What is this medicine?
DILTIAZEM (dil TYE a zem) is a calcium-channel blocker. It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells. This relaxes your blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of work the heart has to do. This medicine is used to treat chest pain caused by angina.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cardizem
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- heart problems, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat
- liver disease
- previous heart attack
- an unusual or allergic reaction to diltiazem, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. This medicine is usually taken before meals and at bedtime. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often then directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following:
- red yeast rice
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- local anesthetics or general anesthetics
- medicines for anxiety or difficulty sleeping like midazolam and triazolam
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems
- rifampin, rifabutin, or rifapentine
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be and when you should contact him or her.
You may feel dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more dizzy or increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- confusion, mental depression
- feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- slow, irregular heartbeat
- swelling of the ankles, feet
- unusual bleeding or bruising
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- change in sex drive or performance
- constipation or diarrhea
- flushing of the face
- nausea, vomiting
- tired or weak
- trouble sleeping
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
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