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What is Carvedilol?
Carvedilol is a beta-blocker drug that affects the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins). It is prescribed primarily for the treatment of heart failure and hypertension (high blood pressure). It is also used after a heart attack and may be used in other conditions not listed here. Carvedilol is sold under various trade names, a couple of which is Cardivas (made by Sun Pharma).
Important Information about Carvedilol
Do not take Carvedilol (Cardivas) if you have a known allergy to it, or if you have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, severe liver disease, or a serious heart conditions such as a heart block, sick sinus syndrome, or slow heart rate (unless you have a pacemaker). If you are scheduled for a surgery, inform your surgeon well in advance that you are using Carvedilol. You may be required to suspend taking this medicine for a short time. Also do not stop taking Carvedilol without your doctor’s advice. If you stop taking this medicine suddenly, your condition will deteriorate for the worse. Do not consume alcohol (even products or other drugs containing alcohol) within 2 hours before or after taking an extended release Carvedilol. Alcohol can cause Carvedilol to be released too quickly into the body which is not the aim of an extended release medicine. If you are being treated for high blood pressure, continue taking Carvedilol even if you don’t have any symptoms. High blood pressure doesn’t have any outwardly signs. You may have to take this medicine for the rest of your life. Carvedilol is an FDA pregnancy category C drug. It is not known whether this medicine can harm an unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. It is also not known whether Carvedilol can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before taking Carvedilol if any of these cases apply to you.
Before taking Carvedilol
Before taking Carvedilol (Cardivas), take care of all precautions mentioned above. Discuss them with your doctor and clear all doubts which you may have about this drug. To ensure that this drug is safe for you, inform your doctor before taking Carvedilol if you have any of the following conditions: diabetes (taking Carvedilol can make it difficult for you to judge when you have low blood sugar), angina, low blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, a thyroid disorder, pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland), circulation problems (such as Raynaud’s syndrome), or a history of allergies.
How should I take Carvedilol?
Take Carvedilol strictly according to your doctor’s direction or according to the instructions on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also, do not take this medication after the prescribed period is over. All medications come with a patient leaflet. Refer the instructions in them for detailed information on that particular medication. Carvedilol works best when taken with food. Always store this medicine in a cool and dry place. Carvedilol can impact your pupils during a cataract surgery. Let your eye surgeon know in advance that you are using this medicine. Follow your doctor’s advice carefully. Carvedilol is a part of a full line of treatment for blood pressure which includes diet restrictions, exercises, and other medicines. Follow a proper regimen of these as directed by your doctor to keep your blood pressure in control.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Carvedilol, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful.
What if I overdose?
In case of an overdose of Carvedilol, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor Immedaitely. Overdose may result in uneven heartbeat, breathlessness, bluish colored fingernails, dizziness, weakness, seizure, or fainting.
Things and Activities to avoid while taking Carvedilol
Carvedilol may impact your thinking capability and reflexes. Take extra care while driving or other such activities that require a high level of mental awareness and alertness. Do not consume alcohol (even products or other drugs containing alcohol) within 2 hours before or after taking an extended release Carvedilol. Alcohol can cause Carvedilol to be released too quickly into the body which is not the aim of an extended release medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for any other restrictions while using this medicine. Avoid getting up quickly from a lying or sitting position otherwise you may feel dizzy.
Carvedilol Side Effects
Some common side effects of Carvedilol are dizziness, drowsiness, light headedness, diarrhea, or fatigue. However, if any of these side effects persist or deteriorate, or if you get serious side effects or allergic reactions like rash, itching, swelling of face, tongue, or throat, or breathing trouble, unusual fatigue, sudden or unexplained weight gain, severe dizziness, severe stomach or abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes and skin, persistent nausea or vomiting, seek medical attention immediately. Carvedilol may reduce blood supply to your hand and feet which may make them to feel cold. Smoking may deteriorate this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use. The side effects mentioned above are not the only ones that you may experience or witness due to Carvedilol. If you get any serious side effects due to this medication, contact your doctor right away.
Carvedilol Dosing Information
Carvedilol dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Your dosage will be determined by your doctor after examining you properly. Remember to follow your doctor’s advice properly for best results.
Interaction with other drugs
Other drugs can interact with Carvedilol. Some of them include allergy drugs, cimetidine, cyclosporine, fluconazole, insulin or oral diabetes medicines, rafampin, antidepressants, other heart or blood pressure medicine, HIV medicines, MAO inhibitors, anti emetics, or narcotic pain killers. However, these are not the only drugs that can interact with Carvedilol. Inform your doctor in advance if you use any other medicines or related products. Never start a new medicine without proper medical advice.