Diltiazem

General Description: Diltiazem, a calcium channel blocker, is used to treat various heart conditions (high blood pressure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and certain rhythm abnormalities). Diltiazem decreases the heart’s need for blood and oxygen, reducing the amount of work the heart must do. It also helps the heart beat more regularly. Tablets are available in 4 strengths: 30, 60, 50 and 120 mg.

What is this drug?

Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker
Given by mouth
Reasons for prescribing:

Used to treat high blood pressure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (cats) and some rhythm abnormalities (atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and supraventricular tachycardia)
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?

Since the liver and kidneys removes this drug from the system, patients with liver or kidney disease will have dosages monitored carefully
Pets who already have very low blood pressure, ‘AV block’, or lung congestion
Breeding, pregnant or nursing pets
Used with caution in geriatric patients or those with a history of heart failure
Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to diltiazem or like products
Directions:

Diltiazem may be given with or without food.

If using the transdermal gel, apply to the skin as directed by your veterinarian.

The regular form of this medication is usually given three times a day . A long-acting form may be recommended for the convenience of once or twice daily dosing.

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.

Frequently diltiazem is given with other drugs, especially in pets undergoing treatment for heart failure or arrhythmias.

The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment should be completed to prevent relapse.

Dilacor® capsules: Contains a given amount of long acting medication within the capsule. Your veterinarian or pharmacist will instruct you how to open the capsule and administer the medication within.

Cardizem® capsules: Contains a fixed amount of long and immediate-acting ‘beads’. Your veterinarian or pharmacist will instruct you how to open the capsule and measure and administer the medication within.

Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.

Call ahead for refills.

What if dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:

If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:

Refrigerate oral suspension. Store other forms in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.

Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Potential side effects:

Slow heart rate
Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, irregular heart rate, rashes and abnormal liver tests, effects on the central nervous system
If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?

Yes, but it is may interact with atenolol, cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, propranolol, quinidine, ranitidine and theophylline
Use with care in animals also receiving other potent cardiovascular drugs (ex. diuretics, vasodilators)
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Overdosing?

Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet receives more than the prescribed amount.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, diltiazem should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.

This is just a summary of information about diltiazem. If you have any questions or concerns about diltiazem or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.

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