What is Diltiazem?
Diltiazem is a heart and blood pressure medication. It treats high blood pressure and certain heart rhythm abnormalities in dog and cats.
Who is it for?
Diltiazem is for cats and dogs.
What are the benefits?
||Diltiazem helps the heart beat more efficiently
||Treats high blood pressure and certain heart rhythm abnormalities in dog and cats
||You can administer the tablet form of diltiazem with or without food
Diltiazem is used in the treatment of various heart conditions, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hypertension (high blood pressure), and certain heart rhythm abnormalities.
How does Diltiazem work?
Diltiazem dilates (enlarges) the arteries of the heart and helps the heart work more efficiently.
Is there a generic equivalent available?
Diltiazem is the generic form of the human drug Cardizem.
How is it given?
Administer Diltiazem tablets by mouth, with or without food. Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian.
What results can I expect?
Diltiazem will not cure a heart condition but it will help to alleviate some of the symptoms. It generally needs to be given 3 times daily to maintain the proper level of the drug in the blood stream.
What form(s) does it come in?
Diltiazem comes in a tablet.
Common Drug Name
What should I discuss with my veterinarian while considering Diltiazem?
Be sure to understand the dosing schedule that is prescribed by your veterinarian. Also, discuss the exams and laboratory tests that may be necessary while your pet is on Diltiazem.
Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your dog is taking, and also if your dog has had any reactions to previous medications.
Tell your veterinarian if your pet could be pregnant or is nursing.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.
What is the most important information I should know?
Diltiazem needs to given exactly as prescribed by your veterinarian.
Who should not take it?
Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to Diltiazem. Do not use in pregnant or lactating animals (female animals nursing their young) unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Do not use in animals with severe hypotension (low blood pressure), a heart condition known as "AV block," or lung congestion. Use with caution in senior animals and those with heart failure or liver or kidney disease.
What side effects may be seen when taking Diltiazem?
A slow heart rate is the most common side effect in dogs. Vomiting is the most common side effect in cats. Other potential side effects in these species include low blood pressure, irregular heart rates, which results in weakness or fainting, rashes, elevated liver enzyme tests, and effects on the central nervous system (CNS). If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these side effects, contact your veterinarian.
How is it stored?
Store tablet form at room temperature in a tight, light-resistant, childproof container. Refrigerate oral suspension. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
What should I do if I know of or suspect there has been an overdose?
If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately. Signs of an overdose may include weakness, loss of appetite, difficult or rapid breathing, pale gums, and a low heart rate.
What should I avoid when giving my pet Diltiazem?
Consult your veterinarian before using Diltiazem with vitamins and supplements, beta blockers, cimetidine, or ranitidine, since interactions may occur. Diltiazem may affect the blood levels of the following drugs: cyclosporine, quinidine, propranolol, and digoxin. Blood monitoring of digoxin levels is recommended.
Where is more information available?
Ask your veterinarian, consult with one of our pharmacists at 1-800-447-3021, or see the Patient Information Sheet on this medication.