The doctor has ordered diltiazem for your high blood pressure. This is a calcium channel blocker that makes the arteries around your heart and in your body dilate. This leads to increased blood flow in the heart and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood to your body. You will be taking an extended release form, so you will take it once each day. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible, but never double the dose. You may take it with or without meals. If it upsets your stomach, you can take it with food. (Deglin, Vallerand, & Sanoski, 2017)
Some of the side effects of this medication are low blood pressure, heart palpitations, slow heart beat, constipation, and nausea. You should avoid rapid changes of positions, because low blood pressure may cause you to faint. Increase your water and fiber intake to avoid constipation. Also, avoid grapefruit juice, as it may decrease the effectiveness of your medication. There are many other medications that may interact with this drug, therefore you should inform your doctor that you are taking it when visiting. Avoid alcohol, because it may exaggerate the effects of diltiazem. You should contact the doctor if you experience any of the following: difficulty breathing, rash, palpitations, or nausea. (Lilley, Rainforth Collins, & Snyder, 2017, p. 368-373)
Diltiazem is for long term management of high blood pressure. It does not cure the disease. You should be expecting to take it for the foreseeable future. Do not stop taking the medication without speaking to your doctor, because it sudden stoping could cause rebound high blood pressure and insufficient oxygen supply to your heart. (Lilley, Rainforth Collins, & Snyder, 2017, p. 373)
This is all pretty scary. How long will I need to take this medication?
Excellent question! You should not crush it or chew it ever. Doing so may cause all of the medication to be released into your blood stream at once. This would lead to severely low heart rate and blood pressure. (Deglin, Vallerand, & Sanoski, 2017)
So, should I crush it and put it in my food? Or just take it at the same time?
Deglin, J. H., Vallerand, A. H., & Sanoski, C. A. (2017). Diltiazem. In Davis's drug guide for nurses [Skyscape] (15th ed.). Lilley, Rainforth Collins, & Snyder. (2017). Pharmacology and the nursing process (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Lilley, Rainforth Collins, & Snyder. (2017). Pharmacology and the nursing process (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Deglin, J. H., Vallerand, A. H., & Sanoski, C. A. (2017). Diltiazem. In Davis's drug guide for nurses [Skyscape] (15th ed.).