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Beta Blockers vs Calcium Channel Blockers?
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Beta Blockers vs Calcium Channel Blockers?

So my husband was recently diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopothy and was put on beta blockers to treat it (the entire story can be found on this same forum in another thread). Anyway, before he was put on that he was talking to a doctor he works with and when he was telling this doc his problem, the doc said, "Oh, you'll probably get put on a calcium channel blocker. I'd recommend that over a beta blocker." Well, as I said, the cardiologist prescribed a beta blocker. It's been a good two weeks at least since he's been on the meds and yet he's still experiencing the shortness of breath. Something he was hoping would have improved or totally gone away once he was on the meds a while.

Do you think the beta blockers is better than the calcium channel blocker for this issue? What is the difference for the two? Plus, he always had normal/low BP before and now it's been even lower. Not dangerously low but definitely lower. His way of thinking is, "If my BP wasn't high or bad before, obviously my heart wasn't working TOO hard due to this condition so why use a beta blocker?" Is that the wrong way to think of this? Just wondering. As I said, he was hoping the shortness of breath would have been improved or gone by now. Especially since that's really his only symptom of the condition that he has. I know before I personally was diagnosed with high BP I could barely get a half block without needing to stop cause I couldn't breathe. Then, when it was found I had high BP and I was put on BP meds, that problem went away within 2 weeks! Finally I could breathe again. It was a real nice surprise to me. Anyway, we were kinda hoping it would have worked like that for him. Is there no way the shortness of breath will improve for him since he has this condition?

Thanks again!!!
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I'm sorry to hear you're having some difficulty.  Beta blockers are typically considered first-line therapy for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients.  Verapamil is a calcium-channel blocker that is also used in HCM, but it typically causes a more profound drop in blood pressure so it may not be the best drug for your husband.  I think the main question you want to ask your doctor is whether he needs medication at all.  Ask if he has a significant gradient across his left ventricular outflow tract, which would be suggestive of obstruction.  Also look for other causes of his shortness of breath.  If he does have obstructive HCM and medication isn't working, a mechanical fix such as surgery may be warranted.  Hope this helps.  Best of luck!
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