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February 27, 1981

Calcium antagonists: long-awaited new therapy for heart disease

JAMA. 1981;245(8):807-816. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310330003001

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"The increase in our knowledge of the role of calcium in cardiac excitation and contraction that has been stimulated by the calcium antagonist drugs has been one of the most fruitful steps forward in cardiovascular physiology and medicine in recent times. The number of cardiac ailments corrected or benefited by these drugs is continually increasing. "—Alberto Zanchetti, MD, professor of medicine, University of Milan, Italy.

"Calcium antagonists offer a whole new approach to therapy of heart disease. They are a quantum jump forward in pharmacology, analogous to the introduction of β-adrenergic blocking agents in the 1960s."— Michael D. Klein, MD, director of cardiology, Boston University School of Medicine.

During the past few years, many US physicians have either heard statements such as these or read more detailed accounts of this new class of drugs, such as the two-part reviews in