Diltiazem is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure and the prevention of chest pain. By reducing high blood pressure, it aids in the prevention of strokes, heart attacks, and kidney issues. Diltiazem is classified as a calcium channel blocker. Its mechanism of action involves the relaxation of blood vessels in the body and the heart, facilitating smoother blood flow. Diltiazem also lowers the heart rate, which collectively eases the workload on the heart and contributes to lowering blood pressure.
Uses and Dosage
Diltiazem is available in different forms: regular tablets, extended-release tablets, and extended-release capsules, all taken orally. The standard tablet is typically taken three or four times daily, while the extended-release capsule and tablet are usually taken once or twice a day. Please consult your pharmacist regarding whether you should take diltiazem with or without food, as instructions may vary depending on the specific product. Ensure that you take diltiazem at approximately the same time each day.
Adhere to your doctor’s precise directions for taking diltiazem. Avoid taking more or less of it or taking it more frequently than prescribed.
For extended-release capsules and tablets, swallow them whole without chewing or crushing.
Your doctor will typically initiate your treatment with a low dose of diltiazem and gradually increase it. For those taking the extended-release tablet or capsule, this adjustment occurs no more than once every 7 to 14 days. For regular tablet users, it’s no more than once every 1 to 2 days.
While diltiazem can help manage chest pain when used consistently, it does not provide relief from chest pain once it has started. Your doctor may prescribe a different medication for use during chest pain episodes.
Diltiazem effectively controls high blood pressure and chest pain (angina) but does not cure these conditions. It may take up to 2 weeks before you experience the full benefits of diltiazem. Continue taking diltiazem even if you feel well, and do not discontinue it without consulting your doctor.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- slow heartbeat
- nasal congestion
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- flu-like symptoms
- increase in frequency or severity of chest pain
Prior to initiating diltiazem, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any known allergies you may have, including allergies to diltiazem itself or any other substances. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that could potentially trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before commencing this treatment, share your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, emphasizing any instances of certain heart rhythm disorders, liver ailments, kidney conditions, or heart failure.
Be aware that this medication may induce dizziness. Concurrent use of alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate dizziness. Refrain from activities that demand attentiveness, such as driving or operating machinery, until you are confident in your ability to do so safely.
Older adults may exhibit heightened sensitivity to the side effects of this medication, particularly experiencing dizziness, constipation, or swelling in the ankles and feet.
If you are pregnant, employ this medication only when it is unequivocally necessary, following a thorough discussion with your doctor to weigh the potential risks and benefits.
This drug can pass into breast milk and may have adverse effects on a nursing infant. Prior to breastfeeding, consult your doctor for guidance and considerations.
Form and Strength
Tiazac is available in the following forms and strengths:
Tiazac extended-release capsule:
diltiazem extended-release capsule:
How long does Tiazac take to work?
Tiazac starts to work on the day you start taking it, but for high blood pressure and angina it may take a couple of weeks to work fully.
What is the best time of day to take Tiazac?
This medication should be taken once daily, at bedtime. It may be taken with or without food, but you should take the medication in the same way every time.