Cardizem

Pronunciation

Generic Name: diltiazem (dil TYE a zem)
Brand Names: Cardizem, Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Cartia XT, Dilacor XR, Dilt-CD, Dilt-XR, Diltia XT, Diltiazem Hydrochloride CD, Diltiazem Hydrochloride SR, Diltiazem Hydrochloride XR, Diltiazem Hydrochloride XT, Diltzac, Taztia XT, Tiazac, Cardizem SR, Cardizem Monovial, Matzim LA

What is Cardizem?

Cardizem (diltiazem) belongs to a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing the muscles of your heart and blood vessels.

Cardizem is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders.

Cardizem may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Do not use Cardizem if you have certain heart conditions such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker), low blood pressure, or if you have recently had a heart attack.

Before taking Cardizem, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or congestive heart failure.

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Cardizem may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking Cardizem suddenly, your condition may become worse.

Cardizem may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using Cardizem even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Cardizem if you are allergic to diltiazem, or if you have:

  • certain heart conditions, especially "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);

  • low blood pressure; or

  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

To make sure you can safely take Cardizem, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • congestive heart failure; or

  • if you are also taking clonidine (Catapres).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Cardizem will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Diltiazem can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Cardizem without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How should I take Cardizem?

Take Cardizem exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Take Cardizem with a full glass of water. Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

If you have trouble swallowing a Cardizem capsule whole, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

Use Cardizem regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking Cardizem suddenly, your condition may become worse.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using Cardizem even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Cardizem may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your liver and kidney function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store Cardizem at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of Cardizem can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include slow heartbeat, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid?

Cardizem may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Cardizem.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Cardizem and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Cardizem can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Cardizem side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Cardizem: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • a red, blistering skin rash;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • trouble breathing;

  • slow heartbeats;

  • dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;

  • upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious Cardizem side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • dizziness, weakness, tired feeling;

  • upset stomach, nausea;

  • sore throat, cough, stuffy nose; or

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Cardizem?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone);

  • buspirone (BuSpar);

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);

  • cimetidine (Tagamet);

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);

  • quinidine (Quin-G);

  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, Rifater);

  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), or telithromycin (Ketek);

  • antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, Nizoral, Xolegal), miconazole (Oravig), or voriconazole (Vfend);

  • a beta-blocker such as atenolol (Tenormin, Tenoretic), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), metoprolol (Dutoprol, Lopressor, Toprol), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal, InnoPran), sotalol (Betapace), and others;

  • cholesterol medications such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, Caduet), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), or simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin);

  • HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra); or

  • a sedative such as midazolam (Versed) or triazolam (Halcion).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Cardizem. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Cardizem.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.01. Revision Date: 3/9/2011 3:47:55 PM.

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