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What It's For & How To Take
Diltiazem extended-release relaxes the blood vessels in your heart as well as the rest of your body. Your heart rate may be decreased, and your heart will not need to work as hard to pump blood.
This medication is used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain.
Diltiazem extended-release is in a category of medications called calcium channel blockers.
Taking diltiazem extended-release on a regular basis will help decrease how often you have chest pain and how severe your chest pain attacks are.
If high blood pressure is not treated, your blood vessels will harden, and this will eventually lead to a heart attack or a stroke. High blood pressure may also cause vision problems, kidney failure and eventually heart failure.
Diltiazem extended-release is available in many different forms. Depending on which one your doctor has ordered for you, it will be taken either once or twice daily. Your dose may be slowly increased over a couple of months. You may take this medication with or without food. Take diltiazem extended-release at the same time each day with a full glass of water.
Swallow the capsule whole, do not crush or chew diltiazem extended-release. Doing so may increase the risk of serious side effects.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
Keep using this medication, even if you don’t feel sick. You may need to treat your high blood pressure for many years.
Your blood pressure should be checked often in order to make sure the medication is working correctly.
Warnings & Cautions
- Do not use diltiazem extended-release to treat a sudden attack of chest pain. Talk with your doctor about which medication to use to treat sudden chest pain.
- Diltiazem extended-release is not to be used in patients who have a history of a certain type of abnormal heartbeat. If you have ever been told you have an abnormal heartbeat, tell your doctor before you start this medication.
- Blood pressure medication may make you feel light-headed, dizzy, drowsy or blur your vision. Take it slow when you go from a sitting to standing position. Balance yourself to make sure you are stable before taking a step.
- Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while taking diltiazem extended-release.
- The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the drowsiness and dizziness.
- Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking diltiazem extended-release.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if diltiazem extended-release is safe for you to take.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don't take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any abnormal heartbeats, liver or kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, or a history of low blood pressure.
- While taking this medication, you may feel light-headed, dizzy, nauseous, flushing and possibly a headache. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you feel any severe dizziness or fainting, very slow heartbeat, swelling in your feet or ankles, shortness of breath, or severe abdominal pain.
- Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath, and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and confusion.