diltiazem (generic name)

It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells
(dil TYE a zem)
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What is this medicine?

DILTIAZEM (dil TYE a zem) is a calcium-channel blocker. It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells. This relaxes your blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of work the heart has to do. This medicine is used to treat chest pain caused by angina.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart problems, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat
  • liver disease
  • previous heart attack
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to diltiazem, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. This medicine is usually taken before meals and at bedtime. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often then directed. Do not stop taking except on the advice of your doctor or health care professional.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following:
  • cisapride
  • hawthorn
  • pimozide
  • ranolazine
  • red yeast rice

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • buspirone
  • carbamazepine
  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • local anesthetics or general anesthetics
  • lovastatin
  • medicines for anxiety or difficulty sleeping like midazolam and triazolam
  • medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems
  • quinidine
  • rifampin, rifabutin, or rifapentine

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be and when you should contact him or her.

You may feel dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol can make you more dizzy or increase flushing and rapid heartbeats. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • confusion, mental depression
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • slow, irregular heartbeat
  • swelling of the ankles, feet
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • change in sex drive or performance
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • flushing of the face
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
  • tired or weak
  • trouble sleeping

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: April 09, 2009
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