Diltiazem (By mouth)

Introduction

Diltiazem (dil-TYE-a-zem)

Used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina). Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks. This medicine is a calcium channel blocker.

Brand Name(s)

Cartia XT, Taztia XT, Cardizem CD, Diltia XT, Tiazac, Dilt-XR, Dilacor XR, Diltzac, Cardizem SR, Dilt-CD, Cardizem, Matzim LA, Cardizem LA

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to diltiazem or similar medicines (such as verapamil, Adalat®, Calan®, Lotrel®, Plendil®, or Procardia®), or if you have very low blood pressure or certain heart problems. Talk with your doctor about what these heart problems are.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Capsule, 12 Hour Capsule, 24 Hour Capsule, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach.
  • Swallow the long-acting capsule, 24-hour capsule, 12-hour capsule, or long-acting tablet whole. Do not crush, break, chew, or open it.
  • Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet.
  • While taking the extended-release form of this medicine, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • There are many other medicines that can interact with diltiazem. Make sure your doctor knows about ALL other medicines you are using. This includes over-the-counter medicines that can increase your blood pressure (such as diet pills, cold and allergy medicines, or asthma medicines).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using buspirone (Buspar®), carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), clonidine (Catapres®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), lovastatin (Mevacor®), quinidine (Quinora®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), simvastatin (Zocor®), numbing medicines, other medicine to lower blood pressure (such as atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol, timolol, Inderal®, or Toprol®), or medicine for sleeping (such as midazolam, triazolam, Halcion®, or Versed®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems, or stomach problems.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. These symptoms are more likely to occur when you begin taking this medicine, or when the dose is increased.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • If you develop a skin rash, hives, or any allergic reaction to this medicine, stop taking the medicine and check with your doctor as soon as possible.
  • If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up or you may have chest pain. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Chest pain (may be related to your disease and not a side effect).
  • Fast, slow, uneven, or pounding heartbeat.
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Shortness of breath or troubled breathing.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain.
  • Cough, runny or stuffy nose, or sore throat.
  • Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain, discomfort, or upset.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Joint or muscle pain.
  • Lack or loss of strength.
  • Mild skin rash.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Unusual dreams.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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