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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.

Side Effects

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 is Cartia XT used for?

Cartia XT is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension occurs when the force of blood against artery walls is high and causes the heart to have to work harder. Using this medication can help reduce the risk of further health complications, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney problems, and more. Additionally, Cartia XT is used to help prevent angina (chest pain). Angina occurs when the heart muscles do not get a sufficient amount of blood, usually due to a narrowed or blocked artery. Using this medication can help decrease the number of episodes of angina as well as the severity of it.


How long does it take Diltiazem to work?

Diltiazem, the active ingredient inside Cartia XL, will begin to work at various times for each patient taking the medication. Certain factors may influence the exact length of time. However, it generally takes about 2-4 weeks for the medication to reach its full affect and provide clinical improvement. Use this medication exactly the way your doctor has prescribed it to you for the best results.


What are the side effects of Cartia XT?

Some common side effects of Cartia XT include dizziness, lightheadedness, weakness, nausea, flushing, constipation, and headache. You may experience one of these side effects or a combination of them; they should not alarm you. However, if they become worse or do not subside over time, you should consult with your doctor.


What is the difference between Cartia XT and Diltiazem?

Both medications, Cartia XT and Diltiazem are the same drug; they are both Diltiazem. Cartia XT was the trade name given to Diltiazem when it was first developed and approved for marketing, so Diltiazem is known as Cartia XT. Some years after marketing a brand-name product, generic alternatives may be approved and put on the market. Generic alternatives are a replica of the brand-name drug; they contain the same active ingredient, the same strengths, indications, dosage form, route of administration, safety, quality, and performance characteristics. So while Cartia XT and Diltiazem are the same drug, they can also be considered as the brand and the generic, in which case they are different in some ways. Generic alternatives may differ in capsule shape, color, or flavoring, inactive ingredients, manufacturers, and the reason most patients prefer the generics – price. Generic medications are commonly much cheaper than the brand-name medication. This is because generic manufacturers don’t have to go through the process of researching and developing a new chemical entity.


What does Cartia XT look like?

Cartia XT is commonly an orange, orange and brown, orange and yellow, or orange and white capsule. The generic alternative will also be a capsule however, the colors may be different. Keep in mind, the appearance of capsules – brand or generic – may vary when you purchase them internationally.

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