GENERIC NAME: Diltiazem

COMMON BRAND: Cardizem, Cardizem CD, Cartia XT, Dilzem, Dilacor XR, Dilt-CD, Diltia XT, Dilt-XR, Diltzac, Matzim LA, Taztia XT, Tiazac

Diltiazem is an oral prescription drug, belongs to a class of medications known as calcium channel blockers. It works by reducing arterial blood pressure by vasodilation blood vessels throughout your body thereby reducing peripheral vascular resistance. This result in less pressure to built up and your heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood.

Diltiazem is available in both brand-name version and generic-name version. Brand name version is available in three forms as an immediate-release and extended-release capsule, immediate-release and extended-release tablet and intravenous solution, which is only given by a medical practitioner. The diltiazem capsule is sold under the common brand “Cardizem CD” and “Cardizem LA”, whereas the tablet form is sold under the common brand “Cardizem”.

What is Diltiazem used for?

Hypertension:

Diltiazem is either used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Low blood pressure prevents strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

Angina:

Diltiazem is also used to treat certain types of chest pain (chronic stable angina). It may also increase your ability to exercise and limit the frequency of angina attacks. It should be avoided to treat attacks of chest pain when they happen. Use other medications (for example sublingual nitroglycerin) to reduce attacks of chest pain as directed by your doctor.

Atrial fibrillation and supraventricular tachycardia:

This drug is also used to treat Atrial fibrillation (irregular and often rapid heart rate) and supraventricular tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat that originates above the ventricles) along with other drugs.

How to use Diltiazem?

Diltiazem immediate-release capsule or tablet usually taken three or four times before food in a day and extended-release capsule tablet should be taken once a day on an empty stomach.

Swallow the whole tablets; do not split, chew, or crush them.

The dose of the drug depends upon your medical examination and response to treatment. Your doctor/physician may slowly increase your dose if needed.

To help you remember to take this drug, take it at around the same time every day. Carefully follow all the directions on your prescription label and discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubt.

Take diltiazem precisely as instructed. Do not alter your dosage or take it more frequently than prescribed by your doctor.

In the case of angina, this medication must be taken without missing to be effective. It should not be used in the treatment of angina when chest pain occurs. Use other drugs (for example sublingual nitroglycerin) to reduce attacks of chest pain as directed by your doctor. Discuss with your doctor for further information.

Notify your doctor if your health does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure remain high or increase, chest pain persists or worsens).

What are the side effects of Diltiazem?

The commonly observed side effects with the use of this drug include dizziness or lightheadedness, a headache, nausea, heartburn, cough, rash, flushing, edema (swelling in the legs or feet), weakness. Inform your doctor/pharmacist immediately, If any of these side effects continue or worsen.

To lower your danger of dizziness and lightheadedness, stand up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Get emergency medical assistance promptly, if you notice any of the following serious side effects like chest pain getting worse, symptoms of a heart attack (symptoms like chest pain radiating to jaw/left arm, shortness of breath, unusual sweating. edema), low blood pressure or low heart rate (symptoms like lightheadedness, fainting), fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat.

Rarely this drug may cause liver damage symptoms like yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, dark-colored urine, stomach pain. If you notice any of these effects notify your doctor right away.

Tell your doctor promptly if you have mental/mood changes such as depression, agitation, hallucination, unusual dreams, insomnia.

Severe allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, get medical assistance help right away if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, severe dizziness, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing.

This is not a full record of all possible side effects. Inform your doctor at the earliest, if you notice any of the side effects that are not mentioned in this article.

What are the precautions while using Diltiazem?

Inform your doctor/pharmacist before taking diltiazem, if you are allergic to it; or if you have other allergies. This drug may also contain some inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your doctor/pharmacist for more information.

Inform your doctor/pharmacist about all the products you are using including prescription, non-prescription, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products.

Before taking this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, mainly of liver problems, kidney problems, certain heart problems (such as congestive heart failure, aortic stenosis, myocardial infarction).

Diltiazem may cause dizziness, do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs sharpness until you can do it cautiously. Limit use of alcoholic beverages. Speak to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Older adults may be more likely susceptible to the side effects of this drug, mainly dizziness, constipation, swelling of ankles/feet.

This medication should be used only if needed during pregnancy and for more information about the safety of drug talk to your doctor.

This drug crosses into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Discuss with your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Diltiazem?

Diltiazem may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you may be using. A drug interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works which can be harmful or hinder the drug from working well.

Do not start, stop, or alter the dose of the drug without discussing your doctor because your doctor may be monitoring you for possible drug interactions.

Taking certain antibiotics like rifampin with diltiazem decreases the levels of diltiazem and make this drug less effective.

Diltiazem can increase the concentration of these medications such as midazolam, triazolam, buspirone in your body which result in more side effects.

Diltiazem can interact with these drugs such as digoxin (digitalis), quinidine, simvastatin, atorvastatin and increase their level in your body which results in more side effects. Dose adjustments may be required during co-administration of these drugs with diltiazem.

Diltiazem can interact with beta blockers such as propranolol, metoprolol, immune suppressant like cyclosporine and increase their level in your body which results in more side effects.

NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen), a nasal decongestant (such as phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine), cough-and-cold products, may decrease the effectiveness of diltiazem.

WARNINGS:

Hypotension:

Diltiazem may further decrease the blood pressure which results in symptomatic hypotension. Frequent monitoring of blood pressure is necessary. Dose adjustments are needed based on your clinical condition.

Cardiac Conduction:

Diltiazem may cause slow heart rates, and this effect is more in the patients who are on beta-blockers or digitalis. Frequent monitoring of heart function is necessary. Dose adjustments are needed based on your clinical condition

Acute Hepatic Injury (Impaired liver function):

Diltiazem mild increase liver enzymes like alkaline phosphatase, LDH, SGOT, SGPT. These elevated levels return to normal after stopping the medicine. Regular monitoring of liver function tests is necessary.

What are the forms and strengths of Diltiazem?

Generic: Diltiazem

Form: Oral extended-release capsule
Strengths: 60mg, 90mg, 120mg, 180mg, 240mg, 300mg, 360mg, 420mg

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 120mg, 180mg, 240mg, 300mg, 360mg, 420mg

Form: Oral immediate-release tablet
Strengths: 30mg, 60mg, 90mg, 120mg

Brand: Cardizem
Form: Oral immediate-release tablet
Strengths: 30mg, 60mg, 90mg, 120mg

Brand: Cardizem CD
Form: Oral immediate-release capsule
Strengths: 120mg, 180mg, 240mg, 300mg, 360mg

Brand: Cardizem LA
Form: Oral extended-release capsule
Strengths: 120mg, 180mg, 240mg, 300mg, 360mg, 420mg

What is the dosage of Diltiazem?

For Hypertension (high blood pressure):

Adult (18 to 64 years):

Immediate-release tablets:

Initial dose: Take 180mg or 240mg orally once per day. The dose can be increased slowly from 240mg to 540mg once per day based on your medical condition.

Extended-release capsules and tablets:

Initial dose: Take 180mg or 240mg orally once per day. The dose can be increased slowly from 240mg to 480mg once per day based on your medical condition.

Pediatric:

Children (0 to 17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established yet.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

Older adults are susceptible to the side effects of this drug due to slow kidney and liver function. To avoid this, your doctor may initiate your treatment on a low dose.

For Chronic Stable Angina:

Adult (18 to 64 years):

Immediate-release tablets:

Initial dose: Take 30mg orally 4 times per day. The dose can be increased slowly to 180-360mg in 3 to 4 divided doses based on your medical condition.

Extended-release capsules:

Initial dose: Take 120-180mg orally once per day. The dose can be increased slowly to 480 mg once per day.

Extended-release tablets:

Initial dose: Take 180mg orally once per day. The dose can be increased slowly to 360mg taken once per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0 to 17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established yet.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

Older adults are susceptible to the side effects of this drug due to slow kidney and liver function. To avoid this, your doctor may initiate your treatment on a low dose.

Special Dosage Considerations:

Hepatic impairment and renal impairment:

Diltiazem is mainly metabolized in the liver, and kidney dosage reduction is recommended for patients with severe hepatic impairment, or patients with hepatic disease and renal failure.

Most common questions asked about Diltiazem / Q&A’s:

What are the symptoms of Diltiazem overdose?

Diltiazem overdose symptoms may include slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, fainting, seizures, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting and increased sweating. Seek a medical emergency as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.