WHAT IS Calan (VERAPAMIL)?
Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker. It works by relaxing the muscles of your heart and blood vessels.
Verapamil is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders.
Verapamil may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT VERAPAMIL
You should not use verapamil if you have a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker), severe heart failure, slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint, or certain heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart).
BEFORE TAKING VERAPAMIL
You should not use verapamil if you are allergic to it, or if you have a serious heart condition such as:
-"sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
-severe heart failure;
-slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint; or
certain heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart).
To make sure verapamil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
-congestive heart failure;
-low blood pressure;
-liver disease; or
-a nerve-muscle disorder such as myasthenia gravis or muscular dystrophy.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether verapamil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
HOW SHOULD I TAKE VERAPAMIL?
Take verapamil exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release verapamil tablet or capsule. Swallow it whole.
If you have trouble swallowing an extended-release capsule whole, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using verapamil.
You should not stop using verapamil suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.
If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.
Verapamil may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and other medications. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I MISS A DOSE?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.