Name: Iproveratril Hydrochloride
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Why is this medication prescribed?
Verapamil is used to treat high blood pressure and to control angina (chest pain). The immediate-release tablets are also used alone or with other medications to prevent and treat irregular heartbeats. Verapamil is in a class of medications called calcium-channel blockers. It works by relaxing the blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. It also increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart and slows electrical activity in the heart to control the heart rate.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking verapamil,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to verapamil, any other medications, or any ingredients in verapamil. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: alpha blockers such as prazosin (Minipress); antifungals such as itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); aspirin; beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin, in Tenoretic), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL, in Dutoprol), nadolol (Corgard, in Corzide), propranolol (Inderal, Innopran, in Inderide), and timolol (Blocadren, in Timolide); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol); cimetidine (Tagamet); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (Lanoxin); disopyramide (Norpace); diuretics (''water pills''); erythromycin (E.E.S., Eryc, Erythrocin); flecainide; certain HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra); quinidine (in Nuedexta); lithium (Lithobid); medications to treat high blood pressure; nefazodone; phenobarbital; pioglitazone (Actos, in Duetact, in Oseni); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); telithromycin (Ketek); and theophylline (Theochron, Theolair, Uniphyl). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with verapamil, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had narrowing or blockage of your digestive system or any other condition that causes food to move through your digestive system more slowly; heart failure; heart, liver, or kidney disease; muscular dystrophy (inherited disease that causes gradual weakening of muscles); or myasthenia gravis (condition that causes certain muscles to weaken).
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking verapamil, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking verapamil.
- talk to your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages during your treatment with verapamil. Verapamil may cause the effects of alcohol to be more severe and longer-lasting.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to verapamil. Your doctor may also order certain lab tests to check your body's response to verapamil.
If you are taking certain extended-release tablets (Covera HS), you may notice something that looks like a tablet in your stool. This is just the empty tablet shell, and this does not mean that you did not get your complete dose of medication.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.