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Cardizem is used for the treatment and prevention of angina, resulting from coronary artery spasm, as well as from exertion. Cardizem is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure. By slowing electrical conduction in the heart, cardizem has been used in treating abnormally fast heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation.
Cardizem may be taken with or without food. Since cardizem is excreted by the kidney and metabolized by the liver, dosages may need to be lowered in patients with liver or kidney dysfunction.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Cardizem belongs to a class of medications, called calcium channel blockers. These medications block the transport of calcium into the smooth muscle cells, lining the coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. Since calcium is important in muscle contraction, blocking calcium transport relaxes artery muscles and dilates coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. By relaxing coronary arteries, cardizem is useful in treating and preventing chest pain (angina) resulting from coronary artery spasm. Relaxing the muscles lining the arteries of the rest of the body, lowers blood pressure, which reduces the burden on the heart as it pumps blood to the body. Reducing heart burden lessens the heart muscle's demand for oxygen, and further helps to prevent angina in patients with coronary artery disease. Cardizem can decrease electrical conduction in the heart and slow heart rate.
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.
Store at room temperature away from sunlight and moisture.
Possible Side Effects
This drug may cause dizziness and lightheadedness especially during the first few days. Avoid activities, requiring alertness. When you sit or lie down for a while, get up slowly to allow your body to adjust and minimize dizziness. You may also experience bloating, heartburn, muscle cramps, headache, flushing, nasal congestion, sore throat, constipation or diarrhea. Inform your doctor if they become bothersome. Notify your doctor if you develop: breathing difficulties, swelling of the hands or feet, an irregular heartbeat. If you notice other effects, not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Do not share this product with others.