Cardizem - General Information

A benzothiazepine derivative with vasodilating action due to its antagonism of the actions of the calcium ion in membrane functions. It is also teratogenic.


Pharmacology of Cardizem

Cardizem, a benzothiazepine calcium-channel blocker, is used alone or with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, to treat hypertension, chronic stable angina pectoris, and Prinzmetal's variant angina. Cardizem is similar to other peripheral vasodilators. Cardizem inhibits the influx of extra cellular calcium across the myocardial and vascular smooth muscle cell membranes possibly by deforming the channel, inhibiting ion-control gating mechanisms, and/or interfering with the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The decrease in intracellular calcium inhibits the contractile processes of the myocardial smooth muscle cells, causing dilation of the coronary and systemic arteries, increased oxygen delivery to the myocardial tissue, decreased total peripheral resistance, decreased systemic blood pressure, and decreased afterload.


Cardizem for patients

Take this medicine exactly as directed even if you feel well and do not notice any signs of chest pain. Do not take more of this medicine and do not take it more often than your doctor ordered. Do not miss any doses.


Diltiazem is a calcium channel blocking agent. For the calcium channel blocking agents, the following should be considered:

  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to amlodipine, bepridil, diltiazem, felodipine, flunarizine, isradipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nimodipine, or verapamil. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
  • Calcium channel blocking agents have not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that large doses of calcium channel blocking agents cause birth defects, prolonged pregnancy, poor bone development in the offspring, and stillbirth.
  • Although bepridil, diltiazem, nifedipine, verapamil, and possibly other calcium channel blocking agents, pass into breast milk, they have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.
  • Although there is no specific information comparing use of this medicine in children with use in other age groups, it is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
  • Elderly people may be especially sensitive to the effects of calcium channel blocking agents. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment. A lower starting dose may be required.
  • The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of the calcium channel blocking agents. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially



Cardizem Interactions

Due to the potential for additive effects, caution and careful titration are warranted in patients receiving diltiazem hydrochloride concomitantly with other agents known to affect cardiac contractility and/or conduction. Pharmacologic studies indicate that there may be additive effects in prolonging AV conduction when using beta-blockers or digitalis concomitantly with Tiazac. As with all drugs, care should be exercised when treating patients with multiple medications. Diltiazem is both a substrate and an inhibitor of the cytochrome P-450 3A4 enzyme system. Other drugs that are specific substrates, inhibitors, or inducers of the enzyme system may have a significant impact on the efficacy and side effect profile of diltiazem. Patients taking other drugs that are substrates of CYP450 3A4, especially patients with renal and/or hepatic impairment, may require dosage adjustment when starting or stopping concomitantly administered diltiazem in order to maintain optimum therapeutic blood levels.
Beta Blockers
Controlled and uncontrolled domestic studies suggest that concomitant use of diltiazem hydrochloride and beta-blockers is usually well tolerated, but available data are not sufficient to predict the effects of concomitant treatment in patients with left ventricular dysfunction or cardiac conduction abnormalities. Administration of diltiazem hydrochloride concomitantly with propranolol in five normal volunteers resulted in increased propranolol levels in all subjects and bioavailability of propranolol was increased approximately 50%. In vitro, propranolol appears to be displaced from its binding sites by diltiazem. If combination therapy is initiated or withdrawn in conjunction with propranolol, an adjustment in the propranolol dose may be warranted.
A study in six healthy volunteers has shown a significant increase in peak diltiazem plasma levels (58%) and AUC (53%) after a 1-week course of cimetidine 1200 mg/day and a single dose of diltiazem 60mg. Ranitidine produced smaller, nonsignificant increases. The effect may be mediated by cimetidine's known inhibition of hepatic cytochrome P-450, the enzyme system responsible for the first-pass metabolism of diltiazem. Patients currently receiving diltiazem therapy should be carefully monitored for a change in pharmacological effect when initiating and discontinuing therapy with cimetidine. An adjustment in the diltiazem dose may be warranted.
Administration of diltiazem hydrochloride with digoxin in 24 healthy male subjects increased plasma digoxin concentrations approximately 20%. Another investigator found no increase in digoxin levels in 12 patients with coronary artery disease. Since there have been conflicting results regarding the effect of digoxin levels, it is recommended that digoxin levels be monitored when initiating, adjusting, and discontinuing diltiazem hydrochloride therapy to avoid possible over- or under-digitalization.
The depression of cardiac contractility, conductivity, and automaticity as well as the vascular dilation associated with anesthetics may be potentiated by calcium channel blockers. When used concomitantly, anesthetics and calcium channel blockers should be titrated carefully.
A pharmacokinetic interaction between diltiazem and cyclosporine has been observed during studies involving renal and cardiac transplant patients. In renal and cardiac transplant recipients, a reduction of cyclosporine dose ranging from 15% to 48% was necessary to maintain cyclosporine trough concentrations similar to those seen prior to the addition of diltiazem. If these agents are to be administered concurrently, cyclosporine concentrations should be monitored, especially when diltiazem therapy is initiated, adjusted, or discontinued.
The effect of cyclosporine on diltiazem plasma concentrations has not been evaluated.
Concomitant administration of diltiazem with carbamazepine has been reported to result in elevated serum levels of carbamazepine (40% to 72% increase), resulting in toxicity in some cases. Patients receiving these drugs concurrently should be monitored for a potential drug interaction.
Studies showed that diltiazem increased the AUC of midazolam and triazolam by 3-4 fold and the Cmax by 2-fold, compared to placebo. The elimination half life of midazolam and triazolam also increased (1.5-2.5 fold) during coadministration with diltiazem. These pharmacokinetic effects seen during diltiazem coadministration can result in increased clinical effects (e.g., prolonged sodation)of both midazolam and triazolam.
In a ten-subject study, coadministration of diltiazem (120 mg bid) with lovastatin resulted in a 3-4 times increase in mean lovastatin AUC and Cmax vs. lovastatin alone; no change in pravastatin AUC and Cmax was observed during diltiazem coadministration. Diltiazem plasma levels were not significantly affected by lovastatin or pravastatin.
Coadministration of rifampin with diltiazem lowered the diltiazem plasma concentrations to undetectable levels. Coadministration of diltiazem with rifampin or any known CYP3A4 inducer should be avoided when possible, and alternative therapy considered.


Cardizem Contraindications

Diltiazem is contraindicated in (1) patients with sick sinus syndrome except in the presence of a functioning ventricular pacemaker, (2) patients with second- or third-degree AV block except in the presence of a functioning ventricular pacemaker, (3) patients with severe hypotension (less than 90 mm Hg systolic), (4) patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity to the drug, and (5) patients with acute myocardial infarction and pulmonary congestion documented by x-ray on admission.


Additional information about Cardizem

Cardizem Indication: For the treatment of Hypertension
Mechanism Of Action: Possibly by deforming the channel, inhibiting ion-control gating mechanisms, and/or interfering with the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, dilitiazem, like verapamil, inhibits the influx of extracellular calcium across both the myocardial and vascular smooth muscle cell membranes. The resultant inhibition of the contractile processes of the myocardial smooth muscle cells leads to dilation of the coronary and systemic arteries and improved oxygen delivery to the myocardial tissue.
Drug Interactions: Amiodarone Increased risk of cardiotoxicity and arrhythmias
Amlodipine Increases the effect and toxicity of amlodipine
Aprepitant This CYP3A4 inhibitor increases the effect and toxicity of aprepitant
Atazanavir Atazanavir increases the effect and toxicity of diltiazem
Atenolol Increased risk of bradycardia
Atorvastatin Increases the effect and toxicity of atorvastatin
Buspirone The calcium channel blocker increases the effect and toxicity of buspirone
Carbamazepine Increases the effect of carbamazepine
Cerivastatin Increases the effect and toxicity of the statin
Cilostazol Increases the effect of cilostazol
Cisapride Increases the levels of cisapride
Cyclosporine Increases the effect and toxicity of cyclosporine
Dihydroquinidine barbiturate Increases the effect and toxicity of quinidine
Lovastatin Increases the effect and toxicity of the statin
Mesoridazine Increased risk of cardiotoxicity and arrhythmias
Metoprolol Increased risk of bradycardia
Midazolam The calcium channel blocker increases the effect and toxicity of the benzodiazepine
Moricizine Increased effect/toxicity of moricizine
Pindolol Increased risk of bradycardia
Propranolol Increased risk of bradycardia
Quinidine Increases the effect and toxicity of quinidine
Quinidine barbiturate Increases the effect and toxicity of quinidine
Quinupristin This combination presents an increased risk of toxicity
Ranolazine Increased levels of ranolazine- risk of toxicity
Rifampin Rifampin decreases levels of diltiazem
Ritonavir Ritonavir increases diltiazem levels
Simvastatin Increases the effect and toicity of simvastatin
Sirolimus Increases the effect and toxicity of sirolimus
Tacrolimus Increases levels of tacrolimus
Terfenadine Increased risk of cardiotoxicity and arrhythmias
Thioridazine Increased risk of cardiotoxicity and arrhythmias
Triazolam The calcium channel blocker increases the effect and toxicity of the benzodiazepine
Food Interactions: Take this medication 30 minutes before meals.
Avoid natural licorice.
Generic Name: Diltiazem
Synonyms: d-cis-Diltiazem
Drug Category: Vasodilator Agents; Cardiovascular Agents; Antihypertensive Agents; Calcium-channel blocking agents
Drug Type: Small Molecule; Approved

Other Brand Names containing Diltiazem: Acalix; Adizem; Altiazem; Anginyl; Angizem; Anoheal; Apo-Diltiaz; Britiazim; Bruzem; Calcicard; Cardizem; Cardizem CD; Cardizem SR; Cardizen LA; Cartia XT; Citizem; Cormax; Deltazen; Dilacor; Dilacor-XR; Diladel; Dilcontin; Dilpral; Dilrene; Dilt-cd; Dilta-Hexal; Diltia; Dilticard; Dilzem; Dilzen; Endrydil; Herbesser; Incoril AP; Masdil; Novo-Diltazem; Nu-Diltiaz; Syn-Diltiazem; Tiazac Tildiem; Tiazac; Tiazac XC; Tiamate; Viazem;
Absorption: Diltiazem is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract but undergoes substantial hepatic first-pass effect.
Toxicity (Overdose): LD50=740mg/kg (orally in mice)
Protein Binding: 70%-80%
Biotransformation: Diltiazem is metabolized by and acts as an inhibitor of the CYP3A4 enzyme.
Half Life: 3.0 - 4.5 hours
Dosage Forms of Cardizem: Solution Intravenous
Liquid Intravenous
Tablet, extended release Oral
Tablet Oral
Capsule, extended release Oral
Chemical IUPAC Name: [(2S,3S)-5-(2-dimethylaminoethyl)-2-(4-methoxyphenyl)-4-oxo-2,3-dihydro-1,5-benzothiazepin-3-yl] acetate
Chemical Formula: C22H26N2O4S
Diltiazem on Wikipedia:
Organisms Affected: Humans and other mammals