What is diltiazem?
Diltiazem is in a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing the muscles of your heart and blood vessels.
Diltiazem is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders.
Diltiazem may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about diltiazem?
Do not use this medication if you have certain heart conditions such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker), low blood pressure, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
Before taking diltiazem, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or congestive heart failure.
Diltiazem may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking diltiazem suddenly, your condition may become worse.
Diltiazem may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking diltiazem?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to diltiazem, or if you have:
certain heart conditions, especially "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
low blood pressure; or
if you have recently had a heart attack.
To make sure you can safely take diltiazem, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether diltiazem will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Diltiazem can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.