Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Cardizem

(Diltiazem)

  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
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Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Diltiazem 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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  • 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 Diltiazem than men.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Diltiazem suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Some brands of Diltiazem have to be taken with food, so listen carefully for instructions from your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.

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Side effects for Cardizem (Diltiazem)

From clinical trials of Diltiazem / Any condition 

  • Swelling due to excess fluidSwelling due to excess fluid5% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache5% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness4% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • Muscle weaknessMuscle weakness3% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • First degree av blockFirst degree av block2% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • Abnormally slow heartbeatAbnormally slow heartbeat2% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • FlushingFlushing1% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea1% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo
  • RashRash1% for Diltiazem vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Cardizem (Diltiazem)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Can cause dizziness or fatigue in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause ankle or foot swelling.
  • Can cause gum overgrowth. Ask your dentist to check for this side effect.

Risks and Warnings for Cardizem (Diltiazem)

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  • There have been rare reports of serious up to life-threatening skin rashes in patients who have taken Cardizem (Diltiazem). If you notice a sudden severe rash, tell your doctor immediately.

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

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Cardizem (Diltiazem)

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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.
Food
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Some brands of Diltiazem have to be taken with food, so listen carefully for instructions from your doctor or pharmacist.