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Diltiazem

Generic Name: Diltiazem (oral or injection) [dil-TYE-a-zem].
The Brand Names: Cardizem, Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Cartia XT, Dilt-XR, etc.
Classes of Drugs: Calcium channel blocking agents, Group IV antiarrhythmics.

What is Diltiazem?

Diltiazem is a member of a group of medicines known as calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels so that the heart is not required to pump as much. Diltiazem can also increase the supply of oxygen and blood to the heart. Diltiazem oral medication is prescribed to adults on its own or in conjunction with other medications for treating hypertension (high blood pressure) or the symptoms associated with angina (chest pain). The lower blood pressure could reduce your chance of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Diltiazem injections are used by adults to treat specific heart rhythm disorders, such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, or potentially rapid beats (tachycardia).

Side effects of Diltiazem

Get immediate medical attention. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate you are experiencing an allergic reaction to the drug diltiazem (hives, breathing difficulties, or swelling of your throat or face) or a severe reaction to your skin (fever and sore throat, burnt eyes, irritation, and a red or purple skin eruption with peeling and blisters),

Diltiazem could cause serious adverse reactions.

  • Chest pain, quick or irregular heart rate.
  • A lightheaded sensation, similar to passing out.
  • Heart issues: swelling and weight gain that is rapid, feeling tired.
  • Liver issues nausea, abdominal pain (upper right side) fatigue, itching, dark urine, stools that are clay-colored, and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin).

Common side effects of diltiazem could include:

  • Swelling.
  • Influenza symptoms and infections.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Headache, dizziness, weakness.
  • Slower heart rate.
  • Swelling, pain, bruises, or irritation in the area at the site of injection.
  • Nausea, an upset.

This isn't a compperhensive list of all possible adverse effects, and other side effects could occur. Consult your physician to seek medical advice on adverse effects. You can report any symptoms to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Before you take this drug

It is not recommended to use the drug diltiazem if you are allergic to it or suffer from:

  • A serious heart issue like "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you are a patient with an implanted pacemaker).
  • Extremely low blood pressure.
  • If your heart can't pump blood in a proper manner.
  • If you've had an attack of the heart and have an accumulation of fluid in your lung.

You might not be able to take diltiazem if you suffer from

  • Heart failure.
  • Certain heart rhythm disorders (including atrial fibrillation with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and Afib or atrial flutter) pose significant health risks).
  • A heart disease that causes extremely fast heartbeats.
  • If you're taking an intravenous beta blocker (such as atenolol, metoprolol, or propranolol).

To ensure this medicine is appropriate for you, tell your physician if you've previously had:

  • Congestive heart failure or heart issues.
  • Low blood pressure, or low heart rate.
  • Liver disease.

It isn't known if it will cause harm to a baby who is not yet born. Consult your physician if you are expecting or plan to be pregnant. Inform your physician if you are nursing or pregnant.

How to take Diltiazem?

Take diltiazem as directed by your physician. Follow the directions on the prescription label and go through all medication guides and instruction sheets. The doctor might alter your dosage. Diltiazem injections are injected into the vein by a medical doctor. The heart rate of your patient will be continuously monitored with an electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG (sometimes called an EKG). Your blood pressure, as well as other vital indicators, will be closely monitored.

Diltiazem oral tablets are taken by mouth. Your pharmacist will be able to provide additional information on how to take this medication in a safe manner. Your dosage requirements could change if you switch to a new brand or strength of this medication. Certain forms of dilazem oral can't be chewed or crushed, and some can be opened by mixing it with applesauce. Find out from your pharmacist how you can use this medication. Your liver function and blood pressure must be checked regularly. If you suffer from elevated blood pressure, continue taking this medication even if you feel fine. High blood pressure can have no signs. Keep at room temperature, away from heat, humidity, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Diltiazem injections are a treatment option for when you need them and are not an everyday dose. Contact your doctor if you feel the medication isn't working. As soon as you are able, but do not take the missed dose when it's almost time for the next dose. Don't take two doses at the same time.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the Poison Help line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms can include low blood pressure, a slow heart rate, intense dizziness, or fainting.

What should be avoided?

Beware of drinking alcohol when taking Diltiazem extended-release capsules. Alcohol consumption with this medication could cause adverse effects. Beware of taking herbal supplements with St. John's wort. Be careful not to get up too fast from a lying or sitting position, as you could get dizzy. Avoid driving or engaging in hazardous activities until you are aware of the effects of this medicine on you. The way you react could be impaired.

Warnings

It is not recommended to use diltiazem in the event of poor blood pressure or a heart problem like "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you are a patient of an implanted pacemaker) or are recently suffering from an attack on your heart and are experiencing a buildup on your lung. Before taking this medication, inform your doctor whether you suffer from liver disease, kidney disease, or congestive heart disease. Diltiazem could affect your brain or reactions. Be cautious when you drive or perform things that require the use of your brain. Don't discontinue taking this medication without first speaking to your physician. If you stop taking it abruptly, the condition you are suffering from could become more serious.

Diltiazem is part of a full treatment plan that includes exercise, diet, and other medicines. Be sure to follow your diet, medications, and exercise regimens with the utmost care. If you're being treated for high blood pressure, continue the medication even if you are feeling well. High blood pressure can have no signs. It is possible that you will need blood pressure medication throughout your life. However, if you are experiencing signs that suggest poor blood pressure (dizziness, weakening, fainting, and blurred or shaky vision), contact your physician and stop taking diltiazem.

Interaction with other drugs

It is sometimes not safe to take certain medications in conjunction with other medications. Certain medications can alter your blood levels from other medications you take, which could cause more side effects or make the medication less effective. Numerous drugs may be a problem for diltiazem. This covers prescription and OTC medications, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all interactions are included in this list. Inform your doctor about any other medications you are taking.

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