Cardizem is part of a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It helps slow down the rate at which calcium moves into your heart and blood vessel walls. This, in turn, helps to relax the vessels, which allows better blood flow and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
There are two basic types of calcium channel blockers: dihydropyridine and non-dihydropyridine. The most important difference between the two is that non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers can slow down the heart rate, while dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers do not. This medication is a non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, which means that it can decrease the heart rate, which makes the drug useful for certain types of irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
- It comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth, usually three or four times a day.
- You should take your dosages before meals and at bedtime.
- The medication should be taken at the same times each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medicine to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.
The dosage that your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Other medical conditions
- Other medications you may be currently taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
(Click Cardizem Dosage for more information.)
For dosing information on the other forms of the drug, click on: