Diltiazem - any experience anyone please

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After commencing Amlodipine for high blood pressure which caused severe ankle swelling and inflammation of the surrounding area, leading to a diagnosis of varicose eczema, I have now been prescribed Diltiazem. I know that Diltiazem is usually prescribed for sufferers of Angina. I am nervous about taking this drug and wonder if anyone else has taken it for high BP and can reassure me from their experience, please?

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I take Diltiazem and have done so for several years now. ....best thing since sliced bread in my opinion. I have angina and hypertension amongst other chronic conditions. I have not had any side effects to date and have been able to reduce the dosage of the drugs I take for the hypertension, which is now well under control. There is only one drawback to Diltiazem that I can think of and that is it is a slow release drug and the user is advised to take it at the same time each day, with a four hour 'window' if you forget it at any time. Good luck with the treatment and I hope your condition improves soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sylvia and many thanks for your speedy response. It is good to hear that Diltiazem has proved effective for your angina and it does seem as though it's proved effective for your blood pressure as well if you have been able to reduce the dosage of the other BP drugs. It's also reassuring for me to hear that you haven't experienced any side effects. I am a bit of a problem in that I do seem to be especially sensitive to drugs, particularly those for hypertension. It might be something to do with the fact that until a year ago I spent 5+ years on steroids for an inflammatory illness which affected my muscles and my arteries. BP drugs widen the arteries and blood vessels to allow the blood to flow through more easily so perhaps there's an answer there somewhere. I notice on the leaflet with the Diltiazen that the most common side effect is swollen ankles! Bit worried about that after my recent experience with Amlodipine.

    Have you suffered any reduction in your kidney function since being on the Diltiazem? I have had only one kidney which has served me very well for very many years but during the last few years have been diagnosed with reduced kidney function. High BP will not be helping that situation but neither do some BP drugs.

    Many thanks once again for your kindness in replying.

    Shirley

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  • Posted

    Hi Shirley

    It's refreshing to find someone else who is sensitive to drugs the same as me. I often react badly and sometimes severe enough to be labelled allergic. However, Diltiazem has caused me no problems at all. In fact it enabled me to have mega dangerous surgery in January of this year because it controlled my angina so well and cut out the need for me to take Lacidipine (BP drug) as well as cutting down on Lisinopril (BP drug). I have been on Diltiazem for several years and my kidney function is fine. GP tests done every 6 months, though as a precaution, but not necessarily as a result of taking Diltiazem. I have a combination of drugs for several chronic conditions. .....need a trailer for the travelling pharmacy when I go on vacation!

    One more thing that you should consider- a pharmacist told me that once started on Diltiazem you should always have the same brand dispensed. I know that most UK GPs are under pressure to cut spending on branded drugs, but the NHS guidelines about prescribing generic drugs as a budget priority do NOT apply to Diltiazem. Check out this generic v branded drugs argument on this website...very interesting. If you decide to try this drug, make sure the doctor is prescribing the real deal. I take Adizem XL, 300mg capsules once daily, which is quite a high dose, apparently.

    Good luck and I wish you slim ankles in the future.

    Sylvia Ann

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  • Posted

    Hi Sylvia

    Please forgive me for taking so long to thank you for your very helpful reply to my post and for all your reassurance regarding Diltiazem. I run a local support group under a Charity for sufferers with an autoimmune illness frrom which I have luckily recovered, and sometimes get a little bogged down.

    It seems as though the hospital has prescribed what you call the "real deal" as I've also been prescribed Adizem XL, but a 120mg daily dose.

    I'm still being a wimp and haven't yet started it - I'm so fearful of once again getting the swollen ankles and stiff legs that arrived with Amlodipine. I'd had stiff and painful legs for over 6 years due to a long term autoimmune illness and steroid treatment and was so afraid that the illness was returning that I contacted my rheumatologist. He reassured me but said not to start the Diltiazem until the legs were back to normal after stopping the Amlodipine which he thought would take about 3-4 weeks - spot on, it did.

    I haven't taken by blood pressure in all this time but have embarked on a fast daily walk and added chia seeds to my diet after reading of its benefits in reducing high BP. However, I know I should be taking the pills and this thought has been reinforced by the sad experience of a dear long-standing friend from my teens who suffered a severe stroke a few weeks ago.

    Again, many thanks Sylvia.

    Shirley

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  • Posted

    Well, if Sylvia or anyone else taking Diltiazem (Adizem) is looking in, I finally gave in and took my first Diltiazem yesterday after experiencing a severe dizzy spell which led to me taking my blood pressure and finding it sky high at 209/94 and a pulse of 95.

    I then became more scared of the risk of such a high reading than the possible side effects of the new drug.

    There wasn't much improvement in my BP this morning (206/86) although my pulse was better at 68. However, my latest reading this afternoon after taking my second pill is 167/80. I have taken things very easy since yesterday, even cancelled the weekly shop (scared to drive after the dizzy turn). Decided to order online for the very first time and have been most impressed with my Ocado delivery this morning.

    I guess my steep rise in BP may be due to a shock just over a week ago when my hubby passed out on the bathroom floor in the early hours. Wonderful paramedics arrived and diagnosed complete heart block, confirmed at A&E, and a pacemaker was fitted later that day - the NHS at its best. He is now recovering well apart from feeling a bit disorientated, probably from his head hitting the bath or floor when he fell.

    Back to the Diltiazem. I've proved very sensitive to previous BP meds and had to come off the latest one, Amlodipine, a while ago because of the swelling and inflammation it caused to my ankles/legs. After just one Diltiazem pill yesterday, I almost immediately felt the heaviness returning in my ankles. Does anyone know if this may pass - I so want to get my blood pressure down with something? I've tried all the natural routes: no salt, fast daily walks, and keeping within normal weight range.

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  • Posted

    I think my go has tried me on 8 different anti hypertension medications,due my experiencing debilitating side effects such as extrem exhaustion,painful sore red dry eyes,painful hives resulting in scar tissue on my legs..so I am hoping that this shall IMAP t on my body minimally!

    your comments have provided me with some comfort! 

    Has as anyone experienced dry eyes as a consequence of Dilitazem?

    i have been prescribed the ADIZEM XL prolonged release capsules 120 mg.

    thanks for your time☺️🌻🎈🎵🎻

    kitekat

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    • Posted

      kitekat, I'm sorry to hear that you also experience lots of side effects from BP pills.  It's a year since I wrote the post you have replied to, and I'm still trying to find a BP medication that works without intolerable side effects, yet some people are so lucky in that they take the pills and have no side effects at all.  The only pill to date that hasn't caused me any discernible side effects is Losartan Potassium but unfortunately on its own it doesn't reduce my high BP, so they keep adding another pill to the mix.  The most frustrating thing of all is whereas I used to follow all the good advice for high BP such as a healthy diet, no salt, no caffeine, and a brisk daily walk to keep the weight down, since taking all the different BP pills, I now find I can no longer walk for more than about 15 minutes, and not very fast, without pain setting in in my legs, and now breathlessness from the latest pill.  My last blood pressure reading at the hospital was 180/68 so it seems I'm getting all the side effects without any of the benefits.  They want to add a third pill but I fear I'd end up being fit for nothin!  I do hope you have better luck.
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    • Posted

      Comforting to know that someone else experiences bad side effects to bp tablets and keeps trying new ones. Latest is Diltiazem . Seemed promising to start with but I became more and more down with some occasional abdominal flare ups. Only then did I look up the side effects. depression and some gastrointestinal inhibitors! Let me know if you find a good one. 
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  • Posted

    I started on this drug about 10 days ago and have had unpleasant symptoms but none so bad as when i was taking Bisoprolol

    So far I am having --

    Faintness and dizziness

    Swollen painful feet and ankles

    Shortness of breath

    Gastric Problems which intensify an existing problem

    Severe palpitations

    Red rash

    I am persevering for a while longer as the Specialist calmy said "you must persevere" That was after 9 months on Bisoprolol!!

    I have Micro vascular disease but the pain itself is called Angina even though I have healthy Arteries. This drug as in Beta Blockers relaxes the walls of the Arteries and microvessels and enables oxygenated blood to pass through easier

    I seem to a person who will always be the one in a hundred (!!!!!!!) who get side effects for anything and everything!

    It seems that if you are like me then you will probably get similar side effects with most of these drugs

    Hang in there-you are not alone and generally most of these side effects are not life threatening

    Nearly forgot the drugs  consequently help reduce blood pressure

    I understand your anxiety-if the side effects are too much to deal with then of course your doctor is your next port of call

    Good luck Mrs O

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    • Posted

      Patricia, well done for persevering with the Diltiazem.  I didn't fare too badly whilst I was on 120mg but that dose proved insufficient for my high BP so was increased to 180mg, but the ankle swelling worsened as did the bowel changes.

      Although they tell us that any side effects we encounter will lessen as our bodies get used to the drug, that rarely seems to ring true for me.  However, when I was first switched from Bisoprolol to Doxazosin, I had horrendous palpitations and thumping in my chest which have lessened the longer I have been on the latter drug.  Apparently, that side effect was to be expected anyway because Bisoprolol slows down the heart whereas Doxazosin speeds it up!  Common sense really (once you know!), but I don't think it's too much to expect to be told in advance - it would have saved me a few sleepless nights as the palpitations seemed to magnify at night, especially after getting up for a trip to the bathroom.

      Hope you fare better but those side effects you are experiencing sound quite nasty so not wise to put up with them for too long I would have thought without asking for a change of medication.

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    • Posted

      I was taking 2.5thIckening and aceCapitopril for 12years until theystopped working.My BP rise to 275/120 scary.tried other med.but I do have problem with medication.Saw specialist and I'm on Diltiazem 120mg one a day morning plus zanipress 20+20mg.Really bad itching at night but not sure which med causing it Pity because it works.does anyone else have this and does it stop I've only been taking for two wks.Thank you all

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  • Posted

    I just read about a study done here , in the U.S. , that says many B/P meds increase the effects of cholestrol meds 1 1/2 to 3 fold. It's here on patient.info under statins. Just my luck. As if I don't have enough problems. Look how long statins have been on the market , and they're just now comming up with this ! No wonder so many people are having problems. Don't know if we can name drug brands but there seems to be a lot of them. Just saying , anyone on B/P meds and cholestrol meds maybe should see what their doctors think about this new info.
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    • Posted

      Yes, I agree, it is quite alarming how certain side effects take so long to come to the fore long after a drug has come on to the market.  This is why it is so important for patients to notify bodies such as the MHRA via the Yellow Card Scheme here in the UK whenever they experience nasty side effects from any drugs they are taking.  There must be a similar resource in the US. 
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    • Posted

      Oh there is. It just takes thousands and thousands of people reporting them before they a actually take a look. And the another few years to do a study and the sometime later to release their findings.
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  • Posted

    Hello Mrs O, I have just been taken off Amlodipine after suffering from really bad swollen legs and feeling constantly nauseated too. Like you I have only been prescribed. Diltiazem so will see how I go with taking them. Looking at the information enclosed in the box, the timing of taking the capsules appears to be more stringent with it stipulating that they are taken exactly 24hrs apart (or in my case every 12hrs apart) so it will be interesting to see how it goes taking them. I will let you know how I fair with this 3rd Calcium Channel Blockers medication in due course.
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    • Posted

      Good luck with Diltiazem, Kathryn.  It had similar side effects as Amlodipine for me (very swollen ankles, loose bowel, engorged feeling in legs), but then being on my 8th different pill to date, I am probably not a good example as far as my body's response to medication is concerned!  I'm sure plenty of people take Diltiazem successfuly and may you be one of them.

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    • Posted

      I suppose to start diltiazem today i took a machine home that moniters your heart rate but i also have panick attacks plus i have a new doctor i see i have took a moniter home with my previous doctor and had an echo done it was fine but my new doctor saying something funny going on my heart is stressed and i do have palpatations but i no i have anxiety and panick attacks could he be giving me medicine just because and if i take this medicine and i dont have heart problems will it affect me.Help. Think ill start on it tomorrow.
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