Drug trade name- Diltiazem
Group- Calcium channel blocker
Introduction and Quick Information:
Diltiazem is under a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers that include other drugs such as verapamil (isoptin, calan) amlodipine (Norvasc) and Nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat). Diltiazem is prescribed to treat heart pain (angina), abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure (hypertension).
Diltiazem acts by relaxing blood vessels that further reduces pressure from heart.
This medicine may also be prescribed for other purpose not listed in this medication guide.
Is Diltiazem FDA Approved?
It is advised that patients should use only FDA approved drugs because they have been tested in laboratories and cleared all safety tests.
Diltiazem is a FDA approved medication and can be safely used for treating several health conditions. Diltiazem was approved by FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) in 1982.
Usage and Benefits of Diltiazem:
Diltiazem is a prescription medicine generally used to treat certain chest pain (angina) and hypertension (High Blood Pressure. Diltiazem is available in many different versions but not every Diltiazem versions is approved for the same treatment.
Based on medical studies, Diltiazem has been shown to effectively lover systolic and diastolic blood pressure. By controlling blood pressure, Diltiazem can reduce the risk of several health problems such as congestive heart failure, stroke, heart disease which Â generally occur due to long term high blood pressure (hypertension). However, Diltiazem is prescribed to control blood pressure but never recommended to cure high blood pressure.
Chest pain is medically know as angina that divides in several types such as-
- Stable angina
- Unstable angina
- Variant angina
Diltiazem is prescribed to treat all types of chest pain but its dosages can be different due to severity of angina.
Diltiazem is a non-Dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker that decreases uneven heart rate. For this reason, Diltiazem is considered as useful medicine for treating certain types of arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms).
Diltiazem- Off Label Uses-
On certain occasions, your healthcare provider may prescribe this medicine for treating something which is not mentioned in its prescription. This is called â€œoff labelâ€ use.Â This includes-
- Unstable angina
- Migraine headaches
- Diabetic nephropathy ( certain kidney problems in patients with diabetes)
There could be some other usages of diltiazem which you can ask your healthcare provider to explain to you in a better way.
Important Notification- diltiazem is not approved for children due to some safety concerns. For further information, ask your childâ€™s healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of Diltiazem.
Like any other medicine, side effects are possible with Diltiazem as well. However it is not necessary that everyone who takes this medicine will notice side effects. In fact, most of the patients who have been taking this medicine tolerate it quite well. If ever Diltiazem side effects are reported, mostly, either they are minor or require no treatment and can be easily treated by your healthcare provider.
Here are some common side effects of Diltiazem
- Swelling or water retention in feet or lower legs, hands
- Difficulty breathing
- A sore throat
- Sinus congestion
- Slow heart rate
- Sign of blood pressure such as lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting
- Chest pain (angina)
- High blood sugar
- Sings of allergic reaction such as wheezing, hives, an unexplained rash, difficulty breathing, swallowing, unexplained swelling etc
- A red, blistering skin rash
You may experience some of Diltiazem side effects mentioned in the medication guide. However there is no way to know which side effects will affect while taking this medicine. Side effects generally related to your health and body condition. These Diltiazem side effects can have adverse reaction to your body. For this reason, you should seek medical emergency whenever you experience any of these mentioned side effects.
General Recommended Dosages of Diltiazem:
Take Diltiazem as exactly as it was prescribed by your doctor to you. Dosages can be changed by your healthcare provider to make sure you get rapid results and are cured.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have trouble swallowing a Diltiazem as a whole so he can prescribe you with a better alternative.
Take Diltiazem regularly to get rapid benefits. Do not stop taking Diltiazem without first informing your healthcare provider. If you stop taking this medicine suddenly, your health condition may become worse.
If you are taking Diltiazem for high blood pressure, keep taking this medicine even if your condition gets well. High blood pressure generally has no evident symptoms hence your doctor may prescribe this medicine to you for the rest of your life as this health issue can be treated completely due to its reappearing capability.
In Case I Miss a Dose?
Missed consequences can be different as this medicine is taken for more than one health issues. Do not take missed dose without telling your doctor.Â Do not take this medicine in extra amount to make up for the missed one.
In Case I Take Overdose?
An overdose of the medicine can be fatal for your health. Overdose consequences could be varied as Diltiazem is prescribed to treat more than one health condition.
Overdose symptoms may include shortness of breath, fainting or feeling light-headed, chest pain, weakness, slow heartbeat etc.
Drug Interactions of Diltiazem:
Effects shown due to drug interaction could be different than actual side effects of Diltiazem. Drug interaction plays a major role in any medical treatment as they have potential effects on the treatment you are undergoing. Only your doctor is able to tell you about the effects of drug interaction. Ask your doctor to explain you about other interactions if you are taking Diltiazem. There are some drugs which can potentially interact with Diltiazem such as-
- a beta-blocker such as carvedilol, atenolol, labetalol, nadolol, sotalol, propranolol, metoprolol,
- HIV/AIDS medicine such as delavirdine, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, fosamprenavir, atazanavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir
- an antibiotic such as telithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, dalfopristin/quinupristin
- cholesterol medications such as simvastatin, lovastatin, atorvastatin,
- antifungal medication such as ketoconazole, miconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole
- a sedative such as triazolam, midazolam
This is not a complete list of drugs. There are some other potential drugs that can interact with diltiazem. You may ask your doctor to explain you diltiazem interaction with other potential drugs.
Life Style and Food Habits you must follow when on Diltiazem
Since this medicine is prescribed to treat chest pain and hypertension and other health condition hence you may need to follow some strict diet and exercise routine while taking this medicine. There are plenty of food and poor lifestyle routines that can worsen hypertension treatment. Hypertension has become a common disorder which needs special attention if you want to treat this health discomfort in a rapid way.
Apart from this, you should not take this medicine if you have any sorts for allergic reaction with Diltiazem or if you have any of the below mentioned health discomforts such as-
- low blood pressure
- certain heart conditions
- if you have recently had a heart attack
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- congestive heart failure
- if you are taking Clonidine (catapres)
if you are taking this medicine for treating chest pain and high blood pressure then your doctor may suggest to follow health diet and active lifestyle as it is a required part of this treatment.
How safe is Diltiazem for Pregnant Women or Nursing mothers?
Every FDA approved drug has pregnancy category which means pregnant women need to follow special guide lines instructed by FDA and your healthcare provider. Although there is no known evidence that can show that Diltiazem can harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are expecting or planning to become pregnant while on this medicine. Do not use Diltiazem without telling your doctor if you are taking this medicine because medical studies have shown that Diltiazem can pass into breast milk and may harm new born babies.
Complications and Conditions Possible due to prolonged use of Diltiazem:
Prolonged use of any medicine can have harmful effects to the body. However, in some cases, your doctor may prescribe to use of this medicine for longer than recommended periods.
Important notice- this medicine may have habit forming capabilities as well, so do not use until it is advised by your doctor. And also inform your doctor if you had drug abuse or addiction. Do not recommend this medicine to people with drug abuse or addiction without telling your doctor.
Availability of Diltiazem
Diltiazem is a prescription medicine and available at government and FDA approved drug stores where you can buy this medicine after providing information regarding your prescription. But this is not the only available option as now you can buy this medicine from online drug stores with some possible discounts.