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Diltiazem - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Diltiazem is a drug to lower blood pressure in hypertensive conditions. In addition, this drug can also be used to prevent chest pain (angina).

Diltiazem - Benefits, dosage and side effects

Diltiazem works by dilating blood vessels, so it can lower blood pressure and ease the workload of the heart in pumping blood. Thus, blood flow in the body becomes smooth and the supply of blood and oxygen throughout the body, including to the heart, also increases.

Precautions Before Using Diltiazem

There are several things you need to pay attention to before using diltiazem, namely:

  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to diltiazem or other calcium antagonist drugs.

  • Tell your doctor if you have or have had arrhythmia, diabetes, hypotension, liver disease, kidney disease, asthma, porphyria, or obstruction of the digestive tract, such as a hernia.

  • Tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack and are developing pulmonary edema.

  • Do not consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice while on treatment with diltiazem.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.

  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines and supplements, to anticipate drug interactions.

  • Tell your doctor that you are taking diltiazem before any medical or surgical procedure, including dental surgery.

  • See your doctor right away if you have an allergic drug reaction, serious side effect, or overdose, after using diltiazem.

Dosage and Instructions for Use of Diltiazem

The use and dose of oral diltiazem for children will be determined by the doctor based on the patient's condition. Meanwhile, the dose of diltiazem for adult and elderly patients is:

Condition: Hypertension (slow-release capsules)

  • Adults: Initial dose is 90–120 mg, 2 times per day. The dose can be increased up to 360 mg per day.

  • Elderly: Initial dose is 60 mg, 2 times per day. The dose can be increased slowly to 240 mg per day.

Condition: Chest pain (angina pectoris)


Quick-release tablets: 30 mg, 4 times daily. The dose can be increased to 360 mg per day.

Slow-release capsules: 60 mg, 3 times per day. The dose can be increased to 480 mg per day.


Slow-release capsules: 60 mg, 2 times per day. The dose may be increased to 240 mg per day if the heart rate is >50 beats per minute.

In addition to the oral form, diltiazem is also available in injectable form. Diltiazem in injection form can be used to treat arrhythmias. The dose will be determined by the doctor and administration needs to be done under close supervision.

How to Use Diltiazem Correctly

Follow the doctor's recommendations and read the instructions for use on the packaging before using diltiazem.

Diltiazem tablets or sustained-release capsules can be taken with or without food. Swallow diltiazem sustained-release capsules whole. Do not crush, split, or void diltiazem sustained release capsules.

If you forget to take diltiazem, take it immediately if the break with the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it is close, ignore the missed dose and do not double the next dose.

Do not stop taking diltiazem without your doctor's permission even if your condition improves. Try to continue to spend the dose that has been given by the doctor.

Perform regular blood pressure checks while using diltiazem to monitor the progress of body condition.

Store diltiazem at room temperature. Keep this medicine away from direct sunlight and damp places.

Interactions of Diltiazem with Other Drugs

The following are a number of interactions that can occur if diltiazem is used with certain medicines:

  • Increased levels of corticosteroid drugs, carbamazepine, phenytoin, cilostazol, benzodiazepines, or ciclosporin, in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of side effects

  • Increased risk of bradycardia if used with beta-blocking drugs, or other drugs, such as amiodarone, ivabradine, digoxin, or clonidine

  • Increased risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis if used with statin drugs, such as simvastatin

  • Decreased levels and effectiveness of diltiazem when used with rifampicin

Diltiazem Side Effects and Dangers

Side effects that may occur after using diltiazem are:

  • Headache

  • Dizzy

  • Nauseous

  • Feeling restless or unable to stay still

  • Weakness

  • Stomach ache

  • Constipation

  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, or legs

Check with a doctor if the complaint does not go away or gets worse. See your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to a drug or experience more serious side effects, such as:

  • Blurred vision, cold sweat

  • Faint

  • Severe nausea or vomiting

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Jaundice

  • Pain in the upper right abdomen

  • Dark urine

  • Mood changes

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