Skip to Content
Questions about Atrial Fibrillation? Get answers from our expert.

Cardizem

Pronunciation

Generic Name: diltiazem (dil-TYE-a-zem)
Brand Name: Cardizem

Cardizem is used for:

Treating supraventricular tachycardia, a rhythm disturbance of the heart. It is also used for controlling heart rate response to other rhythm disturbances, specifically atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Cardizem is a calcium channel blocker. It works by slowing the electrical conduction in the heart, slowing heart rate, and/or normalizing heart rhythm.

Do NOT use Cardizem if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Cardizem
  • you have certain heart problems (eg, sick sinus syndrome, second- or third-degree heart block) and do not have a pacemaker, or you have very low blood pressure
  • you have atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter and a pre-excitation syndrome (extra conduction pathway in the heart), such as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) or Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome (LGL)
  • you are receiving an injectable beta-blocker (eg, metoprolol)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 2014 Update - First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Before using Cardizem:

Some medical conditions may interact with Cardizem. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have heart failure, a recent heart attack with lung congestion, heart block, a very slow heart rate, abnormal heart rhythm, or other heart problems
  • if you have low blood pressure or kidney or liver disease
  • if you are taking other medicines for high blood pressure or heart conditions

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Cardizem. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Antiarrhythmics (eg, amiodarone, dronedarone), cimetidine, clonidine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, atazanavir, indinavir), or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, desipramine) because they may increase the risk of Cardizem's side effects, such as heart rhythm problems
  • Benzodiazepines (eg, midazolam), beta-blockers (eg, metoprolol), buspirone, carbamazepine, cilostazol, cisapride, colchicine, corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), cyclosporine, digoxin, everolimus, fentanyl, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (eg, atorvastatin), hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), lurasidone, macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), macrolide immunomodulators (eg, tacrolimus), nifedipine, quinidine, ranolazine, theophylline, or vasopressin antagonists (eg, tolvaptan) because the risk of their side effects, some potentially life-threatening, may be increased by Cardizem
  • Moricizine or rifamycins (eg, rifampin) because they may decrease Cardizem's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Cardizem may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Cardizem:

Use Cardizem as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cardizem is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • If you miss a dose of Cardizem, call your doctor to find out what to do.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Cardizem.

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Cardizem before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Cardizem may cause dizziness or drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Cardizem with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Cardizem may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Do NOT use more than the recommended dose or stop using Cardizem without checking with your doctor.
  • Severe skin reactions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) have happened with Cardizem. They can cause serious health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
  • Have your blood pressure and heart rate checked as you have been told by your doctor while taking Cardizem.
  • You may need to have an electrocardiogram (ECG) checked before starting Cardizem and while taking it. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Use Cardizem with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Cardizem while you are pregnant. Cardizem is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Cardizem.

Possible side effects of Cardizem:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Facial flushing; irritation where the injection was given.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); fainting; severe or persistent dizziness or light-headedness; shortness of breath; slow or irregular heartbeat; sudden weight gain; swelling of the feet, ankles, or hands; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, right-sided stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Cardizem:

Cardizem will be handled and stored by a health care provider. You will not store it at home. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Cardizem, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cardizem is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Cardizem or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Cardizem. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Cardizem. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Cardizem.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015
Database Edition 15.2.1.003
Copyright © 2015 Clinical Drug Information, LLC

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Hide