What should I know before taking this drug
Additional information if any
Verapamil is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.
Verapamil pronounced as: ver AH pa mil
Verapamil belongs to a class of drugs called Calcium Channel Blocker.
Verapamil is used in the treatment of hypertension, angina, management of cardiac arrhythmias like supra ventricular tachycardia, atrial flutter.
- Take Verapamil 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 Verapamil with meals at the same time every day to avoid forgetting.
- Do not skip doses or stop taking Verapamil 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 Verapamil.
- Always remember to inform your health expert if you are currently taking any OTC or prescription drugs like,
- Cimetidine(gastric medication)
- Antibiotics like erythromycin, Rifampicin
- Lithium(Mood stabilizer)
- Anti convulsants like carbamazepine, phenytoin
- Other Anti hypertensive drugs metoprolol, Propranolol
- Anti fungal like itraconazole, Fluconazole
- Antiviral like ritonavir
- Astemizole, cyclosporine etc
- Inform your doctor if you have following medical diseases , as Verapamil should be used cautiously in these conditions
- Liver disease
- Moderate-sever heart block
- Muscular dystrophy
- History of heart failure or heart attack within 1mnth
- Diseases of blood vessel like aortic stenosis, coronary artery disease,
Do not use verapamil if you have low heart beat or 2nd and 3rd degree heart block with out pacemaker.
Old people: Verapamil should be cautiously used in older people.
Pregnant woman: Verapamil belongs to FDA pregnancy category C. This means that verapamil 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 verapamil passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take verapamil with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.
Avoid taking grape fruit or juices when on Verapamil.
Verapamil is available in the form of tablets and injections.
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 Verapamil are
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Fast or slow irregular heartbeat.
Verapamil may cause following side effects
Consult your doctor immediately if notice following symptoms.
- Allergic reaction like swollen lips, hives, difficulty in breathing, rashes. Peeling of skin etc
- Chest pain, breathing difficulty,
- Palpitations, Irregular heart beat
- Jaundice (yellowing of eyes, skin)
- Unusually fast or slow pulse
Store verapamil 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.
- Verapamil 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.
- Verapamil causes gum swelling. Maintain good oral hygiene by regularly brushing & flossing your teeth.
- Do stop Verapamil abruptly without consulting your doctor as it causes rebound hypertension and worsening of angina or attack of MI.
- Visit your doctor regularly for monitoring your blood pressure and pulse rate when taking Verapamil.
- 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: July 03, 2012