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All about: carvedilol

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Generic Name: carvedilol (KAR ve dil ole)
Brand Names: Coreg, Coreg CR

What is carvedilol?

Carvedilol is in a group of drugs called beta-blockers. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).

Carvedilol is used to treat heart failure and hypertension (high blood pressure). It is also used to treat or prevent heart attack.

Carvedilol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about carvedilol?

Do not stop taking carvedilol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

If you need to have any type of surgery, you may need to temporarily stop using carvedilol. Be sure the surgeon knows ahead of time that you are using carvedilol.

Carvedilol can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol within 2 hours before or after taking extended-release carvedilol (Coreg CR). Also avoid taking medicines or other products that might contain alcohol. Alcohol may cause the carvedilol in Coreg CR to be released too quickly into the body.

Carvedilol is only part of a complete program of treatment for hypertension that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely if you are being treated for hypertension.

Hypertension often has no symptoms, so you may not even feel that you have high blood pressure. Continue using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking carvedilol?

Before taking carvedilol, tell your doctor if you have:

  • asthma, bronchitis, emphysema;

  • diabetes;

  • low blood pressure;

  • a heart problem such as heart block, sick sinus syndrome, slow heart rate, or congestive heart failure;

  • depression;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a thyroid disorder;

  • myasthenia gravis;

  • pheochromocytoma; or

  • problems with circulation (such as Raynaud's syndrome).

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use carvedilol, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether carvedilol passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take carvedilol?

Take carvedilol exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take this medication with a full glass of water. Take carvedilol at the same time every day. Do not skip doses or stop taking carvedilol without first talking to your doctor. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse. Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

If you are switched from carvedilol tablets to carvedilol extended-release capsules, your daily total dose of this medicine may be higher or lower than before. Follow your doctor's instructions.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood pressure will need to be checked on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon that you are using carvedilol. You may need to briefly stop using carvedilol before having surgery.

Carvedilol is only part of a complete program of treatment for hypertension that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely if you are being treated for hypertension.

Hypertension often has no symptoms, so you may not even feel that you have high blood pressure. Continue using this medicine as directed, even if you feel well. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Store carvedilol at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If your next dose is less than 4 hours away, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a carvedilol overdose may include uneven heartbeats, shortness of breath, bluish-colored fingernails, dizziness, weakness, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking carvedilol?

Carvedilol can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol within 2 hours before or after taking extended-release carvedilol (Coreg CR). Also avoid taking medicines or other products that might contain alcohol. Alcohol may cause the carvedilol in Coreg CR to be released too quickly into the body. Check the labels of any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you take to see if they contain alcohol (also called ethanol).

Carvedilol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • slow or uneven heartbeats;

  • feeling light-headed, fainting;

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;

  • swelling of your ankles or feet;

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • depression; or

  • cold feeling in your hands and feet.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • tired feeling; or

  • anxiety, nervousness.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect carvedilol?

Before taking carvedilol, tell your doctor if you are using:

  • allergy treatments (or if you are undergoing allergy skin-testing);

  • clonidine (Catapres);

  • guanabenz (Wytensin);

  • an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), or selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam);

  • a diabetes medication such as insulin, glyburide (Diabeta, Micronase, Glynase), glipizide (Glucotrol), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), or metformin (Glucophage);

  • a heart medication such as nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), reserpine (Serpasil), verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Isoptin), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem);

  • medicine for asthma or other breathing disorders, such as albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil), bitolterol (Tornalate), metaproterenol (Alupent), pirbuterol (Maxair), terbutaline (Brethaire, Brethine, Bricanyl), and theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theolair); or

  • cold medicines, stimulant medicines, or diet pills.

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to take carvedilol, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect carvedilol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about carvedilol written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Carvedilol is available with a prescription under the brand name Coreg. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Coreg 3.125 mg--white, oval, film-coated tablets

  • Coreg 6.25 mg--white, oval, film-coated tablets

  • Coreg 12.5 mg--white, oval, film-coated tablets

  • Coreg 25 mg--white, oval, film-coated tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the condition prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.02. Revision Date: 06/07/2007 2:16:04 PM.

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