Diltiazem is mostly used to treat high blood pressure. It belongs to a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers (CCBs).
Uses of Diltiazem
- High blood pressure
- Angina (chest pain due to reduced oxygen supply to the heart muscles)
Contraindications of Diltiazem
When should one not use Diltiazem
- Are allergic to Diltiazem or any other calcium channel antagonist
- If you have heart failure
- Have irregular or slow heartbeats
Side effects of Diltiazem
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Swelling of hands, feet, and ankle
- Skin rash
- Feeling abnormal heartbeats
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty sleeping
Precautions and Warnings of Diltiazem
Can I take Diltiazem during pregnancy?
Diltiazem is NOT considered safe for use during pregnancy.
Can I take Diltiazem while breastfeeding?
Whether Diltiazem passes into the mother’s milk is not exactly known. Limited data is available for this medicine during breastfeeding. Consult your doctor once while breastfeeding.
Can I drive if I have consumed Diltiazem?
Be cautious as Diltiazem may make you feel dizzy or sleepy.
Can I consume alcohol with Diltiazem?
Do not drink alcohol at the time of taking this medicine.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- You have any medical history, especially of bowel problem
- Have low blood pressure
- Liver or kidney disease
Mode of Action of Diltiazem
How Does It Work?
Calcium ions are needed for active contraction of smooth muscles in the heart and blood vessels. Diltiazem inhibits transport of these calcium ions across membranes of heart cells and blood vessels. This inhibits cardiac and vascular smooth muscle contraction, thereby dilating the heart and arteries. Diltiazem reduces the load on the heart and decreases tension in blood vessels, thus lowering the blood pressure.
Interactions of Diltiazem
Interactions with other medicines
- Ivabradine (used to treat angina)
- Medicines used to decrease cholesterol levels in (examples include Simvastatin, Atorvastatin or Lovastatin)
Interactions with food items
Grapefruit juice and grapefruit should not be consumed by people who are taking Diltiazem as these can cause a drastic drop in blood pressure.
Dietary Restrictions of Diltiazem
If your doctor advised you a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.
Dosage of Diltiazem
You may experience slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat, fainting, difficulty in breathing, fits, dizziness, confusion, vomiting, and increased sweating. Seek emergency help in case of an overdose.
Missed a Dose
It is ideal not to miss a dose. The missed dose can be taken when you remember it if there is sufficient time left for the next scheduled dose. Do not compensate for the missed dose by taking an extra dose.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What should I discuss with my healthcare expert before taking Diltiazem?
A: You should give details of all the medications you are on before starting this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have or ever had a heart attack or heart or liver disease. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
- Dailymed.diltiazem. [Accessed 6.Aug.2019] (online)
- Webmd.diltiazem. [Accessed 6.Aug.2019] (online)
- Ema. diltiazem. [Accessed 6.Aug.2019] (online)
- Lactmed.diltiazem. [Accessed 6.Aug.2019] (online)
- Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Diltiazem. [Updated 2018 Oct 31]
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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