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Verapamil Uses

verapamil uses

How does this medication work? What will it do for me?

Verapamil belongs to the class of medications called calcium channel blockers. The sustained release (SR) form of this medication is used for the treatment of mild-to-moderate high blood pressure, when beta-blockers or diuretics (water pills) are not recommended or have caused unacceptable side effects. The immediate-release form of verapamil may be used to treat certain abnormal heart rhythms, angina (chest pain) and certain conditions where the heart muscle is enlarged, as well as blood pressure. It works to control blood pressure and reduce the number of angina attacks by relaxing blood vessels. It also helps to normalize heart rhythms.

This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking

Mechanism of Action

Verapamil is a calcium-channel blocker (antagonist) which decreases the entry of calcium ions through L-type calcium channels located in heart cells and smooth muscle cells of the peripheral vasculature.

Verapamil has numerous physiologic effects:

Vasodilation of both coronary (heart) and peripheral arteries and arterioles

Decreased cardiac contractility

Depressed sinus node activity

Slowed atrioventricular node conduction

In addition to the above effects, verapamil also interferes with the energy metabolism of cardiac cells, increasing the heart's dependence on carbohydrates rather than free fatty acids. Moreover, verapamil inhibits pancreatic production of insulin. These two toxic changes become particularly pronounced in cases of shock when the body needs carbohydrates.

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).

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.

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

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