Isoptin, which is one of the trade names of Verapamil, is a calcium channel blocker that belongs to the phenylalkylamine class of drugs. It works by dilating the blood vessels, thereby increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. The orally administered pills have an onset time for action of about one to two hours, during which time peak plasma concentration occurs. The active half-life of the medication is about two to seven hours based on the patient’s response to treatment.
Isoptin can treat cluster headaches and also prevent migraine attacks. It is also effective in treating hypertension, heart rhythm disorders, and angina. Patients who have congestive heart failure, kidney disease, liver disease, low blood pressure, and ventricular dysfunction are not recommended to take this drug. Pregnant women should consult the healthcare provider on the drug’s safety of use. The traces of the medicine can pass through breast milk and potentially harm the newborn.
Dosage and Administration
Isoptin is available in various dosage strengths. 40 mg, 120 mg and 240 mg are the popular dosage strengths. Select dosage strength of this medication only if it is appropriate to your health condition. A doctor can guide you in selecting a suitable dose. Do not increase the dose without consulting with a health care professional.
Isoptin should be administered exactly as recommended by the general practitioner and according to the instructions on the product label. The compressed pills or extended release capsules should both be swallowed whole without breaking, chewing, or crushing them.
Mild adverse effects of taking this drug include headache, dizziness, flu like symptoms, nausea, and constipation. Symptoms for which immediate medical attention is required are changes in the heart rhythm, shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, swelling in the hands or feet, light-headedness, anxiety, sweating, and persistent ill reactions. Treating the symptoms immediately can help reduce the risk of developing life-threatening problems.
Interaction with other drugs
Precaution should be used if the person is taking drugs like aspirin, other blood pressure medicines, heart related drugs, HIV/AIDS medications, anticonvulsants, Hepatitis C drugs, antibiotics, antifungal preparations, and cholesterol controlling drugs.