High blood pressure (hypertension) is a health problem that requires treatment even if it does not cause any discomfort. Too intensive work of the heart and arteries makes them weaker, leading to more serious diseases of the brain, kidneys and heart. Diltiazem is one of the medications that you can use for preventing complications due to hypertension.
Diltiazem is a medication used for managing a range of health problems, including hypertension, angina and various heart rhythm disorders. It belongs to calcium channel blockers that relax the muscles of the heart and blood vessels by affecting the way calcium moves in the cells of the heart and blood vessels. It may also be used off-label for prevention of migraines. The drug can be taken alone or with other medications. Diltiazem will be more effective if other ways of treatment are also used, such as exercise, diet and other medications.
This medication is not suitable for you if you have the following conditions:
Extremely low blood pressure;
Serious heart condition;
History of a heart attack;
Fluid in your lungs.
In order to make sure that you can use Diltiazem safely, you should tell your healthcare provider about all health conditions that you may have, including the following:
Congestive heart failure;
Since this drug can impair your reactions or thinking, you should avoid driving or doing other actions requiring clear mind and quick reaction. Your condition may worsen if you stop using this drug suddenly. You should keep taking it as it is prescribed by your healthcare provider even if you feel better.
If you use this drug, you may experience side effects. The following are the most common:
Slow heart beat;
Fluid buildup or swelling;
Contact your doctor immediately if you have severe side effects, such as:
Swelling in tongue or face;
Too slow heart rate;
Yellowing of your eyes or skin;
Upper stomach pain;
Rash spreading all over your skin.
Diltiazem can interact with many prescription and non-prescription medications as well as herbal products. You should not use it with digoxin and fingolimod, because this may cause major interaction. A range of drugs affects the way Diltiazem is removed from the body, including the following:
St. John’s wort;
Azole antifungals (ketoconazole);
Macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin);
Rifamycins (rifampin and rifabutin).
Avoid using Diltiazem with the following drugs because they may be removed from your body in a wrong way:
Certain benzodiazepines (midazolam, triazolam).
You should check the labels on medicines and products to see if they have an ingredient that can worsen chest pain or increase your heart rate, such as phenylephrine, caffeine, pseudoephedrine, etc.