Diltiazem - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Diltiazem is a drug to lower blood pressure in hypertension and prevent chest pain (angina). Diltiazem cannot cure hypertension, it only helps control blood pressure.

This drug works by dilating blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure and easing the workload of the heart. Thus, blood can flow easily, and increase the supply of blood and oxygen throughout the body, including to the heart.

Diltiazem trademark: Diltiazem, Herbesser

What is Diltiazem

groupPrescription drugs
CategoryCalcium antagonist
BenefitLowering blood pressure in hypertension and preventing chest pain (angina)
Used byAdults and children
Diltiazem for pregnant and lactating womenCategory C: Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women. The drug should only be used if the expected benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus. Diltiazem may be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medicine without consulting your doctor first.
Drug formTablets and capsules

Precautions Before Taking Diltiazem

Diltiazem should only be used according to a doctor's prescription. Here are some things you need to pay attention to before taking diltiazem:

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to diltiazem or other calcium antagonist drugs, such as amlodipine.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had heart disease, arrhythmia, heart attack, hypotension, asthma, porphyria, liver disease, kidney disease, digestive tract disorders, or diabetes.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor that you are being treated with diltiazem before you have any medical procedures or surgery.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines and supplements.
  • Don't consume grapefruit or juice from grapefruit during treatment with diltiazem.
  • See your doctor right away if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effect, or overdose, after taking diltiazem.

Dosage and Instructions for Use of Diltiazem

The dose of diltiazem given by the doctor depends on the condition to be treated and the age of the patient. Here is the explanation:

Purpose: Control hypertension

  • Mature: the initial dose is 90–120 mg, 2 times per day. The dose can be increased to a maximum of 360 mg per day.
  • seniors: Initial dose is 60 mg, 2 times per day. The dose can be increased slowly to 240 mg per day.

Purpose: Prevents chest pain (angina)

  • Mature: Initial dose is 60 mg, 3 times per day. The dose can be increased to 480 mg per day.
  • seniors: Initial dose is 60 mg, 2 times per day. The dose may be increased to 240 mg per day if the heart rate is >50 beats per minute.

The use and dosage for children will be determined by the doctor based on the patient's condition.

How to Take Diltiazem Correctly

Follow the doctor's recommendations and read the instructions for use on the packaging before using diltiazem.

Diltiazem can be taken with or without food. Do not crush, chew, or split this medication, as this may affect the effectiveness of the drug.

If you forget to take diltiazem, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose of diltiazem to make up for a missed dose, unless directed by your doctor.

Do not stop taking diltiazem without your doctor's permission even if your condition improves. Try to continue to spend the dose that has been given by the doctor, so that the symptoms of the disease do not reappear.

Perform regular blood pressure checks while using diltiazem to monitor the progress of the body's condition.

Store diltiazem at room temperature. Keep this medicine away from direct sunlight and humid places.

Interactions of Diltiazem with Other Drugs

The following are some interactions that may occur if diltiazem is used with other medicines:

  • Increased blood levels of corticosteroid drugs, carbamazepine, phenytoin, fibansentrin, lomitapide, pimozide, or ciclosporin
  • Increased risk of bradycardia if used with beta-blocking drugs, or other drugs, such as amiodarone, digoxin, ivabradine, or clonidine
  • Increased risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis when used with statin drugs, such as simvastatin
  • Increased risk of ventricular fibrillation when used with dartlone infusion
  • Decreased blood levels of diltiazem when used with rifampicin

Side Effects and Dangers of Diltiazem

Some side effects that may occur after taking diltiazem are:

  • Headache
  • Dizzy
  • Feel hot
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion
  • Slow heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Check with a doctor if the complaints mentioned above do not go away or get worse. Immediately see a doctor if you experience an allergic reaction to the drug which can be characterized by the appearance of a red rash on the skin, swelling of the eyelids and lips, difficulty breathing, or experiencing more serious side effects, such as:

  • Faint
  • Swelling of the face, hands, or ankles
  • Jaundice
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Easy bruising
  • Chest pain that is getting worse and more frequent