blocker and Calcium channel blocker
Moreover, Acebutolol, Atenolol, Bisoprolol, Metoprolol, Nadolol, Nebivolol and Propranolol are some examples of beta blockers while Amlodipine, Diltiazem, Felodipine, Isradipine, Nicardipine, Nifedipine, Nisoldipine, and Verapamil are some examples of calcium channel blockers. Beta blockers can treat disease conditions such as angina, arrhythmias, heart failure, myocardial infarction, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, migraines, certain types of tremors and glaucoma. Calcium channel blockers, on the other hand, are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, angina, arrhythmia, and Raynaud’s disease. Beta blockers can cause side effects such as dizziness, cold hands and feet, weight gain, and fatigue while calcium channel blockers can cause side effects such as constipation, headache, palpitations, dizziness, rash, drowsiness, flushing, nausea, swelling in the feet and lower legs.
Summary – Beta Blocker vs Calcium Channel Blocker
Both beta blockers and calcium channel blockers are drugs that treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, lower heart rate and other several diseases. Beta blockers act on beta receptors while calcium channel blockers act on calcium channels. The difference between beta blocker and calcium channel blocker basically stems from their mode of action.
1. “Beta-Adrenoceptor Antagonists (Beta-Blockers).” Image for Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts, Richard E Klabunde PhD, Available here.
2. “Calcium Channel Blockers: Medications to Treat High Blood Pressure.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Apr. 2018, Available here.
1. “Ethanol blocks voltage gated calcium channel” By Law3liu – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Mechanism of action for beta blockers” By Mogsan1 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia