Verapamil review

Verapamil is the generic version of several medications. It can be prescribed as Calan, Calan SR, Covera-HS, Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Verelan, and Verelan PM when using a brand name prescription. Verepamil is a member of the family of medications known as calcium channel blockers and is generally used for the treatment of hypertension, angina, and sometimes to control irregular heart rates.

Not every patient will tolerate verapamil well. A thorough medical history should always be assessed before prescribing any medication. Patients with a medical history reflecting muscular dystrophy, kidney disease, heart diseases, blood vessel disease, or liver disease may not be able to tolerate verepamil or may require constant monitoring while undergoing drug therapy with this medication.

The American Food and Drug Administration rated verapamil as a pregnancy risk category C, which means that it has not yet been determined whether or not this medication will cause harm to a developing fetus. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not take this medication. This medication has been proven to pass through the mother’s breast milk and is likely to affect a nursing infant. Women who are breast feeding should not take this medication.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice products may have serious interactions with verapamil. Physicians should inquire about the patient’s dietary grapefruit consumption and should heed against grapefruit consumption while on this medication.

A missed dose of medication should be taken as soon as possible unless it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose. If the next dose is near, the missed dose should be skipped and the dosing should return to normal with the next regular dose. Patients should never take additional medication without the prescribing physician’s consent. Doing so may lead to an overdose.

An overdose requires urgent medical care. If an overdose is suspected, the patient should be taken to the nearest emergency medical facility. Symptoms of an overdose may include chest pain, dizziness, weakness, respiratory distress, fainting, slurred speech, very fast or very slow heart rhythm, confusion, coma, or death.

Many patients are likely to experience at least some mild side effects. Mild side effects generally do not require any medical attention but should be reported to the prescribing physician for dosage adjustments. Common side effects are likely to include headaches, fatigue, vivid or unusual dream, insomnia or other sleep problems, an increase in urine output, hair loss, nausea, and diarrhea.

A few patients may experience serious side effects that require immediate emergency medical assistance. Severe side effects may include allergic reaction, jaundice, fainting, swelling of the ankles and feet, heart failure, shortness of breath, odd behaviors, psychosis, or an unusual fast or slow heart rate. An allergic reaction usually presents with facial swelling (swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat) hives, and respiratory distress.

In order to avoid potentially fatal medicinal interactions, the prescribing physician should be sure to understand the patient’s current medications. Patients should always inquire with the prescribing physician before taking any type of new medications. This includes prescriptions, over the counter, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Medications that are likely to interact with verapamil include HMG CoA inhibitors such as Lipitor or Zocor, rifampin, lithium, cyclosporine, phenobarbital, theophylline, cimetidine, carbamazepine, and additional heart medications.

Patients should be urged to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication, as alcohol is likely to increase the negative effects, especially drowsiness, fatigue, and headaches.

Verapamil has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of verapamil

• Molecular formula of verapamil is C27H38N2O4
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 2-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-5-[2- (3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)ethyl- methyl-amino]-2-(1-methylethyl)pentanenitrile
• Molecular weight is 454.602 g/mol
Verapamil available : 180mg tablets, 240mg tablets, 100mg capsule, 200mg capsule, 300mg capsule

Brand name(s): Apo-Verap, Arpamyl, Berkatens, Calan, Calan SR, Cardiagutt, Cardibeltin, Cordilox, Covera-HS, Dignover, Dilacoran, Drosteakard, Geangin, Iproveratril, Isoptimo, Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Novo-Veramil, NU-Verap, Quasar, Securon, Univer, Vasolan, Veracim, Veramex, Verapamilo, Verapamilum, Veraptin, Verelan, Verelan PM, Verexamil

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