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USES: Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker. Calcium is involved in blood vessel contraction and in controlling the electrical impulses within the heart. By blocking calcium, diltiazem relaxes and widens blood vessels and can normalize heart rates. Diltiazem is used to treat chest pain (angina) or high blood pressure. This medication may also be used to treat irregular heartbeats.
| CardizemSR |
Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker. Calcium is involved in blood vessel contraction and in controlling the electrical impulses within the heart. By blocking calcium, diltiazem relaxes and widens blood vessels and can normalize heart rates. Diltiazem is used to treat chest pain (angina) or high blood pressure. This medication may also be used to treat irregular heartbeats.
- Store at room temperature away from sunlight and moisture.
- The capsule(s) may be taken without regard to meals twice daily or as directed.
- Swallow whole.
- Do not open, chew or crush the capsule.
- Do not stop taking this drug suddenly without your doctor's permission.
- Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
- This drug may cause dizziness and lightheadedness especially during the first few days.
- Avoid activities requiring alertness.
- When you sit or lie down for a while, get up slowly to allow your body to adjust and minimize dizziness.
- You may also experience bloating, heartburn, muscle cramps, headache, flushing, nasal congestion, sore throat, constipation or diarrhea.
- Inform your doctor if they become bothersome.
- Notify your doctor if you develop breathing difficulties, swelling of the hands or feet or an irregular heartbeat.
- If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
- Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you have heart, liver or lung disease or if you have any allergies.
- Limit intake of alcohol while taking this drug.
- This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy.
- Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
- This drug is excreted into breast milk.
- If there is no alternative to using this drug you should discontinue breast-feeding.
- Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
- If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
- Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
- Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of anticoagulants ("blood thinners"), beta-blockers (including eye drops), digoxin, disopyramide, high blood pressure medication, quinidine, rifampin, carbamazepine, cimetidine, lithium, flecainide and cyclosporine.
- Avoid any drugs that increase your heart-rate (the decongestants phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine are examples).
- These drugs are commonly found in over-the-counter cough-and-cold products.
- Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.