Q: Which one is NOT a calcium channel blocker?
pharmacology, calcium channel blockers, Dental Hygiene Boards questions, prep questions, dental hygiene boards sample questions, mock exam, NBDHE, NDHCE, Local anesthesia, studentrdh

Q: Which one is NOT a calcium channel blocker?

Mini Boards Reviews for the National + Local Anesthesia + CSCE Dental Hygiene Boards Exams!
pharmacology, calcium channel blockers, Dental Hygiene Boards questions, prep questions, dental hygiene boards sample questions, mock exam, NBDHE, NDHCE, Local anesthesia, studentrdh

(A). Nifedipine
(B). Verapamil
(C). Diltiazem
(D). Enalapril

First of all, what is a calcium channel blocker? It is a type of antihypertensive medication that helps to lower the blood pressure. There are many other types of antihypertensive drugs and they all work differently. The big 4 categories are:

  • Beta blockers: reduce the cardiac output.
  • Calcium channel blockers: relax the blood vessels.
  • Diuretics: remove water and reduce blood volume.
  • Angiotensinconverting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: reduce the constriction of the blood vessels.

Let’s say you want to clean your stove. There are many different products you can use: stove cleaners, vinegar, wipes, scrubs, etc. I think about those examples when I try to understand medications. So calcium channel blocker is one way to reduce the blood pressure. But how? It works by inhibiting the calcium (needed for muscle contraction) from entering cells of the heart and blood vessel walls. As a result, the muscle does NOT work as efficiently, which in turn lowers the blood pressure.

Answer: (D). Enalapril

What medications are in the category of calcium channel blockers?

  • Calcium channel blockers usually end with the suffix –pine, e.g., nifedipine (Procardia). To memorize this, I image a CAL (California) pine tree… Drugs ending with -pine are calcium channel blockers. Verapamil and Diltiazem are also of this class of medication.
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors end with the suffix –pril, e.g., Enapril. For this one, I take the “A” in “Ace inhibitor” and add “Pril,” so “April”.
  • Beta-blockers end with -lol, g., atenolol.

The dental hygiene board exam (NBDHE, NDHCE) really likes asking about hypertension. This makes sense because high blood pressure is one of the most common medical conditions in North America. You may see case studies in the dental hygiene board exam (NBDHE, NDHCE) that feature patients with hypertension. So make sure to review the all antihypertension drugs and their mechanism! If you are getting StudentRDH Dental Hygiene Board Review for the NBDHE or NDHCE, you can find this under the chapter on “Pharmacology.” Hope this helps! Wish you the best in everything you do.

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Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

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