Highlights for verapamil
- Heart problems warning: Avoid taking verapamil if you have serious damage to the left side of your heart or moderate to severe heart failure. Also, avoid taking it if you have any degree of heart failure and are receiving a beta blocker drug.
- Dizziness warning: Verapamil may cause your blood pressure to drop below normal levels. This may cause you to feel dizzy.
- Dosage warning: Your doctor will determine the right dose for you and may increase it gradually. Verapamil takes a long time to break down in your body, and you may not see an effect right away. Don’t take more than prescribed. Taking more than the recommended dosage won’t make it work better for you.
Verapamil oral capsule is a prescription medication that’s available as the brand-name drugs Verelan PM (extended-release) and Verelan (delayed-release). The extended-release oral capsule is also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand.
Verapamil is also available as an extended-release oral tablet (Calan SR) and an immediate-release oral tablet (Calan). Both forms of these tablets are also available as generic drugs.
Why it’s used
Verapamil extended-release forms are used to lower your blood pressure.
How it works
Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker. It works to relax your blood vessels and improve blood flow, which helps to lower blood pressure.
This medication affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells. This relaxes your blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of work your heart has to do.
Verapamil oral capsule may make you dizzy or drowsy. Don’t drive, operate heavy machinery, or do anything that requires mental alertness until you know how it affects you. It may also cause other side effects.
Most common side effects
The most common side effects that occur with verapamil include:
- face flushing
- nausea and vomiting
- sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction
- weakness or tiredness
Serious side effects
If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.
- difficulty breathing
- dizziness or light headedness
- fast heartbeat, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain
- skin rash
- slow heartbeat
- swelling of your legs or ankles
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Verapamil oral capsule can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with verapamil are listed below.
Combining certain cholesterol drugs with verapamil may cause you to have increased levels of the cholesterol drug in your body. This may lead to side effects, such as serious muscle pain.
Heart rhythm drugs
- Dofetilide. Taking verapamil and dofetilide together may increase the amount of dofetilide in your body by a large amount. This combination may also cause a serious heart condition called torsade de pointes. Don’t take these medications together.
- Disopyramide. Combining this drug with verapamil may impair your left ventricle. Avoid taking disopyramide 48 hours before or 24 hours after you take verapamil.
- Flecainide. Combining verapamil with flecainide may result in additional effects on the contractions and rhythm of your heart.
- Quinidine. In certain patients, combining quinidine with verapamil may result in extremely low blood pressure. Do not use these drugs together.
- Amiodarone. Combining amiodarone with verapamil may change the way your heart contracts. This may result in slow heart rate, heart rhythm problems, or reduced blood flow. You’ll need to be monitored very closely if you’re on this combination.
- Digoxin. Long-term use of verapamil can increase the amount of digoxin in your body to toxic levels. If you take any form of digoxin, your digoxin dose may need to be lowered, and you’ll need to be monitored very closely.
- Beta-blockers. Combining verapamil with beta-blockers, such as metoprolol or propranolol, may cause negative effects on heart rate, heart rhythm, and the contractions of your heart. Your doctor will monitor you closely if they…