Home » Drug Information » FDA Approved Drugs » 2000
Medical Areas: Cardiology/Vascular Diseases | Endocrinology | Family Medicine
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Diltiazem HCL, Extended-Release Capsules
The following drug information is obtained from various newswires, published
medical journal articles, and medical conference presentations.
Company: Biovail Laboratories
Approval Status: Approved January 2000
Treatment Area: Indicated for the treatment of hypertension; for use alone or in combination with other anti-hypertensive medications
The Diltiazem Hydrochloride extended-release capsules, taken in
120 to 240 mg a day doses, are principally used to reduce high
blood pressure (hypertension).
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure
in adults defined as a blood pressure greater than or equal to 140
mm Hg systolic pressure or greater than or equal to 90 mm Hg
diastolic pressure. High blood pressure has been directly linked to
increases in the risk of various heart and brain conditions such as
coronary heart disease and stroke.
While high blood pressure can occur in anyone, high risk groups
include blacks, middle-aged and elderly adults, obese people, heavy
drinkers, and women taking oral contraceptives.
Clinical studies compared the Diltiazem HCL extended release
capsules with the Diltiazem HCL tablets. The two forms of the drug
were shown to have similar trends in half-life, despite the
difference in absorption rate. It was found that 95% of the
extended-release capsule is absorbed throughout the dosing
interval. The capsules take effect within two to three hours and
active effects are detected for 10 to 14 hours.
Common side effects include headache, drowsiness, swelling of
feet and ankles, constipation, nausea, sudden weight gain, and
More serious, but less common side effects include,
irregular or slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, and fatigue
caused by heart failure.
There may be some drug interactions between Diltiazem HCL and
aspirin, beta-blockers, digitalis preparations, carbamazepine,
cyclosporine, digoxin, lithium, oral diabetes agents, phenytoin,
rifampin, cimetidine, fluvoxamine, or ranitidine.
Suddenly discontinuing use of this drug may cause serious health
problems. Any discontinuance of the drug should be in gradual
Mechanism of Action
Diltiazem interferes with the movement of calcium into heart
muscle cells and the smooth muscle cells in the walls of the
arteries. This action relaxes blood vessels (causing them to
widen), which lowers blood pressure, increases the blood supply to
the heart, and decreases the hearts overall workload. "from
Diltiazem Hydrochloride is also available in tablet form to
relieve and control angina (chest pain associated with heart
disease) and in injection form to correct cardiac arrhythmia