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Diltiazem (By mouth)

Diltiazem (dil-TYE-a-zem)

Treats high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, and angina (chest pain). This medicine is a calcium channel blocker.

Brand Name(s):

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

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

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • 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.
  • If you take the extended-release tablet, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take 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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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 out of the reach of children. 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. Your doctor will need to slowly decrease your dose before you stop it completely.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. 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


Last Updated: 11/4/2014


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