Carvedilol - oral
Carvedilol - oral
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug. Some people who have suddenly stopped taking similar drugs have had chest pain, heart attack, and irregular heartbeat. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks.
When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Get medical help right away if you develop chest pain/tightness/pressure, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat.
Carvedilol is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It is also used after a heart attack to improve the chance of survival if your heart is not pumping well. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
This drug works by blocking the action of certain natural substances in your body, such as epinephrine, on the heart and blood vessels. This effect lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on your heart. Carvedilol belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha and beta blockers.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for a certain type of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).
See also Warning section.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking carvedilol and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take 1 to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase, or you have worsening symptoms of heart failure like increased shortness of breath).
See also Warning and Precautions sections.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, diarrhea, impotence, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. The risk of dizziness is highest within 1 hour after you take your dose. Taking this medication with food and starting treatment with a low dose and slowly increasing your dose as directed by your doctor help to reduce the risk of dizziness.
This drug may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
Although this medication may be used to treat heart failure, some people may rarely develop new or worsening symptoms of heart failure, especially at the start of carvedilol treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these serious side effects:
In the US -
Before taking carvedilol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause you to faint. This is most likely to occur within 1 hour after taking your dose, especially when you start carvedilol treatment or any time your doctor increases your dose. During these periods, avoid driving and doing hazardous tasks. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
If you have diabetes, this product may mask the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness and sweating, are unaffected by this drug. This product may also make it harder to control your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst/urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
People who wear contact lenses may have dry eyes while taking this medication.
Before having surgery (including cataract/glaucoma eye surgery), tell your doctor or dentist if you are taking or have ever taken this medication, and about all the other products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and lightheadedness.
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is unknown if carvedilol passes into breast milk. However, it is unlikely to pass into breast milk in large amounts. There is a low risk that it may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
One product that may interact with this drug is:
Some products have ingredients that could raise your heart rate or blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, slow/shallow breathing, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include exercising, stopping smoking, and eating a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet. Consult your doctor for more details.
Have your blood pressure and pulse (heart rate) checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure and pulse at home, and share the results with your doctor.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney and liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised October 2018.
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