Carvedilol has many uses. It is used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina) and heart failure. Carvedilol is also used after a heart attack, to improve the chance of survival if your heart is not pumping well. It belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers. Carvedilol works by slowing down your heart rate and making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body. Read more about heart failure, high blood pressure and chest pain.
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Sounds like 'KAR-ve-dil-ol'
Key points about carvedilol
- Carvedilol is used to treat heart failure, high blood pressure and irregular heart beat.
- Carvedilol works by slowing down your heart rate and making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.
- Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, carvedilol comes as tablets (6.25mg, 12.5mg and 25mg).
- The dose of carvedilol will be different for different people. Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose and increase this over a few days. This allows your body to get used to the medicine and reduces side effects.
- Always take carvedilol exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much carvedilol to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.
My dose is:
- Timing: Depending on the reason you are taking carvedilol, you will be asked to take either one or two doses a day. Take your carvedilol dose at the same time each day. Take carvedilol with food, or immediately after food. It may cause stomach upset if you take it without food. Swallow your tablets, with a glass of water.
- Missed dose: If you forget to take your tablet, take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next tablet, just take the next tablet at the right time. Do not take double the amount of tablets.
- Keep taking carvedilol regularly. Treatment with carvedilol is usually long term. Do not stop taking carvedilol suddenly; speak to your doctor or nurse before stopping.
Here are some things to know when you're taking carvedilol. Other things may be important as well, so ask your healthcare provider what you should know about.
- Avoid alcohol while you are taking carvedilol, especially when you first start treatment. Alcohol can increase your risk of side effects such as dizziness.
- Carvedilol can interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all medicines you are taking including over the counter medicines, herbal and complementary medicines or recreational drugs.
If you have diabetes
- If you have diabetes, carvedilol may cause changes in your blood glucose level. This effect usually settles with time.
- Beta-blockers may reduce the warning signs of a low blood sugar level (hypoglycaemia – often called a hypo). For example, you may not have the feeling of fast, irregular or strong heartbeats (palpitations) or tremor, which can occur when your blood glucose is going too low.
- If you are worried about this, talk to your doctor. Do not stop taking your beta-blocker without checking with your doctor first. Read more about hypoglycaemia.
If you have asthma
- If you have asthma, taking a beta blocker may trigger your asthma symptoms or make them worse. Not everybody with asthma is sensitive to these medicines.
- If you are worried about this, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different medicine or increase the dose of your asthma preventer medication.
- Do not suddenly stop taking your beta-blocker without talking to your doctor first. This can be dangerous and make you feel unwell. Read more about medicines that may trigger asthma symptoms.
Like all medicines, carvedilol can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.
|What should I do?
|Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product(external link)
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, Healthify He Puna Waiora. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.
Reviewed by: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland
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