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Why is this medication prescribed?
Diltiazem is used to manage angina and treat high blood pressure (chest pain). Diltiazem belongs to the group of drugs known as calcium-channel blockers. In order to reduce the heart’s workload, it operates by relaxing the blood arteries. It also improves the heart’s ability to receive more blood and oxygen.
High blood pressure is a common condition, and when not treated it can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
How should this medicine be used?
The oral forms of Diltiazem include tablets, extended-release (long-acting) tablets, and extended-release capsules. The typical dosage for the standard tablet is three to four times per day. Most people take the extended-release tablet and capsule once or twice a day. Due to the possibility of product-specific variations, consult your pharmacist to determine whether you should take diltiazem with or without food. Diltiazem should be taken every day at about the same time(s). Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Diltiazem must be taken exactly as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Do not chew or crush the extended-release capsules or tablets; instead, swallow them whole.
If you are using an extended-release tablet or capsule, your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of diltiazem and gradually increase it, no more than once every 7 to 14 days, and no more frequently than once every 1 to 2 days if you are on a standard tablet.
Diltiazem does not stop chest pain once it has started, although it can manage it if taken on a regular basis. When you experience chest pain, your doctor might prescribe a different drug for you to take.
Diltiazem regulates angina (chest discomfort) and high blood pressure but does not treat either condition. You might not experience diltiazem’s full benefits for as long as two weeks. Diltiazem should still be used even if you feel OK. Without first consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking diltiazem.
Other uses for this medicine
Moreover, diltiazem is occasionally used to treat certain arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). The dangers of using this drug for your illness should be discussed with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking diltiazem,
- If you have an allergy to diltiazem, any other drugs, or any of the substances in diltiazem, inform your doctor and pharmacist very away. Get a list of the components from your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal items, nutritional supplements, and any drugs you are now taking or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), labetalol, metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL, in Dutoprol), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), and propranolol (Inderal, Innopran, in Inderide); beta blockers such as atazanavir (Reyataz); benzodiazepines such as midazolam (Versed) and triazolam (Halcion); digoxin (Lanoxin), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol), cimetidine (Tagamet), lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor, in Advicor), quinidine (in Nuedexta), and rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifamate, in Rifater, Rimactane). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Tell your doctor about all the drugs you are taking, even any not on this list, as many other drugs may also interact with diltiazem.
- Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had a myocardial infarction (MI), a digestive obstruction or constriction, low blood pressure, or any other condition that causes food to pass through your digestive tract more slowly.
- Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking diltiazem.
- Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking diltiazem if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
If your doctor advises a low-salt or low-sodium diet, strictly follow the instructions.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Diltiazem could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Feeling unsteady or lightheaded
- Sluggish heartbeat
- Nasal obstruction
Some adverse effects may be severe. Call your doctor right away or seek emergency medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Edoema of the lower legs, hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower face, eyes, lips, and tongue
- Breathing or swallowing challenges
- Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
- Extreme fatigue
- Uncommon bruising or bleeding
- Not enough energy
- Reduced appetite
- Stomach ache in the top right corner
- Flu-like signs
- Chest discomfort frequency or intensity increasing (angina)
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.
Overdose signs could include the following:
- Irregular, sluggish, or rapid heartbeat
- Having trouble breathing
- Increased perspiration
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. Regular blood pressure checks are necessary to monitor your reaction to diltiazem.
Your doctor may ask you to check your heart rate (pulse) every day and will advise you on the ideal pace. Call your doctor for instructions on taking diltiazem that day if your pulse is slower than it ought to be. To learn how to monitor your pulse, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.
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