Effects of oral calcium blocker, diltiazem, on esophageal contractions. Studies in volunteers and patients with nutcracker esophagus.

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 (less than 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 less than 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.
AuthorsJ E Richter, T J Spurling, C M Cordova, D O Castell
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences (Dig Dis Sci) Vol. 29 Issue 7 Pg. 649-56 (Jul 1984) ISSN: 0163-2116 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID6734370 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Benzazepines
  • Diltiazem
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Benzazepines (pharmacology)
  • Deglutition Disorders (drug therapy, physiopathology)
  • Diltiazem (pharmacology, therapeutic use)
  • Esophagus (drug effects, physiology, physiopathology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain (drug therapy)
  • Peristalsis (drug effects)
  • Thorax

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