Coreg CR (Carvedilol)
Coreg CR (Carvedilol) Dosage and Side Effects
Carvedilol is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It is also used after a heart attack to improve the chance of survival if your heart is not pumping well. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This drug works by blocking the action of certain natural substances in your body, such as epinephrine, on the heart and blood vessels. This effect lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and strain on your heart. Carvedilol belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha and beta blockers.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when you suddenly stop this drug. Some people who have suddenly stopped taking similar drugs have had chest pain, heart attack, and irregular heartbeat. If your doctor decides you should no longer use this drug, he or she may direct you to gradually decrease your dose over 1 to 2 weeks. When gradually stopping this medication, it is recommended that you temporarily limit physical activity to decrease strain on the heart. Get medical help right away if you develop chest pain/tightness/pressure, chest pain spreading to the jaw/neck/arm, unusual sweating, trouble breathing, or fast/irregular heartbeat.
Before taking carvedilol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain types of heartbeat/heart rhythm problems (such as slow/irregular heartbeat, sick sinus syndrome, second- or third-degree atrioventricular block), breathing problems (such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema), severe heart failure requiring hospitalization, liver disease, kidney disease, blood circulation problems (such as Raynaud's disease, peripheral vascular disease), serious allergic reactions including those needing treatment with epinephrine, overactive thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism), a certain type of tumor (pheochromocytoma), other heart problems (such as Prinzmetal's variant angina), a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis). Before having surgery (including cataract eye surgery), tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). This drug may make you dizzy, drowsy, or cause you to faint. This is most likely to occur within 1 hour after taking your dose, especially when you start carvedilol treatment or any time your doctor increases your dose. During these periods, avoid driving and doing hazardous tasks. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. If you have diabetes, this product may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness and sweating, are unaffected by this drug. This product also may make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst, hunger, and urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication or diet. People who wear contact lenses may have dry eyes while taking this medication. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and lightheadedness. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details. It is unknown if carvedilol passes into breast milk. However, it is unlikely to pass into breast milk in large amounts. There is a low risk that it may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Interactions with this medication
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. One product that may interact with this drug is: fingolimod. Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure/heart rate or worsen your heart failure. Ask your pharmacist for more details.
Proper Use of this medication
See also Warning section. Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking carvedilol and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning. Swallow the capsule whole. Do not crush or chew the capsule. If you cannot swallow the capsule, you may open the capsule and sprinkle the beads over cool, smooth applesauce. Do not chew the mixture because doing so may cause the drug to be released too quickly, increasing side effects. Swallow all of the mixture immediately. Do not prepare the mixture ahead of time for later use. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. For the treatment of high blood pressure, it may take 1 to 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase, or you have worsening symptoms of heart failure like increased shortness of breath).
See also Warning and Precautions sections. Dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, diarrhea, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. The risk of dizziness is highest within 1 hour after you take your dose. Starting treatment with a low dose and slowly increasing your dose as directed by your doctor help to reduce the risk of dizziness. This drug may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, unusual weakness, change in the amount of urine, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, blue fingers/toes, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression), seizures. Although this medication may be used to treat heart failure, some people may rarely develop new or worsening symptoms of heart failure, especially at the start of carvedilol treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you develop any of these serious side effects: swelling of the hands/ankles/feet, severe tiredness, shortness of breath, unexplained/sudden weight gain. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Other related products
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.