Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Calan

(Verapamil)

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Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Verapamil works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain, but you have to be okay with avoiding alcohol. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.

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Works well?Does it work?
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  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
  • You can take it alone or with other medicines to help lower blood pressure.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
  • Treats certain abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling in your limbs. If this happens for you, it probably won't get better over time, so talk to your doctor about alternatives if it bothers you.
  • Women are more likely to have side effects (especially swelling) from Verapamil than men.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Verapamil suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.

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Side effects for Calan (Verapamil)

From clinical trials of Calan / Any condition (Extended release) ( 285)

  • ConstipationConstipation7% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache5% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness4% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • Lack of energyLack of energy3% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • IndigestionIndigestion3% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • RashRash1% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • Ankle swellingAnkle swelling1% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • Sleep disturbanceSleep disturbance1% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo
  • Muscle painMuscle pain1% for Verapamil vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Calan (Verapamil)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Interacts with grapefruit and the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause constipation and headache.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • Your doctor might do routine blood tests to check your liver function.

Risks and Warnings for Calan (Verapamil)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Severe left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction <30%)
    • Taking beta-blockers

    Reports of heart failure or pulmonary edema (increased fluid in the lungs) have been reported. If your doctor feels that Calan (Verapamil) will work for you, they will work with you to control the issues with your heart before starting Calan (Verapamil).

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Calan (Verapamil)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
Food
  • Take with food to avoid dizziness
    Taken for: I took it for:Irregular heart beat
    Duration taken: A few months
Kidneys & liver
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Your doctor may monitor your heart to see if changes to its electrical system may occur, especially if you have had liver or kidney disease in the past.