General Information
Brand names and manufacturer
Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule
Pronunciation

Uses
 
What should I know before taking this drug
 
Precautions
 
Dosage information
  
Adverse reactions
 
Storage
 
Additional information if any
 

Angizem tab [Sun (Aztec)]
Onzem SR-cap [Novartis (Sandoz)]

Diltiazem is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.

Diltiazem is pronounced as: dil-TYE-a-zem

Diltiazem is a cardiovascular and Calcium Channel Blocker.

Diltiazem is used in the treatment of

  • Hypertension, 
  • Angina (chest pain), 
  • Management of cardiac arrhythmias like supra ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation &flutter.
  • Take diltiazem exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
  • Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor. 
  • Take this medication with a full glass of water. Take diltiazem with meals at the same time every day to avoid forgetting. 
  • Take the extended release pill as a whole. Do not crush, chew or break the pill as it will release more amount of drug at a time.
  • Do not skip doses or stop taking diltiazem without consulting your doctor. Stopping suddenly may worsen hypertension or cause other serious cardiac problems like worsening of angina.
  • Avoid taking grapes or grape juice when on diltiazem.
  • Diltiazem is known to interact with wide range of medications.Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like,
    1. Cimetidine(gastric medication)
    2. Antibiotics like erythromycin, Rifampicin
    3. Benzodiazepines like midazolam
    4. Anti convulsants like carbamazepine, phenytoin
    5. Other Anti hypertensive drugs metoprolol, Propranolol
    6. Anti fungal like itraconazole, Fluconazole
    7. Antiviral like ritonavir
    8. Astemizole, cyclosporine etc
  • Inform your doctor if you have following medical diseases , as Diltiazem should be used cautiously in these conditions
    1. Liver or kidney disease
    2. Moderate-severe heart block
    3. History of heart failure or heart attack within 1mnth
    4. Disorder of cardiac rhythm , on pace maker

When not to take diltiazem

Do not use if you have 2nd degree or 3rd degree heart block and do not have a pacemaker. Do not use if you have low blood pressure.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of diltiazem is not confirmed in children.

Old people: The caution is advised for usage in older people.
 
Pregnant woman: Diltiazem belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that diltiazem may harm an unborn baby if used during pregnancy but potential benefit may warrant use of the drug in pregnant woman despite potential risks. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
 
Lactating women: It is not known whether diltiazem passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take diltiazem with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
 
Other: Avoid taking grape fruit or juices when on diltiazem. 
Visit your doctor regularly for monitoring your blood pressure and pulse rate when taking diltiazem.
Diltiazem is available as capsule, injection and extended release preparation. Your doctor will prescribe it depending on the severity of the disease.
 

Use as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication.

If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at same time to cover up the missed dose.

In case of overdose contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician.

The overdose symptoms of Diltiazem are
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow heart rate.
  • Light headedness, fainting

Diltiazem may cause following side effects

  • Headache 
  • Swelling of gums
  • Giddiness 
  • Fatigue 

 

Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.

  • Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes. Peeling of skin etc
  • Oedema in both the feet
  • Chest pain, breathing difficulty,
  • Palpitations, Irregular heart beat
  • Unusually fast or slow pulse
  • Behavioural changes, hallucination

Store diltiazem at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.

  • Diltiazem causes dizziness when used for the first time when getting up from sitting or lying down position due to postural hypotension. Therefore when dizzy do not drive or get involve in activity which requires you to be alert.
  • Diltiazem causes gum swelling. Maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing & flossing your teeth.
  • Diltiazem may increase sensitivity to sunlight causing sunburn. Avoid exposure to sun or Use protective long sleeved clothing, sunscreen (SPF-15) when you go outside.
  • Do stop diltiazem abruptly without consulting your doctor as it causes rebound hypertension and worsening of angina or attack of MI.
  • Hypertension often has no symptoms, so you may not even feel that you have high blood pressure. Continue using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle changes like regular exercise, healthy diet, quit smoking, alcohol to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.

It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information.

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: April 04, 2012