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Cardizem CD (Generic Diltiazem)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Cardizem CD is a medication primarily prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and certain types of chest pain (angina). It belongs to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers, which work by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow, thereby reducing blood pressure and relieving chest pain.

How should this medicine be used?

Cardizem CD (diltiazem) is typically prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and certain types of chest pain (angina). The medication comes in extended-release capsules, which are designed to release the medication slowly over time.

Here’s how Cardizem CD is commonly used:

  • Dosage: The dosage of Cardizem CD varies depending on your medical condition, response to treatment, and your doctor’s recommendations. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully regarding dosage.
  • Administration: Cardizem CD capsules are taken orally, usually once daily. They can be taken with or without food. Swallow the capsules whole; do not crush, chew, or break them.
  • Consistency: Take Cardizem CD at the same time each day to maintain a consistent level of medication in your bloodstream. This helps ensure optimal effectiveness.
  • Do not skip doses: Take Cardizem CD regularly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip doses, even if you feel well, as high blood pressure and chest pain often have no symptoms but can still cause serious health issues if left untreated.
  • Duration of use: Continue taking Cardizem CD for as long as your doctor prescribes it, even if you start feeling better. Suddenly stopping the medication can lead to rebound effects or worsening of your condition.
  • Monitoring: Your doctor may need to monitor your blood pressure regularly while you’re taking Cardizem CD to ensure it’s effectively controlling your hypertension or angina.
  • Consult your doctor: If you have any questions or concerns about how to use Cardizem CD or if you experience any side effects, consult your doctor or pharmacist for guidance.

Remember, this information serves as a general guideline. Always follow your doctor’s specific instructions regarding the use of Cardizem CD and any other medications you may be taking.

Other uses for this medicine

In addition to treating high blood pressure (hypertension) and certain types of chest pain (angina), Cardizem CD (diltiazem) may also be used for other medical conditions or purposes as determined by your doctor. Some off-label uses of Cardizem CD may include the treatment of certain heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) or migraine headaches. However, using Cardizem CD for any purpose other than those approved by your doctor is not recommended.

What special precautions should I follow?

When taking Cardizem CD, it’s essential to follow some special precautions to ensure safe and effective use:

  • Medical History: Before taking Cardizem CD, inform your doctor about your complete medical history, including any allergies, heart conditions, liver disease, kidney disease, certain muscle disorders (e.g., myasthenia gravis), and any other medical conditions you may have.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, discuss the risks and benefits of using Cardizem CD with your doctor. It’s essential to weigh the potential benefits of the medication against any potential risks to the fetus or infant.
  • Drug Interactions: Inform your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Cardizem CD may interact with certain medications, such as other blood pressure medications, certain antibiotics, antifungal medications, HIV medications, and others. Your doctor can help determine if any adjustments to your medication regimen are necessary to prevent interactions.
  • Grapefruit Juice: Avoid consuming large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking Cardizem CD, as it may increase the levels of diltiazem in your bloodstream, leading to potentially serious side effects.
  • Alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption while taking Cardizem CD, as it may enhance the blood pressure-lowering effects of the medication and increase the risk of side effects.
  • Driving and Operating Machinery: Cardizem CD may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people. If you experience these side effects, avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Monitoring: Your doctor may need to monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, liver function, and kidney function while you’re taking Cardizem CD to ensure it’s safe and effective for you.
  • Diet and Lifestyle: Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise, stress management, and smoking cessation (if applicable), to help manage your blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health.

Always consult with your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice and guidance regarding the use of Cardizem CD and any precautions specific to your individual health needs.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Special Dietary Instructions for Cardizem CD:

  • Grapefruit Juice: Avoid consuming large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking Cardizem CD, as it may increase the levels of diltiazem in your bloodstream, leading to potentially serious side effects.
  • High-Fiber Foods: Eating high-fiber foods may help reduce the constipation that can sometimes occur as a side effect of Cardizem CD. Ensure you’re consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Cardizem CD, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Cardizem CD (diltiazem) can cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:

  • Dizziness: You may feel lightheaded or dizzy, especially when standing up quickly.
  • Headache: Some people may experience headaches while taking Cardizem CD.
  • Flushing: This refers to a temporary reddening of the skin, often in the face and neck.
  • Constipation: Cardizem CD can cause constipation in some individuals.
  • Nausea or vomiting: You may feel sick to your stomach or experience vomiting.
  • Weakness or fatigue: Some people may feel weak or unusually tired while taking Cardizem CD.
  • Edema (swelling): Swelling, typically in the ankles or feet, may occur.
  • Rash or itching: Skin reactions, such as rash or itching, can sometimes occur.

These side effects are usually mild and temporary. However, if any of these symptoms persist or worsen, it’s essential to notify your doctor.

In some cases, Cardizem CD may cause more serious side effects that require immediate medical attention. These can include:

  • Irregular heartbeat: If you experience a rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or fainting, seek medical help right away.
  • Shortness of breath: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath can be a sign of a serious reaction to Cardizem CD.
  • Severe dizziness or fainting: If you experience severe dizziness or fainting spells, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat: This may indicate an allergic reaction and requires prompt medical attention.

It’s important to report any unusual or concerning symptoms to your doctor promptly. They can help determine whether the side effects are related to Cardizem CD and provide appropriate guidance or adjustments to your treatment plan. Additionally, if you have any questions or concerns about the side effects of Cardizem CD, consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal:

  • Storage: Keep Cardizem CD capsules at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Avoid storing them in the bathroom. Ensure the medication is kept out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of Cardizem CD capsules properly according to local regulations or guidelines. Do not flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless instructed to do so. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal facility for guidance on proper disposal methods.

In case of emergency/overdose

  • Seek Medical Help: If you suspect an overdose of Cardizem CD or experience severe symptoms such as fainting, difficulty breathing, or irregular heartbeat, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Symptoms of Overdose: Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, weakness, fainting, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and loss of consciousness.

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Follow-up: Attend regular follow-up appointments with your doctor to monitor your response to Cardizem CD and to adjust your treatment plan if necessary.
  • Lab Tests: Your doctor may perform periodic lab tests, including blood pressure monitoring, to check how well Cardizem CD is working and to detect any potential side effects.
  • Avoid Grapefruit: Avoid consuming large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking Cardizem CD, as it may increase the levels of diltiazem in your bloodstream and lead to potentially serious side effects.
  • Carry Identification: If you are taking Cardizem CD for a heart condition, consider carrying identification (such as a medical alert bracelet or card) indicating that you are taking this medication in case of emergency situations.
  • Do Not Stop Abruptly: Do not stop taking Cardizem CD suddenly without consulting your doctor, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms or worsening of your condition.
  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the common side effects and warning signs of potential complications associated with Cardizem CD. Report any new or unusual symptoms to your doctor promptly.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and consult them or a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about the use of Cardizem CD. They can provide personalized advice and guidance based on your individual medical needs and circumstances.

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