Certain types of chest pain can be treated with Cardizem. Uses of the medication specifically include the treatment of stable angina and variant angina. At this time, the drug is not approved for use in children. Occasionally, healthcare providers may also recommend off-label Cardizem uses, such as for treating migraines, high blood pressure, and diabetic nephropathy.
Cardizem (diltiazem hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat certain types of chest pain (angina).
(In addition to regular, short-acting Cardizem, there are long-acting forms. For information on uses for these other forms, see Cardizem LA Uses or Cardizem CD Uses.)
Chest pain is known medically as angina. There are several types of angina, including:
- Stable angina (exertional angina or exercise-induced angina)
- Unstable angina
- Variant angina (Prinzmetal's angina).
Stable angina is the most common type of angina and occurs when the heart is working harder than usual. The pain comes at predicable times (such as during exercise) and usually goes away in a few minutes after you rest or take your angina medicine. This type of angina is usually caused by coronary artery disease. The coronary arteries are blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. When these arteries become clogged with fatty deposits called plaque, it's called coronary artery disease, coronary heart disease, or just heart disease. Clogged arteries can keep the heart from getting enough blood and oxygen, and can cause chest pain.
Unstable angina is a dangerous condition that requires emergency treatment, as it is a sign that a heart attack could occur soon. Unlike stable angina, it does not follow a pattern. It can occur without physical exertion and is not relieved by rest or medicine.
Variant angina is rare; it usually occurs at rest and is caused by spasms in the arteries of the heart. It may be associated with coronary artery disease, but it can also occur in people with otherwise healthy hearts. Variant angina can increase your risk of a heart attack or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia).
Cardizem is approved to treat stable angina and variant angina. It helps the blood vessels relax, which relieves pain and lessens the workload on the heart.