Diltiazem
DESCRIPTION

Diltiazem is a medication used to prevent angina (chest pain). This medication is also recognized as Cardizem in the medical field.

How it works

Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker that works by relaxing the blood vessels in the heart and the body. This enables the medication to enable the blood to flow through more easily.

Uses

The main use of this medication is its ability to treat chest pain. In certain cases, it is also used to treat irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.

Dosage

This medication is usually taken 3-4 times a day. This medication should be taken by mouth, before meals and at bed time. When consuming this medication, it is important to swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush, split or chew the tablet. Doing so can expose the entire drug inside your mouth and thereby can increase your susceptibility towards the side effects.

The dosage will be based on the uniqueness of your medical condition and how you respond to it. Therefore, it is highly important for you to follow the instructions provided in the prescription. If you wish to make any changes to the dosage, you must consult your physician first.

Before you consume this medication, you must brief your physician about all the medications that you are currently taking. This includes the prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal supplements. This way, you can avoid a possible drug interaction.

If you wish to experience the best effects of this drug, you need to consume it regularly. Your physician will prescribe you a lower dosage and will increase it gradually in order to reduce the risk of side effects. Therefore, do not make any changes to the dosage without consulting your physician.

If you are taking this medication to prevent angina, then you need to take it regularly. Do not miss your doses accidentally or otherwise.

Side effects

It is possible for you to experience certain side effects during the course of the treatment. These include:

Dizziness
Lightheadedness
Weakness
Nausea
Headaches
Flushing
Constipation

It is also possible for you to experience some serious, but rare, side effects such as:

Fainting
Irregular heartbeat
Swelling ankles
Shortness of breath
Unusual tiredness
Sudden weight gain
Dark urine
Jaundice
Vomiting

If you do experience any of the above, you need to get immediate medical help. Furthermore, it is possible for you to experience certain allergic reactions to this medication too.

Precautions

Make sure to adhere to the following precautionary methods throughout the course of the treatment.

If you have suffered from a kidney or liver disease in the past, inform your physician immediately.
Check if you are allergic to any of the inactive ingredients used in this medication.
Do not engage in any activity that requires you to be alert as this medication can cause blurred vision.
Be careful about the dose when giving this medicine to older adults as they are more vulnerable towards side effects such as dizziness and constipation.

Self-care

If you are continuing the treatment during the period of pregnancy, make sure to inform your physician first.

Do not breastfeed your infant while taking this medication.

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