Reviews

Management of calcium channel blocker overdoses

Abstract

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are some of the most commonly used medications in clinical practice to treat hypertension, angina, cardiac arrhythmias, and some cases of heart failure. Recent data show that CCBs are the most common of the cardiovascular medications noted in intentional or unintentional overdoses.1 Novel treatment approaches in the form of glucagon, high‐dose insulin therapy, and intravenous lipid emulsion therapies have been tried and have been successful. However, the evidence for these are limited to case reports and case series. We take this opportunity to review the various treatment options in the management of CCB overdoses with a special focus on high‐dose insulin therapy as the emerging choice for initial therapy in severe overdoses. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2014;9:663–668. © 2014 Society of Hospital Medicine

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