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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 slows down the electrical activity of your heart which helps to control your heartbeat. It also relaxes blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.

How should you take it?

Take verapamil regularly as directed with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food.
Slow-release tablet: Swallow whole - do not crush or chew.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 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

Symptoms of a slow or irregular heartbeat including: feeling your heart skips a beat, dizziness or fainting

Tell your doctor immediately

Swollen feet or legs, short of breath

Tell your doctor

Headache

Constipation

Tell your doctor if troublesome

Symptoms of low blood pressure such as dizziness or fainting

Stand up slowly. If it continues, or is severe, tell your doctor

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

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have heart failure.
  • 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. July 2022

For more general information about this sheet annd 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