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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
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Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate.

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Our 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.
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  • 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 effect rates for Cardizem (Diltiazem)

From clinical trials of Diltiazem / Any condition
  • Swelling due to excess fluid
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle weakness
  • First degree av block
  • Abnormally slow heartbeat

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.

Common concerns from people taking Cardizem (Diltiazem)

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  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
Kidneys and liver
  • There have been reports of liver damage within the first eight weeks of Cardizem (Diltiazem), particularly if you have a history of liver disease. Your doctor may monitor your liver.