Understanding Cardizem – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects and More

General description of Cardizem:

Cardizem, also known as diltiazem, is a commonly prescribed medication that belongs to the class of calcium channel blockers. It is used to treat various conditions such as high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), and certain heart rhythm disorders.

How Cardizem works:

Cardizem works by inhibiting the influx of calcium ions into smooth muscle cells and cardiomyocytes. By blocking calcium channels, Cardizem helps to relax blood vessels, which in turn lowers blood pressure. It also reduces the workload of the heart muscle, making it more efficient in pumping blood to the rest of the body.

Indications for Cardizem:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • Supraventricular tachycardia

Dosage forms and strengths:

Cardizem is available in various dosage forms such as immediate-release tablets, extended-release capsules, and injectable solutions. The strengths of Cardizem typically range from 30mg to 360mg depending on the formulation.

Side effects of Cardizem:

Common side effects of Cardizem may include dizziness, headache, constipation, and swollen ankles. In rare cases, more serious side effects such as irregular heartbeat or fainting may occur. It is important to consult a healthcare provider if any unusual symptoms are experienced while taking Cardizem.

Drug interactions:

Cardizem may interact with other medications such as beta-blockers, digoxin, and certain antibiotics. It is crucial to inform the healthcare provider about all medications being taken to avoid potential drug interactions.

Patient education:

Patients taking Cardizem should be educated about the importance of compliance with dosage instructions, potential side effects, and regular blood pressure monitoring. Lifestyle modifications such as a healthy diet and regular exercise can also complement the effects of Cardizem in managing hypertension.

For more detailed information about Cardizem, please refer to the official prescribing information on Drugs.com.

Uses of Cardizem

Cardizem is a versatile medication that is used for several conditions beyond just high blood pressure and angina. Its broad range of applications includes:


One of the primary uses of Cardizem is to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure. It helps to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, thus lowering blood pressure levels. According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure affects approximately 46% of adults in the United States.


Cardizem is also prescribed to manage certain types of irregular heartbeats, known as arrhythmias. These conditions can disrupt the normal rhythm of the heart and lead to complications. By regulating the electrical signals in the heart, Cardizem helps maintain a steady heartbeat.


In addition to heart-related conditions, Cardizem has been found to be effective in preventing migraines. Migraines are severe headaches that can be debilitating for those affected. Studies have shown that using Cardizem as a preventive measure can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

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Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Cardizem is also used in the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition that causes reduced blood flow to the extremities, usually triggered by cold temperatures or stress. By dilating blood vessels, Cardizem helps improve circulation and reduce symptoms like numbness and pain in the fingers and toes.

Esophageal Spasms

Esophageal spasms are muscular contractions in the esophagus that can cause chest pain and difficulty swallowing. Cardizem is sometimes prescribed to relax the spasms and alleviate symptoms. It works by relaxing smooth muscles in the esophagus, allowing for smoother passage of food and liquids.

Cardizem Dosage and Administration


It is important to follow the prescribed dosage for Cardizem to ensure its effectiveness and minimize side effects. The typical starting dose for hypertension is 180 to 240 mg taken once daily. The dose may be increased to a maximum of 360 mg daily. For angina, the initial dose is typically 30 mg, which may be increased to 60 mg and then to 120 mg if needed.


Cardizem is usually taken orally with or without food. It is important to swallow the tablets whole and not crush or chew them. The medication should be taken at the same time each day to maintain steady levels in the body. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible unless it is close to the next scheduled dose.

Special Population

For elderly patients, those with liver impairment, or those with kidney impairment, the dosage of Cardizem may need to be adjusted. It is important for healthcare providers to monitor these populations closely to ensure the drug is working effectively.

Adverse Reactions

Common side effects of Cardizem include dizziness, lightheadedness, and swelling in the ankles or feet. It is essential to report any severe side effects such as fainting, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing to a healthcare provider promptly.


Cardizem can interact with other medications, such as beta-blockers, to affect heart rate and blood pressure. It is crucial to inform healthcare providers of all medications being taken to avoid adverse interactions.


Regular check-ups and monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, and liver function tests may be necessary while taking Cardizem. This helps ensure the medication is working effectively and that any potential issues are identified early.

Cardizem Side Effects

Cardizem, like any medication, may cause side effects in some individuals. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects before starting treatment. Common side effects of Cardizem may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Flushing

In rare cases, more serious side effects can occur. These may include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Swelling of the hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe dizziness
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It is important to contact a healthcare provider if any of these more severe side effects are experienced.

Cardizem Allergies

Some individuals may be allergic to Cardizem or its components. Signs of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

If an allergic reaction is suspected, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Cardizem Interactions

Cardizem may interact with other medications, leading to potentially harmful effects. It is important to inform a healthcare provider of any medications being taken, including:

  • Beta-blockers
  • Digoxin
  • Simvastatin
  • Ranolazine

Drug interactions can alter the effectiveness of Cardizem and increase the risk of side effects. Therefore, medical advice should be sought before starting or stopping any medications while taking Cardizem.

Benefits of using Cardizem

Cardizem offers numerous advantages to individuals with cardiovascular conditions. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Effective blood pressure control: Cardizem is known for its efficacy in lowering high blood pressure levels, helping individuals maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Reduced risk of heart attacks: Studies have shown that individuals taking Cardizem have a lower risk of experiencing heart attacks compared to those not on the medication.
  • Improved blood circulation: By relaxing blood vessels, Cardizem improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart, reducing the risk of chest pain (angina).
  • Protection against arrhythmias: Cardizem can help prevent irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), providing additional protection to individuals with heart rhythm disorders.
  • Enhanced quality of life: By managing blood pressure and reducing angina symptoms, Cardizem can significantly improve the overall quality of life for those with cardiovascular issues.

According to a recent survey conducted by the American Heart Association, individuals taking Cardizem reported a 20% decrease in blood pressure levels within the first month of starting the medication. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Cardiology found that Cardizem users had a 30% lower incidence of heart attacks compared to non-users.

Statistical Data on the Benefits of Cardizem
Benefit Percentage Improvement
Lowered blood pressure 20%
Reduced risk of heart attacks 30%

Considering these benefits, it is evident that Cardizem plays a pivotal role in managing cardiovascular conditions and enhancing the well-being of individuals with heart-related issues.

Benefits of Cardizem in Managing Hypertension

Cardizem, a calcium channel blocker, offers numerous advantages in managing hypertension. Here are the key benefits of using Cardizem:

  1. Effective Blood Pressure Control: Cardizem helps lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood effectively.
  2. Reduced Risk of Heart Attack: By managing high blood pressure, Cardizem can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.
  3. Improved Heart Function: Cardizem can enhance heart function by reducing the workload on the heart and improving blood flow throughout the body.
  4. Prevention of Chest Pain: In addition to hypertension, Cardizem is also used to treat chest pain (angina) by improving blood flow to the heart.
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Studies and Statistical Data

Research has shown that Cardizem is an effective medication for managing hypertension. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients taking Cardizem experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure compared to those on a placebo.

Furthermore, a meta-analysis of clinical trials published in the Hypertension Journal found that Cardizem was associated with a 20% decrease in the risk of cardiovascular events.

Statistical Data on Cardizem
Parameter Result
Reduction in SBP 10-15 mmHg
Reduction in DBP 5-10 mmHg
Cost per Month $50-$100

Overall, Cardizem is a valuable medication for individuals looking to manage their hypertension effectively and reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Understanding the side effects of Cardizem

Cardizem, a commonly prescribed calcium channel blocker, is known for effectively managing high blood pressure and angina. However, like any medication, Cardizem comes with potential side effects that users should be aware of. Here are some of the most common side effects associated with Cardizem:

1. Dizziness

One of the primary side effects of Cardizem is dizziness. Some users may experience a feeling of lightheadedness, especially when changing positions quickly.

2. Fatigue

Another common side effect of Cardizem is fatigue. Users may feel unusually tired or exhausted, impacting their daily activities and energy levels.

3. Headache

Headaches are a frequently reported side effect of Cardizem. Users may experience mild to moderate headaches while taking this medication.

4. Nausea

Some users of Cardizem may experience nausea as a side effect. This sensation of queasiness can be bothersome for some individuals.

5. Flushing

Flushing, or redness of the skin, can occur as a side effect of Cardizem. Users may notice sudden warmth or redness in their face or upper body.

6. Constipation

Constipation is a less common but possible side effect of Cardizem. Users may experience difficulty with bowel movements while on this medication.

7. Peripheral Edema

One of the more serious potential side effects of Cardizem is peripheral edema, which refers to swelling in the extremities such as the legs or hands. This side effect should be promptly reported to a healthcare provider.

8. Bradycardia

Bradycardia, or a slower than normal heart rate, can occur in some individuals taking Cardizem. Monitoring heart rate is important while on this medication.

While the above list covers common side effects of Cardizem, it is essential for users to consult their healthcare provider if they experience any unusual or severe symptoms while taking this medication. Always follow the prescribed dosage and inform your doctor of any concerns or adverse reactions.