Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Calan

(Verapamil)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
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Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate.

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Our 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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Upsides

  • 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.
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Downsides

  • 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 effect rates for Calan (Verapamil)

285 From clinical trials of Calan / Any condition (Extended release)
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of energy
  • Indigestion

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).

Common concerns from people taking Calan (Verapamil)

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Pregnancy
Interactions
  • Interacts with grapefruit and the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
Alcohol
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
Food
  • Take with food to avoid dizziness
Kidneys and liver
  • Your doctor may check your liver regularly, as there have been reports of liver damage which can only be seen through blood tests. If you do have a history of liver disease, let your doctor know.
  • 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.