Carvedilol

Pronunciation

Generic Name: carvedilol (KAR ve dil ole)
Brand Names: Coreg, Coreg CR

What is carvedilol?

Carvedilol is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).

Carvedilol is used to treat heart failure and hypertension (high blood pressure). It is also used after a heart attack that has caused your heart not to pump as well.

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

Important information

You should not take carvedilol if you have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, severe liver disease, or a serious heart condition such as heart block, "sick sinus syndrome," or slow heart rate (unless you have a pacemaker).

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Avoid drinking alcohol within 2 hours before or after taking extended-release carvedilol (Coreg CR). Also avoid taking medicines or other products that might contain alcohol. Alcohol may cause the carvedilol in Coreg CR to be released too quickly into the body.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using carvedilol 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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take carvedilol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • asthma, bronchitis, emphysema;

  • severe liver disease; or

  • a serious heart condition such as heart block, "sick sinus syndrome," or slow heart rate (unless you have a pacemaker).

To make sure carvedilol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • diabetes (taking carvedilol can make it harder for you to tell when you have low blood sugar);

  • angina (chest pain);

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland);

  • circulation problems (such as Raynaud's syndrome); or

  • a history of allergies.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether carvedilol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

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

It is not known whether carvedilol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking carvedilol.

How should I take carvedilol?

Take carvedilol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Carvedilol works best if you take it with food.

You may open the carvedilol capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

Take carvedilol at the same time every day. Do not skip doses or stop taking carvedilol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

If you are switched from carvedilol tablets to carvedilol extended-release capsules (Coreg CR), your daily total dose of this medicine may be higher or lower than before. Older adults may be more likely to become dizzy or feel faint when switching from tablets to extended-release capsules. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication 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.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using carvedilol. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

You should not stop using carvedilol suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

Carvedilol can affect your pupils during cataract surgery. Tell your eye surgeon ahead of time that you are using this medication. Do not stop using carvedilol before surgery unless your surgeon tells you to.

Carvedilol is only part of a complete program of treatment for hypertension that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely if you are being treated for hypertension.

Store 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.

Overdose symptoms may include uneven heartbeats, shortness of breath, bluish-colored fingernails, dizziness, weakness, fainting, and seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking carvedilol?

Carvedilol may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of carvedilol. You should especially avoid drinking alcohol within 2 hours before or after taking extended-release carvedilol (Coreg CR).

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

See also: Carvedilol and alcohol (in more detail)

Carvedilol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to carvedilol: 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 light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • slow or uneven heartbeats;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • cold feeling or numbness in your fingers or toes;

  • chest pain, dry cough, wheezing, chest tightness, trouble breathing; or

  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss).

Common carvedilol side effects may include:

  • weakness, dizziness;

  • diarrhea;

  • dry eyes;

  • tired feeling; or

  • weight gain.

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)

Carvedilol Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Angina Pectoris:

Immediate-release tablets:
Initial dose: 6.25 mg orally twice a day with food
Maintenance dose: 6.25 mg to 25 mg orally twice a day with food
Maximum dose: 50 mg per day

Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure:

Immediate-release tablets:
Initial dose: 3.125 mg orally twice a day for 2 weeks. If tolerated, increase dosage to 6.25 mg orally twice a day.

Dosage should then be doubled every 2 weeks to the highest level tolerated by the patient.

Maximum dose: 50 mg orally twice a day in patients weighing 85 kg or greater and 25 mg orally twice a day in patients weighing 85 kg or less

Extended-release capsules:
Initial dose: 10 mg orally once a day for 2 weeks. If tolerated, increase dosage to 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg over successive intervals of at least 2 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Immediate-release tablets:
Initial dose: 6.25 mg orally twice a day with food
Maintenance dose: 6.25 mg to 25 mg orally twice a day with food
Maximum dose: 50 mg per day

Extended-release capsules:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally once a day for 7 to 14 days. If tolerated, may increase dosage to 40 mg orally once a day, then again to 80 mg orally once a day after 7 to 14 days.

Maximum dose: 80 mg per day

Usual Adult Dose for Left Ventricular Dysfunction:

Immediate-release tablets:
Initial dose: 6.25 mg orally twice a day (an initial dosage of 3.25 mg twice daily can be given to patients unable to tolerate the initial dosage).

Maintenance dose: If tolerated, the initial dosage may be titrated to 12.5 mg twice a day after 3 to 10 days to a target dose of 25 mg twice a day.

Extended-release capsules:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally once a day (an initial dosage of 10 mg once daily can be given to patients unable to tolerate the initial dosage). If tolerated, may increase dosage to 40 mg after 3 to 10 days, then again to 80 mg orally once a day.

What other drugs will affect carvedilol?

Other drugs may interact with carvedilol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about carvedilol.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use carvedilol only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. 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. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 15.01. Revision Date: 2014-01-20, 8:29:33 AM.

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