Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: Calcium-channel blockers and cancer risk

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There's no proof that CCBs cause

Q. I'm a cancer survivor and take a calcium-channel blocker for high blood pressure. I recently read that these medications can cause cancer. But it's the only drug that's worked well for me. Should I stop taking it?

A. No. It's true that a large study found that women who took calcium-channel blockers (CCBs) for 10 years or longer had more than double the odds of having certain forms of breast cancer, including the most common type, invasive ductal breast cancer. Common examples of CCBs include amlodipine (Norvasc), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Adalat), and diltiazem (Cardizem). But the findings don't prove the medication caused the cancers.

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