Cardizem is a brand trade name for diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker commonly used to treat chest pain (angina) and high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults. Cardizem is available by physician prescription.
Diltiazem, the active ingredient in Cardizem, belongs to a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers. This nondihydropyridine (non-DHP) calcium channel blocker relaxes the smooth muscles of arteries dilating them and allowing blood to flow more freely, thus relieving elevated pressure. Diltiazem can directly affect the beat strength, rate, speed and rhythm of the heart to reduce strain and overall blood pressure.
Diltiazem is a Class III antianginal drug and a class IV antiarrhythmic drug.
Cardizem is also commonly prescribed to treat chronic stable angina and chest pain caused by coronary artery spasm.
Diltiazem has also been used to as a preventive medication for migraines. It has additionally shown effectiveness in reducing heroin cravings in rats.
Cardizem is available in 30, 60, 90 and 120 milligrams of diltiazem HCL doses in capsule form.
Inactive ingredients in Cardizem include lactose, polyethylene glycol, hydroxypropyl cellulose, methylparaben, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and colloidal silicon dioxide.
Cardizem dosage will vary as per physician recommendation, age, severity of the condition and response to treatment. The dosage prescribed by a physician should be followed exactly.
Cardizem is usually prescribed to be taken three to four times a day at bedtime.
Cardizem capsules must be swallowed whole without chewing, crushing, breaking or pounding into powder.
Cardizem capsules are intended for extended release of the drug. Doing any of the above can cause the body to absorb the full dose at once, increasing the risk of side effects.
Cardizem dosages should be taken regularly even if the patient “feels fine.” Hypertension patients do not experience symptoms indicating that they are unwell. The prescribed dosage is essential for the drug to be effective.
Cardizem should be gradually decreased. Stopping the medication suddenly can make the condition worse.
Strictly stick to the prescribed dosage. An overdose of diltiazem can be fatal. Contact emergency medical care immediately if an overdose is suspected.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Cardizem if allergic to diltiazem or any other inactive ingredient in the drug.
Blood pressure must be checked regularly when taking Cardizem.
Consult a physician before taking Cardizem if pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting to get pregnant.
Cardizem may not be safe for pediatric patients.
Do not drive or operate machinery if Cardizem causes dizziness.
Cardizem may not be safe for patients with a history of following conditions: liver disease, kidney disease, heart failure and heart rhythm problems such as atrioventricular block.
Older patients could be more sensitive to side effects of Cardizem.
Cardizem could react negatively with other prescription or over-the-counter medications such as vitamins and herbal supplements. Fully disclose all other medications currently taken to the prescribing physician.
Cardizem and diltiazem could potentially cause one or more of the following side effects:
Heart fluttering or pounding heartbeat
Rapid weight gain
Side effects are not limited to the above.
Immediately consult a physician if side effects continue to persist or worsen over time.