Diltiazem is a drug from the group of calcium channel blockers, the vasodilator effect and in the AV node of the heart. Diltiazem belongs to the benzothiazepines. It is sold as Dilzem ® from Goedecke and under generic names of numerous other vendors.
In patients with coronary heart disease diltiazem is used for stable angina, unstable angina pectoris and in particular with vasospastic angina (Prinzmetal’s angina). It is also an effective preventive medication for migraine.
An antiarrhythmic drug for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias diltiazem may be prescribed preventively against paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia and in patients without WPW syndrome to slow the heart rate in atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. In the treatment of hypertension, Diltiazem is used to lower blood pressure.
Contra-indications and warnings
Intravenous administration is contraindicated in bradycardia (heart rate <55 beats per minute). Careful monitoring is required for SA-Block, Grade I, in elderly patients with severely impaired renal function and concomitant therapy with beta-blockers. Although damage to infants is not yet known, it should not be taken while breastfeeding as it passes into breast milk.
Increase in liver enzymes gamma-GT and LDH, lymph node swelling, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhoea, SA block, weakness, oedema. Rare occurrences may include, allergic skin symptoms, syncope, heart failure, insomnia, hallucinations, depression and impotence. In diabetic patients they may experience hyperglycaemia.