Achalasia Medication

Updated: Nov 13, 2023
  • Author: Marco Ettore Allaix, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, MSc  more...
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Medication Summary

Calcium channel blockers and nitrates both decrease lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure but do not improve LES relaxation. Approximately 10% of patients benefit from medical treatment, which should be used primarily in elderly patients who have contraindications to either pneumatic dilation or surgery or as a temporary measure while other treatments are considered. [47]


Calcium channel blockers

Class Summary

These agents interfere with calcium uptake by smooth muscle cells that are dependent on intracellular calcium for contraction. They have a relaxant effect on the LES muscle.

Nifedipine (Adalat)

Inhibits transmembrane influx of calcium ions into smooth muscle, which, in turn, inhibits contraction of the muscle fibers.



Class Summary

These agents relax vascular smooth muscle.

Isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil)

Has a relaxant effect on smooth muscle fibers of LES. Relaxes vascular smooth muscle by stimulating intracellular cyclic GMP.