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Verapamil

Last updated on 06/07/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Verapamil

CHINESE NAME: 維拉帕米

BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Anpec, Isoptin, Akilen

DRUG CLASS: Antianginal agents, Antiarrhythmics, Antihypertensives

SUB CLASS: Calcium Channel Blockers

USED FOR: Prevention and treatment of angina, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, supraventricular arrhythmia

AVAILABLE DOSAGE FORMS:
– 40mg, 80mg (tablets)
– 240mg (sustained-release tablets)
– 2.5mg/ml (injections)

What is Verapamil for?

Verapamil belongs to a class of medication called calcium channel blockers. It is used to treat and prevent angina, control abnormal heart rhythms (e.g. atrial fibrillation), treat high blood pressure and supraventricular arrhythmia.

How to use it?

Verapamil can be taken orally as conventional tablets or sustained-release tablets, or given in hospital by injections. Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew it.

For angina:
Usual oral starting dose of immediate-release Verapamil for angina is 80-120 mg three times daily. You may increase the dose at daily intervals based on response. The maximum dose is 480 mg/day in three divided doses.

Usual oral starting dose of sustained-release Verapamil for angina is 180 mg once daily. You may increase the dose at weekly intervals based on response. The maximum dose is 480 mg/day once daily.

For hypertension:
Usual oral starting dose of immediate-release Verapamil for hypertension is 80 mg three times daily. You may increase the dose at weekly intervals based on response. The maximum dose is 480 mg/day in three divided doses.

Usual oral dose of sustained-release Verapamil for hypertension is 120-360 mg once daily. You may increase the dose at weekly intervals based on response. The maximum dose is 480 mg/day in one to two divided doses.

For atrial fibrillation:
Usual oral starting dose of Verapamil for atrial fibrillation is 240-320mg. The maximum dose is 480 mg/day in three divided doses.

What are the side effects of Verapamil?

Common side effects of Verapamil include headache, oedema, constipation, lethargy, nausea and dyspepsia.

Who should not take Verapamil?

– People who are allergic to Verapamil or any component of the formulation
– Patients with severe cardiovascular problems (e.g. severe hypotension) or certain heart problems (e.g. Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome)

Pharmacist Tips:

– Continue taking Verapamil even when you feel well
– Report to your doctor if you experiencing some symptoms of hypotension (e.g. lightheadedness, blurred vision) or oedema

Common dosing schedule:
Verapamil can be taken with or without food. Evening or bedtime dosing may be the best time to take most of the high blood pressure medicines.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Verapamil may interact with:
Colchicine
Ivabradine
– Statins, e.g. Atorvastatin, Simvastatin
– Antiepileptics, e.g. Carbamazepine, Phenytoin

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Verapamil in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Verapamil is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Verapamil in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.