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Calan - Uses & Side Effects
Generic Name: verapamil (oral) (ver AH pa mill)
Verapamil is a type of medication called a calcium channel blocker. It eases the heart's workload by slowing down the passage of nerve impulses through it, and hence the contractions of the heart muscle. This improves blood flow through the heart and throughout the body, reduces blood pressure, corrects irregular heartbeat, and helps prevent angina pain.
- The usual initial dose is 80 to 120 milligrams, 3 times a day. Lower doses of 40 milligrams 3 times a day may be used by people who have a stronger response to Calan, such as the elderly or those with decreased liver function. The dosage may be increased by your doctor either daily or weekly until the desired response is seen.
- The usual dose in people who are also on digitalis ranges from 240 to 320 milligrams per day divided into 3 or 4 doses.
- It is important to take verapamil regularly to get the most benefit.
- Do not stop taking this medication without first talking to your doctor. If you stop taking the medication, your condition could become worse.
- Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with verapamil. The interaction could lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit and grapefruit juice with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Uses of Calan
- Calan for injection is used to treat certain kinds of irregular heartbeats (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and the fast heart rate due to atrial flutter and fibrillation).
- Calan is used to treat high blood pressure.
- Calcium is involved in blood vessel contraction and in controlling the electrical impulses within the heart.
Side Effects of Calan
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking verapamil. Side effects may include:
- Congestive heart failure, constipation, dizziness, fatigue, fluid retention, headache, low blood pressure, nausea, rash, shortness of breath, slow heartbeat, upper respiratory infection.
Warnings and precautions before taking Calan:
- Verapamil can reduce or eliminate angina pain caused by exertion or exercise. Be sure to discuss with your doctor how much exertion is safe for you.
- Verapamil may cause your blood pressure to become too low. If you experience dizziness or light-headedness, notify your doctor.
- Congestive heart failure and fluid in the lungs have occurred in people taking verapamil together with other heart drugs known as beta blockers. Make sure your doctor is aware of all medications you are taking.
- If you have a heart condition, liver disease, kidney disease, myasthenia gravis, or Duchenne's dystrophy (the most common type of muscular dystrophy), make certain your doctor knows about it. Verapamil should be used with caution.
- This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: very low blood pressure, certain heart problems (e.g., second- or third-degree atrioventricular block, sick sinus syndrome without a pacemaker, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, Lown-Ganong-Levine syndrome), severe heart failure.
Drug Interaction :- If verapamil is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining verapamil with the following:
- Amiodarone (Cordarone)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Chloroquine (Aralen)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral)
- Dantrolene (Dantrium)
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences.
- If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.
- An overdose of Calan can cause fluid buildup in the lungs, kidney problems, seizures, dangerously low blood pressure, and life-threatening heart problems such as a slow or irregular heartbeat.
- After treatment for an overdose, you should remain under observation in the hospital for at least 48 hours, especially if you have taken the sustained-release form of the drug.