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Verapamil Sr

verapamil sr

What Is Verapamil (Calan, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan)?

Calan, Covera HS, Isoptin SR, Verelan are the brand names of the drug verapamil, which is used to treat high blood pressure and control chest pain known as angina.

The immediate-release tablet form of this medication is also used to prevent and treat irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia).

Although this medicine is not approved by the FDA for migraines, it is often prescribed for preventing them.

Verapamil is in a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels so the heart doesn't have to work as hard, increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart, and slowing electrical activity in the heart to control heart rate.

Verapamil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1981.

The drug comes as a tablet, an extended-release tablet, and an extended-release capsule to take by mouth and injectable solution.

Verapamil is on the World Health Organization's "List of Essential Medicines," a list of the most important drugs needed in a basic health care system.

Verapamil Warnings

This medicine controls high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and angina, but it does not cure these conditions. You should continue to take verapamil even if you feel well.

  • Before taking verapamil, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:
  • Any condition that causes food to move through your digestive system more slowly
  • Myasthenia gravis (a condition that causes certain muscles to weaken)
  • Heart failure
  • Heart, liver, or kidney disease
  • Muscular dystrophy (an inherited disease that causes weakening of the muscles).
  • You should also tell your doctor you are taking verapamil before any type of surgery, including dental procedures.

Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of verapamil and then gradually increase your dose.

You should keep all appointments with your doctor while taking this medicine. You will need your blood pressure checked regularly to determine how you are responding to verapamil.

If you take a certain version of the extended-release tablets, you might notice an empty tablet shell in your stool. This does not mean that you did not receive your complete dose of medication.

Pregnancy and Verapamil

The safety of verapamil during pregnancy and while breastfeeding has not been determined.

Possible side effects

In addition to its desired action, this medication may cause some side effects, notably:

  • it may cause constipation -- to prevent this, drink plenty of water or juice, and eat more dietary fibre;
  • it may cause dizziness -- use caution when getting up from a lying or sitting position;
  • in rare cases it may cause your gums to become swollen or sensitive -- see your dentist for your scheduled check-ups;
  • it may cause headaches;
  • it may cause nausea or, rarely, vomiting;
  • it may cause leg swelling or water retention.

Each person may react differently to a treatment. If you think this medication may be causing side effects (including those described here, or others), talk to your doctor or pharmacist. He or she can help you to determine whether or not the medication is the source of the problem.

Storage information

As with most medications, this product should be stored at room temperature. Store it in a secure location where it will not be exposed to excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight. Keep it out of reach of young children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed of safely.

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