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Calcium Channel Blockers


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#1 Alice02

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 03:17 PM

Hello everyone,

In the past 15 years I had many infections due to calcinosis cutis and only surgeries have worked. Before that I took many different calcium channel blockers to help limit the calcium and I don’t even remember how each one of them works for me. Recently calcinosis cutis are incontrollable, especially on my knees and hips, even though I don’t have any infection. My doctor described Cardzem. But I got very bad side effects. Does anyone of you have any information?

I appreciate your input




Alice

#2 barefut

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 04:22 PM

Hi Alice,

So sorry to hear about your problems with calcinosis. I am not familiar with Cardizem but have taken Norvasc for Raynaud's which I also had bad side effects with and now am on the max dose of Nifedipine. It does okay for now.

I did not know that calcium channel blockers helped control calcinosis. I thought they were used primarily for High blood pressure and Raynaud's.

I'm sure someone with more knowledge and experience than me will chime in. I hope you find something that works for you soon!

#3 jefa

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:04 AM

I am not a doctor, Alice, but I believe that Barefut is right in saying that calcium channel blockers are not generally prescribed for calcinosis. On our Calcinosis page it says:

Calcinosis in rheumatic diseases. While warfarin, colchicine, probenecid, bisphosphonates, diltiazem, minocycline, aluminum hydroxide, salicylate, surgical extirpation, and carbon dioxide laser therapies have been used, no treatment has convincingly prevented or reduced calcinosis. However, the approach to calcinosis management is disorganized, beginning with the lack of a generally accepted classification and continuing with a lack of systematic study and clinical therapeutic trials. PubMed. Semin Arthritis rheumatologist. 2005 Jun;34(6):805-12.

There are quite a few articles and some interesting pictures on the Calcinosis page. One thing mentioned is that excess calcium is not the cause of calcinosis.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#4 oneuncoolmom

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 08:01 AM

Dear Alice,
I agree with Barefut and Jefa that I've never heard that calcium channel blockers were used for calcinosis. Do you also have bad Raynauds which may be the reason you were given the Cardizem? Do you know what dosage you were given? I'm wondering because I began 120 mg per day a week ago and don't have any side effects, but I am wondering if I'll have side effects if my rheumatologist raises the dosage. I'm concerned that she'll want to raise the dosage because the 120 mg is only helping a little.

Thanks & Good Luck,
Margo

#5 Alice02

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:54 PM

Hi everyone, thank you so much for your input. I appreciate. I am on 120mg a day; I couldn’t tolerate it, really made sick. I had experienced in the past severe Raynaud’s phenomenon and somehow I got better. However, I was on colchicine for years a long with other medications. I don’t remember which really did help my condition. Now in addition to sever pain I have this uncontrollable calcinosis I’m just kind hopeless. It very difficult to find doctors who care, I use to have a great doctor, which really made different in dealing with this terrible disease.


Warms regards



Alcie

#6 bookworm

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:18 PM

Hi Alice,
I think finding a good doctor, who knows scleroderma, is the key to fighting this disease. Have you looked at the list of sclero experts and is there one anywhere near where you live?
I have heard of colchicine being used for calcinosis, but have not heard of calcium channel blockers being used for that. I was on Norvasc for Raynauds for awhile -- couldn't see that it did anything. The doctor changed me to Viagra for Raynauds as soon as "they " started using Viagra for Raynauds. Revatio also is used for Raynauds and is the same thing as Viagra Insurance companies may be more likely to approve Revatio nbecause it is specifically approved for Raynauds -- I think. I know it is definitely approved for Pulminary Hypertension.
I The last calcium deposit I had was on my knee and it got a nasty- looking infection. My doctor was considering putting me into the hospital and giving me IV antibiotics, but agreed (at my request) to try oral antibiotics first. It was a little slow, but the oral antibiotics did work and my knee got better -- after maybe 3 or 4 weeks.
You mention being in severe pain "in addition" to the calcinosis. What is the pain? Is it joint pain or Raynauds pain? Do you have digital ulcers? When I've been in severe pain, my doctors have seen to it that I got effective pain relief. I was sent to a pain management clinic with one of my finger ulcers and that place was wonderful!
Help is available but you really have to hunt it down sometimes!! Some of these doctors don't know beans about sclero, but instead of saying so they try to treat it. Look for a good doctor!!
Good luck!

Mary in Texas

#7 Alice02

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 04:03 AM

Dear Mary,

Thank you so much for your kind words advises. Recently I got very sick, as result of that I lost my job a long with my insurance. Unfortunately the insurance I have now not many good doctors taking it. I am sure that things will get better, however, I have Crest Scleroderma for more than 25 years and have seeing the worst scenario of calcinosis cutis. I had had many surgeries and being put on many antibiotics. Now, I’m experiencing severe muscle & joints pain, I am on Plaquenil 400 mg a day also Prednisone 20 mg a day. In addition to that I’m on pain med every four hours. But I will find out about the pain management clinic.


Warm hugs


Alice

#8 jefa

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 12:28 PM

Hi Alice,

I was just reading an article on Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis on MedicineNet.com which made a reference to Cardizem as a treatment for calcinosis:

Patients with calcium deposits (calcinosis) from dermatomyositis can sometimes benefit by taking diltiazem (Cardizem) to shrink the size of the calcium deposits. This effect, however, occurs slowly—frequently over years, and is not always effective. The complication of calcium deposits in muscles and soft tissues occurs more frequently in children than adults.

Just thought I would share it with you.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

Carrie Maddoux
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#9 Catty

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 09:52 AM

Hi hon...my name is Catty...I have not been in here for a while but I saw your post about the calcium deposits and I just had to post to you... I have had
sooooo many deposits over the years and the only relief I have ever got is having surgery on them. When they get real bad I have had to go from Dr. to Dr. because so many do not want to operate on me because of the scleroderma ....I even had one plastic Surgeon tell me that Plastic Surgeons did not do this...I told him that indeed they did...he came up with every excuse in the book but I was desperate. He finally agreed to take out this huge Calcium deposit from my left forearm...it was at least 6 inches by 6 inches! He did a wonderful job on it! He told that it stood up on the table by itself! He was glad that it turned out as well as it did. Needless to say I gave him a huge hug! LOL!

Colcinine will help with the pain from the deposits if your stomach can tolerate them. Believe me when I say that I know what you are going through with...I have deposits on my fingers also and 2 small ones in my left knee left...I was determined to get as many taken out as I could. I had surgery after surgery.
But...it was not easy....finding a DR. that would do it...I mean. If one Dr. turned me down...I looked for another one. Sometimes Calcium deposits will come back but they do not always come back...many of mine have not come back.
Good Luck hon!
Catty~