Verapamil (By mouth)


Verapamil (ver-AP-a-mil)

Treats high blood pressure, severe chest pain (angina), and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). A lower blood pressure will reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. This medicine is a calcium channel blocker.

Brand Name(s)

Verelan PM, Calan SR, Verelan, Covera-HS, Calan, Isoptin SR

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to verapamil. Do not use this medicine if you have low blood pressure or if you have certain heart problems. Ask your doctor what these heart problems are.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting 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 with food or milk.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablets or extended-release capsules whole. Do not crush, break, or chew them.
  • If you take the Verelan® or Verelan® PM extended-release capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine into a small amount of applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing.

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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicine to lower blood pressure (such as atenolol, clonidine, lisinopril, metoprolol, prazosin, propranolol, quinapril, timolol, Accupril®, Catapres®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Inderal®, Lotrel®, Minipress®, Norvasc®, Timoptic®, Toprol®, or Zestril®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as disopyramide, flecainide, quinidine, Norpace®, or Tambocor®), or a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, or Lasix®).
  • Tell your doctor if you use aspirin, carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), erythromycin (Ery-Tab®), lithium (Eskalith®, Lithobid®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®), ritonavir (Norvir®), telithromycin (Ketek®), theophylline (Theo-Dur®), tubocurarine, or vecuronium (Norcuron®). Tell your doctor if you use medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin, Lipitor®, or Zocor®) or cancer medicine.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice 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, nerve disease, or muscle disease. Tell your doctor about all heart problems that you have, including heart failure, heart block, rhythm problems such as Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, heart disease, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you use this medicine.
  • Your blood pressure may go up if you stop this medicine. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

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
  • Chest pain
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools
  • Fast, slow, uneven, or pounding heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach
  • Rapid weight gain and swelling in your legs, feet, or ankles
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

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

  • Constipation or upset stomach
  • Headache

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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