Generic Name: Diltiazem

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Cardizem is a medicine known as a calcium channel blocker used to treat angina (chest pain).

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Cardizem may reduce chest pain by widening the blood vessels in your heart and increasing the supply of oxygen delivered to your heart. It also reduces the workload of your heart.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: Cardizem may help manage your symptoms of chest pain.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. It is important that you take Cardizem exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to experience less symptoms. If you notice less chest pain, then your medication is likely working.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: swelling, headache, nausea, dizziness, rash, weakness.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Risk of having a very slow heart rate, worsened congestive heart failure (a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body), low blood pressure, or liver injury.

    Skin reactions (such as light sensitivity, petechiae [tiny, pinpoint, red dots], itching, or hives) can occur with Cardizem and can disappear.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Cardizem if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Cardizem if you have low blood pressure.

    Do not take Cardizem if you have sick sinus syndrome (abnormal heart rhythm) or a heart block, unless you have a pacemaker.

    Do not take Cardizem if you have recently had a heart attack and lung congestion (buildup of fluid in the lungs).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Cardizem. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart problems (such as heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms), kidney or liver disease, low blood pressure, a recent history of heart attack, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    Also, talk to your healthcare provider about any planned surgeries or procedures.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The usual starting dose is 30 milligrams four times a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you have kidney or liver impairment, your healthcare provider will adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Cardizem exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    Take Cardizem before meals and at bedtime.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not change your dose or stop taking Cardizem without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Cardizem is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Cardizem with the following: blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as atenolol or propranolol), buspirone, carbamazepine, cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins (such as lovastatin or simvastatin), cimetidine, clonidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, midazolam, quinidine, rifampin, or triazolam.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Cardizem during pregnancy are unknown. Cardizem can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not take Cardizem while you are breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Cardizem, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from humidity.

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