VERAPAMIL (ver AP a mil) treats high blood pressure and prevents chest pain (angina). It works by relaxing the blood vessels, which helps decrease the amount of work your heart has to do. It belongs to a group of medications called calcium channel blockers.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Irregular heartbeat or rhythm
Low blood pressure
An unusual or allergic reaction to verapamil, other medications, foods, dyes or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. Do not cut, crush or chew this medication. Swallow the capsules whole. You may open the capsule and put the contents in 1 teaspoon of applesauce. Swallow the medication and applesauce right away. Do not chew the medication or applesauce. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Do not take this medication with grapefruit juice.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
Red yeast rice
This medication may also interact with the following:
Barbiturates such as phenobarbital
Local anesthetics or general anesthetics
Medications for heart rhythm problems like amiodarone, digoxin, flecainide, procainamide, quinidine
Medications for high blood pressure or heart problems
Medications for seizures like carbamazepine and phenytoin
Rifampin, rifabutin or rifapentine
Theophylline or aminophylline
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, feet, or hands, sudden weight gain, unusual weakness or fatigue
Slow heartbeat—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, trouble breathing, unusual weakness or fatigue
Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
Low blood pressure—dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, blurry vision
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your care team what your blood pressure should be. Also, find out when you should contact them.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are using this medication without asking your care team for advice. Some medications may increase your blood pressure.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medication affects you. Do not stand up or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Keep the container tightly closed. Avoid exposure to extreme heat. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.