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What does it do?

Verapamil is used to treat some types of irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, angina, and sometimes other conditions. It relaxes blood vessels and reduces the workload of the heart.

How should you take it?

Take verapamil regularly as directed with food and a glass of water.
Swallow the slow release tablets whole.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with verapamil including:

  • anti-inflammatories, such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren®), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen®), or aspirin (e.g. Disprin®, in doses used for pain relief). These can also be found in some cold and flu medicines (e.g. Nurofen Cold and Flu®).

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Swollen feet or legs, short of breath

Change in heartbeat, chest pain

Enlarged, tender or bleeding gums

Tell your doctor


Headache, dizziness, tiredness or weakness

Muscle pain or cramps

Constipation, stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver or other heart problems, or if you have porphyria.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Grapefruit, grapefruit juice or sour/Seville oranges may react with verapamil. Discuss with your pharmacist.
  • Do not stop taking verapamil without talking to your doctor first.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. March 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed