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 high blood pressure and chest pain caused by angina.
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. Swallow whole, do not crush or chew. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if your should take this medicine with food. 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. Ask your doctor or health care professional how to gradually reduce the dose.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
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 medications:
- 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
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
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- slow, irregular heartbeat
- swelling of the feet and ankles
- unusual bleeding or bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- constipation or diarrhea
- difficulty sleeping
- facial flushing
- nausea, vomiting
- sexual dysfunction
- weak or tired
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from humidity. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children,
never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.