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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Diltiazem Dose?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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The most appropriate diltiazem dose can depend on the condition being treated and the patient's general level of health. Before a doctor recommends this heart medication, it may be necessary to perform some tests to evaluate the patient and check for any contraindications that would necessitate using a different drug. These can provide information that may help the doctor with medication and dosing decisions to ensure the patient receives the most appropriate care. Patients with questions or concerns can bring them up with the doctor or a pharmacist.

One consideration is why the patient needs diltiazem in the first place. This medication may be recommended for angina, heart arrythmias, and high blood pressure. Dose recommendations can vary considerably depending on the need for the drug. Patients typically start at a low dose and can increase it over time. The goal is to find the point where the patient responds, with the lowest risk of side effects.

Another concern with a diltiazem dose can be the format of the medication. Diltiazem comes in conventional and extended release formats as well as an injectable suspension. The dosing recommendations can vary, as some forms are delivered more quickly. An extended release diltiazem dose can be higher, for example, as it is released slowly over time. The patient's response to other formats of the medication may be considered as well.

Medication interactions can be another issue with a diltiazem dose. Many other drugs can create adverse reactions when combined with this medication. In some cases the drugs cannot be used safely together at all, while in others it may be necessary to adjust the dose or the timing to reduce the risk of side effects. Patients should make sure their doctors and pharmacists have a complete list of all the medications they use, including over the counter drugs, as these could potentially interact with new drugs.

Overall health also affects diltiazem dose. Patients with liver or kidney problems may not be able to take high doses of the drug, as they could experience severe adverse reactions because their bodies may not be able to metabolize it appropriately. Likewise, other medical conditions could interact with the drug and create complications. If patients do not respond to this medication, or experience unusual reactions, the doctor may want to run some tests to find out if there was an undiagnosed health issue at the start of therapy that caused the drug to behave unexpectedly.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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