Drug trade name- Verapamil
Generic name- Calan
Group- calcium channel blockers
Introduction and Quick Information:
Verapamil helps in slowing down the speed of calcium moving into the heart. This in turn helps the muscles to relax and allows better blood flow and in lowering the blood pressure level. Vanapramil works on dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker leading to decrease in the heart rate.
Because of the characteristic of reducing heart rate it is also used to treat irregular heart rhythms. Vanapramil also helps to induce physical activities.
Is it approved by FDA?
Verapamil extended release capsules were approved by fda in December 2009. Although the uses of this drug are approved by fda but it should not be taken without the approval of doctor.
Usage and Benefits of verapamil:
The most important part of the drug is its uses. They tell you how important a drug can be in an individualâ€™s life. Some of the uses of the medicine are enlisted:
- For treating blood pressure- According to studies done on verapamil, it was found out that it can be useful in bringing level of blood pressure on an average range that is 120/80. By doing this it cures and prevents us from the diseases like congestive heart failure, stroke, or heart disease.
- For treating chest pain- Chest pain or angina is caused when excessive pressure is there on your body. Coronary arteries get clogged with plaque. This results in carrying less blood and oxygen to heart causing chest pain. Verapamil relaxes the blood vessels and sheds the load on heart.
- For treating arrhythmias- Irregular heart rhythm occurs when electrical system in heart functions inefficiently. It releases signals at an irregular pace. This drug works by reducing the signals sent through AV node. Verapamil is not a cure for this disease; it stops some parts of heart to respond to the electrical signals.
- Off label uses- Verapamil can be recommended for some conditions apart from others. Also knows as off label uses. Verapamilâ€™s off label uses are:
* Â For migraine
* Â Bipolar disorder
* Â Intermittent claudicating
Verapamil Side Effects:
When a drug is used it circulates in whole body with the help of blood. Some parts of the body can show resistance to the drug. This resistance is named as side effects. Side effects of verapmil:
- fast or slow heartbeats
- feeling like you might pass out
- loss of appetite
- darker color urine
- rapid weight gain
- stomach pain
- clay-colored stools
- difficulty breathing
- blurred vision
- slow heartbeat
- extreme tiredness
- lack of energy
- very low blood pressure
- Breast enlargement in men
General Recommended Dosages of verapamil:
Verapamil comes in tablet as well as in capsule form. It has to be taken orally. Take the dose as prescribed by your doctor. Do not adjust it according to your convenience.
It should be taken once in a day at bedtime or as prescribed by your doctor. Gap between the dose should be even to maintain the drug levels in blood.
Verapamil should be stored at room temperature away from heat and moisture.Â Never crush, chew or break open the capsules or tablets. It should be swallowed as a whole.
If you are using this medicine for high blood pressure then continue the treatment even if you feel alright. High blood pressure often does not show any symptoms.
In case I Take Overdose?
Overdosing of a medicine should not be done in any case , but sometimes people by mistake do it. It can lead to symptoms like:
- A slow heart rate
- Fluid in the lungs
- High blood sugar
- Low blood pressure
- Decreased mental function
- irregular heart rhythm
- Difficulty breathing
If you notice some symptom from above or anything unusual, call for medical emergency immediately.
In case I Miss my Dose?
Missed dose can be taken as soon as you remember. Avoid the medicine if itâ€™s almost time to take the next scheduled dose. This can lead to overdosing symptoms.
Drug Interactions of verapamil:
Often a drug interaction can lead to reduce the affectivity of the medicine. In this case you should take care about all the medicines you are taking and it is important to inform the doctor about them. Certain drug interactions of this drug are:
- Antibiotics like Clarithromycin, Biaxin, erythromycin, rifampin
- Antifungal medicine like itraconazole, fluconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole
- Beta blocker like bisoprolol, atenolol, metoprolol, timolol
- Cancer medicines like cyclophosphamide, cisplatin, doxorubicin, sotalol, propranolol
- Heart medication like disopyramide, amiodarone, flecainide, quinidine
- Aids medicine like delavirdine, atazanavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, indinavir, fosamprenavir
- Sedatives like triazolam, midazolam
- Seizure medications like Phenobarbital, carbamazepine
This may not enlist all the drugs. You should inform your doctor about all prescribed, or over the counter products, vitamin supplements or herbal products.
You should not take verapamil if the patient is allergic to it and in case you have certain diseases like:
- Recent heart attack
- low blood pressure
- kidney disease
- congestive heart failure
- liver disease
- nerve-muscle disorder like muscle dystrophy
- Sick sinus syndrome
- Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome
- Myasthenia gravis
- Any allergy from food, dyes or preservatives
Allergy to verapamil should also be informed to doctor.
Life style and Food Habits you must follow when on Verapamil?
Verapamil damages your reactions or thinking. You should stop driving or any work that requires your alertness.
Verapamil is only the part of treatment. Regular physical exercise, healthy diet is important along with this.
You should not get up too fast or change your position. This can make you feel dizzy.
In any case you should stop consumption of alcohol. Alcohol can also interact with your drug. It can further reduce your blood pressure.
Grapefruit or its juice can interact with Verapamil can lead to harmful effects. You should not start or stop eating grapes without consulting your doctor.
How safe is Verapamil for Pregnant Women or Nursing mothers?
When this drug was tested on rats it resulted in retarded growth of fetus. But study done on rats cannot be applied in case of humans, though it is considered to have similar effects.
Verapamil should only be taken after doctor approves the usage of this drug in pregnancy. You should tell your doctor before starting the treatment of this medicine if you are planning to conceive or you have become pregnant during the treatment.
Verapamil was found in human milk. Nursing should be strictly discontinued if you are using this medicine. It can lead to hazardous effects on the new born.
Complications and Conditions Possible due to prolonged use of Verapamil:
Verapamil can give you serious discontinuing effects if it is stopped suddenly. You should stop it by reducing the dosage of medicine and slowly stopping it completely. You should take advice from a doctor before doing that.
Availability of the Verapamil:
Verapamil can be bought from any government approved medical store as it is approved by FDA. It can also be bought online but only official website should be used. The online website will give you complete information about the drug.