Diltiazem is the general form of Cardizem, which is used to treat high blood pressure and to control joint pain (known as angina pectoris).
It is also sometimes used to treat abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
There are several other brand names for this drug, including Cartia, Dilacor XR, Diltzac, Taztia and Tiazac.
Diltiazem works by relaxing the blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. This type of medication is known as a calcium channel blocker.
Diltiazem is supplied in the form of a tablet, sustained release tablets, sustained-release capsules and an injection form.
It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982.
Some doctors have also prescribed diltiazem to prevent migraine, although evidence supporting its use among people with migraines is not universally accepted.
Diltiazem can prevent chest pain by taking it regularly, but it does not stop the chest pain after it starts.
It may take up to two weeks for you to fully feel the benefits of the medication.
Your doctor will probably start with a low dose of Diltiazem, and then gradually increase it.
Your blood pressure and pulse will be checked regularly when taking Diltiazem to determine your response to the drug.
Before taking diltiazem, you should inform your doctor if you have ever had:
- Heart attack
- Any condition that causes food to move more slowly through your digestive system
- Low blood pressure
- Heart, liver or kidney disease
You should also tell your doctor if you are planning any kind of surgical intervention, including dental surgery.
Pregnancy and Diltiazem
There are no adequate studies to show that this drug is safe for pregnant women.
Diltiazembyl is seen in breast milk, so women should not take it during breastfeeding.
Diltiazem: side effects
Diltiazem can cause side effects. You should tell your doctor if the following symptoms are serious or do not disappear:
- Slow heartbeat
- Nasal congestion
Serious side effects
Diltiazem can cause serious side effects. You should immediately call your doctor if you have experienced:
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, eyes, hands, feet or ankles
- Problems with breathing or swallowing
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Extreme fatigue
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper right side of the stomach
- Increased frequency or severity of chest pain
- Symptoms of influenza
Many drugs can interact with diltiazem.
Inform your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, dietary or dietary preparations that you are taking, especially:
- Atazanavir (Reietetz)
- Beta-blockers, such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard) and propranolol (Inderal)
- Buspirone (BuSpar)
- Benzodiazepines, such as midazolam (Versed) and triazolam (Halcion)
- Carbamazepine (carbatrol, epitol, tegretol)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Digoxin (lanoxin, lanoxicapa)
- Ciclosporin (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
- Rifampin (Rifadine, Rifamate, Rifater, Rimatan)
- Lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor, Advicor)
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interact with diltiazem. Your doctor may advise you to follow a diet low in sodium, taking diltiazem.
This drug can worsen your thinking and reaction time. Be especially careful when driving or doing anything that might require concentration.
You should also try to avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Diltiazem can increase the sensitivity of your skin to light, and you can easily get sunburn.
A typical oral dose for adults with chest pain or high blood pressure is from 120 mg to 540 mg per day.
Tablets are usually taken up to four times a day.
The formula with extended release is taken once a day and should not be crushed.
Overdose with Diltiazem
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room.
The missed dose of Diltiazem
If you miss the dose of Diltiazem, take it as soon as you remember.
However, if it’s time for the next dose, skip it and continue your regular schedule.
Do not “double” the dose to make up for the missed one.