What is Carvedilol?
Carvedilol is a prescriptional anti-hypertensive drug belonging to the category of beta-blockers. It is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart failure. Carvedilol is often advantageous when used in combination with other similar medications compared to single drug administration.
What are the uses of Carvedilol?
Carvedilol is used to treat hypertension and heart failure. Also, it can be used in patients who have recently had a heart attack. Carvedilol works by dilating the blood vessels and reducing the heart rate to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Carvedilol is mainly used in the following conditions;
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure (A condition where a person experiences chest pains because blood vessels carrying oxygenated blood to the heart are narrowed, thus resulting in less oxygen reaching the heart muscles)
- Left ventricular dysfunction (weakening of heart muscles)
- Heart attack
How do you use Carvedilol?
Read the patient information leaflet if available from the pharmacist before you start taking Carvedilol and reach on time you get your refill. Ask your queries to your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand anything described on the patient information leaflet.
- It is available as a tablet to be taken orally with food, usually 1 or 2 times or as prescribed by your physician.
- Try to take this tablet daily at the same time.
- Do not use this medication less or more than prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not stop taking this medication abruptly without consulting your doctor.
If You Miss the Dose.
- If you happen to miss a dose of Carvedilol, take the missed dose as soon as you remember.
- However, if it is almost time for the next dose, do not take the missed dose and continue with your next scheduled dose.
- Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
What are the side-effects and risks of Carvedilol?
Like all other medications, Carvedilol can cause side effects. However, it is unlikely to happen to everyone. The majority of the side effects are dose-related and go away when the dose is decreased or the treatment is stopped. Some of the side effects can occur at the start of the treatment and resolves as the treatment continues. It is important that you are aware of what could be the possible side effects.
Very common side effects:
- Low blood pressure
- Feeling dizzy
- Heart failure
Common side effects:
- Difficulty in passing urine
- Pain in arms and legs
- Stomach pains
- Fluid accumulation in lungs
- Difficulty in breathing
- Problems with blood circulation
- Worsening of symptoms in patients with Raynaud’s disease (fingers or toes turn bluish, then whitish and then reddish and it pains)
- Dizziness while standing up quickly
- Edema (Swelling in body or parts of the body)
- Slow heart rate
- Eye irritation
- Visual disturbance
- Loss of control of blood sugar in people with diabetes
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Increase in weight
- Low red blood cell count
- Urinary tract infection
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Uncommon side effects:
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Skin reactions
- Abnormal sensations
- Sleep disturbances
- Chest pains
Rare side effects:
- Stuffy nose
- Dryness of the mouth
- Thrombocytopenia (decrease in the number of platelets)
Very rare side effects:
- Reduced white blood cell count
- Allergic reactions
- Involuntary leakage of urine in females
- Skin rash
- A widespread rash with blisters and peeling of skin
- Changes in Liver Function Test
This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
Who should not take Carvedilol?
Talk to your doctor before taking Carvedilol if you have:
- Thyroid disorders
- Heart disorders
- Kidney diseases
- Liver disorders
- Respiratory disorders such as asthma
- Low blood pressure
- Poor blood circulation
- Metabolic acidosis (alteration in the body’s acid-base balance)
- Pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland which causes high blood pressure)
- Conduction defect in the heart (AV heart block grade II or III, SA heart block)
Talk to your doctor before taking Carvedilol if:
- You are taking any other medication, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
- You have any other allergies.
- You are allergic to any other medication.
- You are taking any other drugs, over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or nutritional supplements.
Since the drug is given to treat high blood pressure, adolescents should not be given Carvedilol. Moreover, it should not be given to people younger than 18 years as a treatment for heart failure.
Besides, certain medicines may interfere with Carvedilol’s working and might not be safe to take them together. Some of them are:
- Medications used to treat irregular heartbeats such as diltiazem, Verapamil, or Amiodarone.
- Medications used to treat angina, such as isosorbide mononitrate or glyceryl trinitrate.
- Medications used to treat heart failure, such as Digoxin.
- Medications used to treat depression or other mental health disorders such as fluoxetine, tricyclic antidepressants, barbiturates, phenothiazines, haloperidol, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
- Medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin or anti-diabetic medications.
- Certain painkillers such as Ibuprofen or diclofenac.
- Medications used for hormonal replacement therapy such as Estrogen
- Immunosuppressive agents (medications used to prevent organ rejection transplant) such as cyclosporine
- Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine
This may not be a comprehensive list, and other drugs may interact with Carvedilol. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
When should you not take Carvedilol?
You should not take Carvedilol if:
- It has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- The packaging shows signs of tampering.
- Before surgery or dental surgery (at least 24 hrs prior)
This drug may make you dizzy or tired. Hence, consumption of alcohol or any sedative, marijuana (cannabis), tranquilizer, or sleep aid can cause more dizziness.
Further, Carvedilol may alter your ability to drive or operate machines. It may make you feel dizzy, sick, or tired, and even give a headache. If you feel any of these effects, do not drive or operate machines and immediately contact your doctor.