Anal Fissures: Nifedipine and Diltiazem

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Anal Fissures: Nifedipine and Diltiazem

Topic Overview

Nifedipine and diltiazem are calcium channel blockers. These medicines, which are taken by mouth (orally) to lower blood pressure, have been found to have some benefit in healing long-term (chronic) tears, or fissures in the anus.

A review of many studies showed that calcium channel blockers were no better at healing anal fissures than nitroglycerin ointment. More research needs to be done on how well calcium channel blockers can help anal fissures heal.

One cause of fissures is increased tension (called resting pressure) and spasm in the internal anal sphincter, one of two muscles that control the anus. These medicines work by relaxing the smooth muscle, allowing the fissure to heal.

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer C. Dale Mercer, MD, FRCSC, FACS - General Surgery
Last Revised July 15, 2010

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