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Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocker that works to relax blood vessels, reduce the heart's workload, and ease blood flow while simultaneously amplifying oxygen and blood levels within the heart. Diltiazem is prescribed for conditions such as high blood pressure, some heart rhythm disorders, and angina.

How to Use Diltiazem

Diltiazem comes in several administration forms. Your doctor may prescribe tablets, extended-release tablets or extended-release capsules, each to be taken orally. Different methods of administration may require food, or require avoidance of food when taking so ask your doctor about how to take this drug. Contact your compounding pharmacy, after being prescribed the use of diltiazem by your physician, and your compounding pharmacist will tailor the delivery method for your needs based on your physician's recommendations.

Possible Side Effects

Most drugs present the possibility of side effects and while many patients may experience side effects while taking diltiazem, some may not. It is not possible to know how diltiazem will affect any one patient until they begin the course, so watch for any side effects that may develop and contact your physician if they worsen or tend to linger. For your convenience, a partial list of some of the more commonly experienced side effects is provided below:

  • Nasal Congestion
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Slow Heartbeat
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Weakness

Severe Side Effects

While many patients tolerate this drug with only minor side effects, others may experience more potentially dangerous side effects so it is very important to closely watch for any and all side effects while taking diltiazem. Seek immediate medical treatment if you experience any of the following severe side effects:

  • Trouble Breathing
  • Increase in Severity of Angina
  • Increase in Frequency of Angina
  • Fainting
  • Rash
  • Low or No Energy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Yellow Skin or Eyes
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Intense Tiredness
  • Flu-Like Symptoms
  • Atypical Bleeding
  • Odd Bruising
  • Upper Right Stomach Pain
  • Swelling (face, lips, eyes, tongue, arms, hands, lower legs, feet, and ankles)


The use of diltiazem may be contraindicated for any patients with the following conditions:

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome
  • Slow Heartbeat
  • Abnormally Low Blood Pressure
  • Severely Low Blood Pressure
  • Complete Heart Block
  • Second Degree Atrioventricular Heart Block
  • Liver Problems
  • Kidney Disease
  • Difficult Bowel Movements
  • Lown-Ganong-Levine Syndrome
  • Sudden and Serious Symptoms of Heart Failure
  • Sick Sinus Syndrome

Diltiazem may be contraindicated for any patients with allergies to the following:

  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Calcium Channel Blocking Agent Diltiazem Analogues
  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA