Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker. It works by relaxing the muscles of your heart and blood vessels.
Verapamil is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and certain heart rhythm disorders.
Verapamil may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about verapamil?
You should not use verapamil if you have a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker), severe heart failure, slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint, or certain heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart).
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking verapamil?
You should not use verapamil if you are allergic to it, or if you have a serious heart condition such as:
"sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker);
severe heart failure;
slow heartbeats that have caused you to faint; or
certain heart rhythm disorders of the atrium (the upper chambers of the heart that allow blood to flow into the heart).
To make sure verapamil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether verapamil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Verapamil can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Major Side Effects
You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking verapamil:
- Blue lips and fingernails
- blurred vision
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain
- coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
- difficult, fast, noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- increased sweating
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- pale skin
- shortness of breath
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- sore throat
- swelling in legs and ankles
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- cold sweats
- feeling of warmth
- redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest
Minor Side Effects
Some of the side effects that can occur with verapamil may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:
- Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
- Acid or sour stomach
- difficulty in moving
- joint pain
- muscle aching or cramping
- muscle pains or stiffness
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- trouble sleeping
- unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
- swollen joints