Verapamil (By mouth)


Verapamil (ver-AP-a-mil)
Treats high blood pressure, severe chest pain (angina), and irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). This medicine is a calcium channel blocker.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Verelan PM, Calan SR, Verelan, Covera-HS, Calan, Isoptin SR

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to verapamil. Do not use this medicine if you have low blood pressure or if you have certain heart problems. Talk with your doctor about what these heart problems are.

How to Use This Medicine

Long Acting Capsule, Tablet, Long Acting Tablet
  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food or milk.
  • Swallow extended-release tablets or extended-release capsules whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • If you are taking the Verelan® and Verelan® PM extended-release capsule, you may open it and pour the medicine into a small amount of applesauce. Stir this mixture well and swallow it without chewing.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicine to lower blood pressure (such as atenolol, clonidine, lisinopril, metoprolol, prazosin, propranolol, quinapril, Accupril®, Catapres®, Cozaar®, Diovan®, Inderal®, Lotrel®, Minipress®, Norvasc®, Toprol®, or Zestril®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as disopyramide, flecainide, quinidine, Cardioquin®, Norpace®, Quinaglute®, or Tambocor®), a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, or Lasix®), or nitrate medicine (such as isosorbide, nitroglycerin, Imdur®, Nitro-Bid®, or Transderm Nitro®).
  • Tell your doctor if you use aspirin, carbamazepine (Tegretol®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), erythromycin (Ery-Tab®), lithium (Lithobid®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rifamate®, Rifater®), ritonavir (Norvir®), telithromycin (Ketek®), theophylline (Theo-dur®), or vecuronium (Norcuron®). Tell your doctor if you are using cancer medicines (such as cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, oncovin, paclitaxel, procarbazine, prednisone, vindesine, Adriamycin®, or Cytoxan®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or a nerve or muscle disease.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or lightheaded. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Breathing problems or trouble with breathing.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fast, slow, uneven, or pounding heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Severe rash.
  • Swelling in your legs, feet, or ankles.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Constipation or upset stomach.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headache.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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