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VERAPAMIL HCL
VERAPAMIL EXTENDED RELEASE - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

VERAPAMIL EXTENDED RELEASE - ORAL

(ver-APP-uh-mill)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Calan SR, Isoptin S.R.

Uses

This drug is a calcium channel blocker. Calcium is involved in blood vessel contraction and in controlling the electrical impulses within the heart. By blocking calcium, verapamil relaxes and widens blood vessels and can normalize heart rates. Verapamil is used to treat high blood pressure.

OTHER

Uses

This medication may also be used for irregular heartbeats or chest pain (angina).

How To Use

The tablet or caplet form (which is a capsule-shaped tablet) should be taken with food. This medication must be taken as directed to prevent chest pain. It is not effective if taken only when chest pain occurs. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly without your doctor's permission. Chest pain can occur if the medication is stopped too fast. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

Side Effects

This drug may cause dizziness and lightheadedness especially during the first few days. When you sit or lie down for a while and get up, get up slowly to allow your body to adjust and minimize dizziness. You may also experience nausea, blurred vision, weakness, lowered blood pressure, muscle cramps, headache, flushing or constipation. Inform your doctor if these effects persist or worsen. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop: breathing difficulties, rash, chest pain, swelling of the hands or feet, an irregular heartbeat, fever, malaise, stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes and skin, dark urine. An empty tablet shell may appear in your stool. This is harmless. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before using this drug, tell your doctor your medical history, including: allergies (especially drug allergies), heart problems (e.g., heart rhythm disturbances, heart failure), liver or kidney disease, very low blood pressure, muscular dystrophy, brain tumors (cancer). Before heart surgery, tell your doctor you use this medicine. Verapamil prolongs and intensifies the effects of alcohol in your system. Avoid (or very carefully limit) alcoholic beverages while using this medication. Caution is advised when this drug is used in the elderly. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug is excreted into breast milk and a decision should be made whether to stop the drug or avoid breast-feeding. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all nonprescription or prescription drugs you take, especially: beta-blockers, timolol ophthalmic, digoxin, disopyramide, high blood pressure medication, intravenous (IV) calcium, quinidine, carbamazepine, rifampin, theophylline, lithium, flecainide, cyclosporine, dantrolene, phenobarbital, non-depolarizing muscle relaxants (e.g., (e.g., pancuronium, tubocurarine). Avoid any drugs that increase your heart-rate (the decongestants phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine are examples). These drugs are commonly found in over-the-counter cough-and-cold products. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include rapid, slow, or irregular heartbeat; dizziness; fainting; and loss of consciousness.

Notes

Laboratory tests (e.g., liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor for side effects. Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from sunlight and moisture.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).