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Verapamil Warnings and Precautions

Some Verapamil Warnings and Precautions

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with verapamil include:
 
  • Verapamil can slow down the heart rate. This can be a problem for people who have certain types of arrhythmias or people taking other medications that can slow down the heart rate.
     
  • Verapamil should be used with caution in people who have congestive heart failure (CHF). Verapamil can cause fluid retention (edema) and can decrease the heart's ability to pump blood, which can be especially dangerous in people with CHF.
     
  • If the left side of your heart is weak (called left ventricular dysfunction), you are at risk for heart failure and should use verapamil with caution. Verapamil should not be combined with beta blockers in people who have left ventricular dysfunction.
     
  • Verapamil can lower your blood pressure. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have signs of low blood pressure, including dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
     
  • Verapamil can increase liver enzymes (diagnosed using a blood test), which may be a sign of liver damage.
     
  • Verapamil can affect the electrical system of the heart, causing "heart block." This happens when signals from one part of the heart have trouble reaching the other parts. If this happens to you, your healthcare provider should lower your verapamil dosage or take you off verapamil altogether.
     
  • Verapamil is metabolized and removed from the body using the liver and kidneys. If you have liver or kidney disease, verapamil may build up in your body. Your healthcare provider should monitor you more closely and may need to decrease your verapamil dosage.
     
  • Verapamil can cause problems with sending nerve signals to the muscles in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy or myasthenia gravis.
     
  • Verapamil can interact with a number of medicines (see Verapamil Drug Interactions).
     
  • Verapamil is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that verapamil may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using verapamil during pregnancy (see Verapamil and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • Verapamil passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using verapamil (see Verapamil and Breastfeeding for more information).
     
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Verapamil Hydrochloride (HCl)

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