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What is Cartia XT (Diltiazem) prescribed for?

Diltiazem, the active ingredient within Cartia XT, is a medication that is used for the treatment of high blood pressure, and helps prevent angina or rather chest pains. Lowering your high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

When used on a regular basis, this medication can decrease the number and the severity of episodes of chest pain from angina, and it may also help increase your ability to exercise, and move about much easier.

This medication comes in four different doses that start at 120mg, and go to 180mg, 240mg, and 300mg. You dose is based on your medical background and your overall response to the treatment. If your doctor or pharmacist has given you some information in the form of a pamphlet, take the time to read up on this drug, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, please consult your doctor.


How does Cartia XT (Diltiazem) work?

Diltiazem is what is known as a calcium channel blocker.  What it does is that it works to relax your blood vessels within the body and the heart, so blood may flow at a much easier pace. Diltiazem is also known to lower your heart rate, an effect that helps the heart work less and lowers your blood pressure.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, with or without food.  It is usually taken once daily or as directed by your doctor. Make sure to swallow he capsules whole. Do not crush or chew on the capsules. Doing so may in turn release the medication all at once, and then the possibilities of side effects increases.

Remember the dosage given to you is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment. If you are taking this medication for high blood pressure, it may take 2 to 4 weeks before you being to feel the full benefit of the medication.

If you are taking this medicine to treat angina, keep in mind that it should not be used for when angina occurs. However you should use it regularly as prescribed to help prevent angina.

Before taking diltiazem, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.

It is best to inform your doctor of your medical history, especially of; certain types of heart rhythm problems (such as sick sinus syndrome/atrioventricular block), liver disease, kidney disease, heart failure.

Some of these side effects may occur, however if any of them persist or worsen make sure to speak with your doctor promptly; Dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, nausea, flushing, constipation, and headache

Any of the very serious side effects to this medication are listed below; fainting, new or worsening symptoms of heart failure (such as shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/sudden weight gain), slow/irregular/pounding/fast heartbeat, mental/mood changes (such as depression, agitation), unusual dreams, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin.

Allergic reactions may happen, however very rare. Seek medical attention if any of these begin to effect you; rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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