Sodium Channel Blockers- Its Classification And Mechanism

The world of drugs grows bigger every day and with the rapid progress of medical sciences it is growing even faster. There are thousands of drugs for different diseases and if we start writing about each of them, the language will grow tired. However, there are few drugs on which medical sciences are paying more concentration and students to need to understand them in order to get better with their medical sciences studies. One of those special drugs is Sodium Channel Blockers. This is a drug on which there is a lot of research going on due to the importance and efficiency of it. That’s why, today, I decided to share our research on this drug. So let’s tell you everything we know about Sodium Channel Blocker. These drugs work on the blocking of sodium channel to stop or slow down the sodium ions flow through it.

Definition of Sodium Channel Blockers:

We can describe Sodium Channel Blockers as drugs that lessen or sometimes stop the flow of sodium particles. These sodium particles are meant to flow through sodium channel and these drugs work to stop or control their flow. There are several other functions that they perform. They also cause the convergence of sodium ions in the cells of the heart. Due to this reason, they are referred as membrane stabilizing drugs. These drugs help to stop the fast depolarization by blocking the sodium channels that are causing this problem. The slope present in phase 0 decreases and hence, these sodium ions slow down their movement through the sodium channel. This stops the flow of sodium ions or sometimes only slows it down. Due to this, the polarization stops. You are going to read a lot about them ahead, so keep reading more about them ahead.

sodium channel blockers list

Sodium channel blockers in neuropathic pain:

Neuropathic pain is one of the problems for which there are very few remedies. Another great advantage of sodium channel blockers is that they could prove great in dealing with this pain. According to research, any kind of drugs that deal with voltage-gated sodium channels are good for this pain. When they tested sodium channel blockers, scientists found out that it was working great to block these. This topic has been a matter of great focus among the scientists and this discovery made them all very happy. Now since they are busy to find another good medication for the matter, they can definitely use sodium channel blockers till then. Since these channels exist at a place where it is difficult to block them. In this time, having discovered that sodium channel blockers can do well, it really is a good news for the field.

Classification of Sodium Channel Blockers:

There are two main branches of Sodium Channels Blockers which are further classified into many types but don’t worry we are going to give you an account of each of the type and also their sub-types so that you can get the complete information on this wonderful drug on which most of the research is focused. You are going to learn everything such as their discovery, working and the production levels. You are also going to learn about the latest research and improvements being done in this medicine. There are mainly two types as I have already said. But these types are further classified into different sub-types that are very important to be understood separately. So this will be our main objective to understand the two major types and then their other sub-types definitely. So, let’s move on with the study of types of Sodium Channel Blockers.

  • Extra Cellular Sodium Channel Blockers
  • IntraCellular Sodium Channel Blockers

Extra Cellular Sodium Channel Blockers List:

This is the first type of sodium channel blockers named Extracellular channel blockers. Working procedure of this kind of channel blocker is quite an easy one. The substances used in these are being produced naturally. We are going to define these substances separately but first you should learn briefly about their working. So, in these channel blockers, the channel get blocked by the occlusion or binding of the open pore spaces. These natural substances completely shut down the open channel by the process of binding and occluding. This binding and occluding process also make them very helpful in the neuropathic pain which I have already discussed before. After the binding of the sodium channels, the flow of sodium ions will either slow down or stops completely. And that helps in getting rid of the many problems that were caused due to this problem of flow of sodium ions.

1. Alkaloid:

First of the naturally occurring substances is Alkaloid. The alkaloid is not a single element or compound but a group of these. They occur naturally as different chemical compounds. Most of the atoms that are present in this compound are the nitrogen atoms. The properties of these compounds are sometimes are neutral. In some conditions, they also have weak acidic properties which vary in certain conditions. I am further going to explain different elements present in this compound. Reading about these elements present in the compound, you will understand why they are so effective in the sodium channel blockers. Some other natural elements such as sulfur, oxygen, and many other elements. It mainly consists of nitrogen, carbons, and hydrogen. These are the elements are that are used in many drugs that are formed to treat different diseases in humans. Hence, you have got to study them for SCB.

2. Saxitoxin:

This is the first major element found in the Alkaloid that performs major functions in sodium channel blockers. This is known as the best paralytic toxin and also is a potent neurotoxin. This is one of the compounds that get together in the alkaloid and form the basis for extracellular sodium channel blockers. This is one of the major compounds in the environment and has a lot of effects on it. It is mostly present in shellfish, oysters, and some other sea objects. Its production sources are mainly marine including different cyanobacteria and others such as oysters and shellfish. Pufferfish that are found mostly in Asia, 12 of their species are known to have this element present in them. This element words as selective sodium channel blocker and is the main element present in the alkaloid. There are many other things but can’t be described due to a limitation of words.

3. Neosaxitoxin:

This is another major element present in the alkaloid used in the production of sodium channel blockers. The neurotoxin group is very broad and this is another of its element. This is also a very important element due to the several functions it performs. Just like the above one, the main sources for the production of this element are green algae and cyanobacteria. These are the elements that you know are found in the marine living organism such as fishes and oysters etc. Carbon is the major element in this type of paralytic compound. C-11 carbon is the composition of this element, thus, making it a very strong one. This works on the blockage of the extracellular portion and that’s why it is very important for the formation of sodium channel blockers. Due to the limitation of words, it is not possible to explain this in detail.


Intracellular Sodium Channel Blockers List:

These form the 2nd major type of sodium channel blockers. These are the blockers which block or bind the intracellular space in the sodium channels. That is the reasons why they are named as intracellular sodium channel blockers. Just like extracellular, they are also composed of different elements. Definitely, I am going to explain elements present inside this type separately. After reading about each of the elements, you will have a good idea of why they are part of the sodium channel blockers. That you will understand by reading the different properties of these elements present in this compound. Want to know how and why they block the intercellular space of the sodium vessel? Read the full account of all the elements given below in good detail. These elements include Local anesthetics, Class 1 Antiarrhythmic agents, and various anticonvulsants. Read about them in detail below.

1. Sodium Channel Blockers Local Anesthetic:

You must have a good information on this being a medical student. Local Anesthetic is the medicine that works very fine in cases of different pains caused due to many reasons. It works on some particular pathways for pain. And that’s why it can be used a great element in the production of sodium channel blockers. They belong to the same family as does the cocaine. But of course, they are potentially very weaker than cocaine since they work as a pain blocker. Cocaine, on the other hand, is very high potentially and that’s why it is a dangerous drug. They have many other uses and are one of the basic things in the field of medical sciences. They are used as an anesthetic for acute pain, chronic pain, and also as an agent while different surgeries.  These are certain reasons why this is a major element in the production of sodium channel blockers.

2. Class 1 Antiarrhythmic agents:

These are another major element in the production of sodium channel blockers. They have very good effects on the sodium ion and that’s why they have used a major element in the intracellular type. These are also important due to the effect they have on the cardiac action potentials. Just like one of the elements before, these are also referred as membrane-stabilizing agents. That is because of their blocking and binding properties. This forms major reasons why they are being used in the production of sodium channel blockers. They decrease the acidogenicity of the plasma membrane and that is another reason why they are so important in this game. These agents can be further divided into three groups naming IA, IB, and IC but we have not got enough room for words to explain them separately. Still you know enough to understand their role in SCB.

3. Anticonvulsants:

The 3rd element that is used in the creation of Intracellular sodium channel blockers is this one. These anticonvulsants are very important for their role in the field. They are a different kind of pharmacological agents. They are mainly used in the treatment of epileptic seizures which mainly involves blocking and binding process. Since blocking and binding have been mentioned, you can realize that they can also serve a good purpose in the making of sodium channel blockers. Though mainly their function is the treatment of seizures. But since there hasn’t been much discovery in the sodium channel blockers they are being used until an alternative is found. Anyway, they form a very important part of the intracellular channel blockers and will be used for a long time. Maybe in future, there are chances that science finds good alternative for it.

Mechanism of Sodium Channel Blockers:

There is not any complex mechanism involved in the working of sodium channel blockers. In fact, it is quite simple as we see. The blockers are injected in our body and according to the functions all the elements perform, they start acting on the sodium vessel. This slows down or stops the movement of sodium ions from the sodium channels and hence, the purpose is being served. Calcium and Caffeine are another important components present in these sodium channel blockers. By understanding these elements caffeine and calcium separately, we can have a good idea of their working in these channel blockers.

Final words:

So, this was all from our research on the Sodium Channel Blockers. I hope that this really helped you in understanding the topic and if you have any queries then you can leave them in the comments section below. We will try to answer your questions with the best of our knowledge. We would really appreciate your feedback on the post because your feedback is something that helps us improve the quality of our website and its content. Until I come up with something else, stay tuned to our website and keep visiting it. Thank you!

Hi, This is Hamza Khan from Peshawar, Pakistan. I am a 2nd prof MBBS Student at Bannu Medical College and a hobby Blogger. The Purpose of this site is to share my knowledge and Guide new Medical Students.

2 comments On Sodium Channel Blockers- Its Classification And Mechanism

  • do you have any recommendations regarding the discontinuation of taking mexiletine? I have been taking it for migraine prophylaxis. Even five capsules daily of 150mg have been unsuccessful. I developed severe abdominal problems that have lead to a ten pound wait loss. When all other causes were ruled out, and after noting the prevalence of GI side effects, I have cut down my dosage and my symptoms have improved quite a bit. I am down to three caps daily and still have relapses of abdominal pain and loss of appetite. I would like to just stop the medication but can’t find any information about the need to taper the medication or how to do it. I am trying to find out if there is any danger to just stopping it instead of tapering because I would like these symptoms to be gone for good as soon as possible.
    Do you have any advice or recommendations?

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