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Generic Name: verapamil

It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells
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What is this medicine?

VERAPAMIL (ver AP a mil) 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 an irregular heart beat or flutter.

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 or blood vessel disease
  • heart rhythm disturbances like sick sinus syndrome, ventricular arrhythmias, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, or Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • neuromuscular disease such as muscular dystrophy
  • slow or irregular heartbeat
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to verapamil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following:
  • cisapride
  • disopyramide
  • dofetilide
  • grapefruit juice
  • hawthorn
  • pimozide
  • red yeast rice

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • barbiturates, like phenobarbital
  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • lithium
  • local anesthetics or general anesthetics
  • medicines for heart rhythm problems like amiodarone, digoxin, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine
  • medicines for blood pressure or heart problems
  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine and phenytoin
  • rifampin, rifabutin or rifapentine
  • theophylline or aminophylline

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. 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
  • breathing problems
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • swelling of the legs or ankles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • facial flushing
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
  • sexual dysfunction
  • weak or tired

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

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.


All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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