Cardizem Warnings and Precautions
Before starting angina treatment with Cardizem, warnings and precautions for the drug should be discussed with your healthcare provider. Certain people should use Cardizem cautiously, including those who have liver or kidney disease, arrhythmia, or congestive heart failure. Cardizem warnings and precautions also extend to people who are allergic to the medication, have low blood pressure, or have sick sinus syndrome and do not have a pacemaker.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Cardizem® (diltiazem hydrochloride) if you have:
- Heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- An irregular heart rhythm that slows down your heart rate (arrhythmia), including sick sinus syndrome
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Kidney disease
- Low blood pressure
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Cardizem include the following:
- Cardizem can slow down the heart rate. This can be a problem in people with certain types of arrhythmias or people taking other medications that can decrease the heart rate.
- The medication should be used with caution in people with congestive heart failure (CHF). Cardizem can cause fluid retention (edema), which can be especially dangerous in people with this condition.
- Cardizem can lower your blood pressure, so be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have signs of low blood pressure, including dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
- The medication can increase liver enzymes (found using a simple blood test), which may be a sign of liver damage.
- The medication is metabolized and removed from the body using the liver and kidneys. If you have liver or kidney disease, Cardizem may build up in your body. Your healthcare provider should monitor you more closely and may need to decrease your Cardizem dosage.
- Cardizem can interact with a number of medicines (see Cardizem Drug Interactions).
- Cardizem is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug when pregnant (see Cardizem and Pregnancy).
- Cardizem passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Cardizem and Breastfeeding).