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Information about Diltiazem

Diltiazem hydrochloride is a first generation calcium channel blocker that is widely used in the therapy of hypertension and angina pectoris.


Liver safety of Diltiazem

Diltiazem therapy is associated with serum enzyme elevations and has been linked to rare instances of clinically apparent liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Diltiazem

Diltiazem (dil tye' a zem) belongs to the benzothiazepine class of calcium channel blockers and is used for the treatment of hypertension, angina pectoris and superventricular tachyarrhythmias. Like other calcium channel blockers, diltiazem acts by inhibiting the transmembrane influx of calcium ions into cardiac muscle and vascular smooth muscle cells. The inhibition of calcium flux causes arterial vasodilation and decreases cardiac work and oxygen consumption. Diltiazem, like verapamil (but unlike other calcium channel blockers), also decreases the rate of the sinus node pacemaker and slows atrial-ventricular conduction accounting for its effects on superventricular tachyarrhythmias.

Dosage and administration for Diltiazem

Diltiazem was approved in the United States in 1982 and currently several million prescriptions are filled yearly.

Clinical use of Diltiazem

Current indications for oral forms of diltiazem include hypertension and management of chronic stable angina pectoris, Prinzmetal's or variant angina.

Dosage and administration for Diltiazem

Diltiazem is available orally in multiple generic formulations as well as under commerical names including Cardizem and Tiazac in capsules of 30, 60, 90 and 120 mg. Once daily, extended release formulations are available and now widely used (Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Cartia XT, Dilacor XR, Dilt-XR, Diltia XT, Taztia XT) in strengths ranging from 60 to 420 mg. The recommended oral dose of diltiazem in adults is 180 to 360 mg daily, usually starting with lower doses. Chronic therapy is typical. Diltiazem is also available in intravenous formulations which are used in therapy of atrial arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation or flutter and superventricular tachycardia. Diltiazem,

Dosage and administration for Diltiazem

like other calcium channel blockers, is generally well tolerated and side effects are due to its vasodilating activities and can include dizziness, flushing, headaches, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, palpitations, bradycardia, postural hypotension and rash. Rare but potentially severe adverse events include cardiac conduction defects, hypotension, hypersensitivity reactions and instances of Stevens Johnson syndrome.

calcium channel blockers

Antihypertensive agents

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