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Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances) and Class IV Drugs

Read more about Class IV Drugs.

Overview

Class IV drugs for arrhythmia treatment are calcium channel blockers.

Common names include:

  • Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)
  • Verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan)

Effect of Class IV Drugs on Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

Like many other drugs used to treat arrhythmias, class IV drugs (calcium channel blockers) help by slowing the electrical activity in the heart. Most of the drugs in this category are used to lower blood pressure or treat angina. While their overall effect may be similar to other drugs, these drugs work differently than drugs in classes I, II and III.

Side Effects and Warnings

Common side effects of class IV drugs (calcium channel blockers) include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Water retention

There is also a long list of more serious but rare side effects, depending upon the particular drug, which include:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Bone marrow damage
  • Worsening heart failure
  • Undesirable heart rhythm changes

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