Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Cardizem CD capsules and Cardizem
tablets. It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking
these medicines against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine.
You may need to read it again.
What these medicines are used for
You have been prescribed either Cardizem CD capsules or Cardizem tablets. These medicines
both contain an active ingredient called diltiazem hydrochloride. The difference
between these is that Cardizem CD is designed to release the active ingredient slowly
so that it works over 24 hours and can be taken once a day (CD stands for "controlled
delivery"). Cardizem tablets release the active ingredient faster and so must be
taken more often (3-4 times a day, as your doctor has instructed).
These medicines belong to a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers or
calcium antagonists. They work by opening up blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure
and lets more blood and oxygen reach the heart. They do not change the amount of calcium
in your blood or bones.
Cardizem tablets are used to prevent angina.
Cardizem CD capsules are used to prevent angina or to treat hypertension (high blood
Angina is a pain or uncomfortable sensation in the chest, often spreading to the arms
or neck and sometimes to the shoulders and back. The pain of angina is due to a shortage
of oxygen to the heart.
High blood pressure can have many different causes, including kidney disease, hardening
of the arteries and some hormone imbalances. However, the vast majority of people
with high blood pressure have no identifiable cause for it. If left untreated, high
blood pressure can lead to serious health problems such as a stroke or heart attack.
Your doctor may have prescribed these medicines for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why these medicines have been prescribed
There is no evidence that these medicines are addictive.
These medicines are available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you take these medicines
When you must not take them:
Do not take these medicines:
If you have had any of the following medical conditions:
certain types of abnormal heart rhythm
hypotension (low blood pressure)
heart attack or other heart-related complications
pulmonary congestion (fluid on the lungs)
If you are currently taking any of the following medications:
dantrolene (muscle relaxant)
ivabradine (an antiviral)
If you have an allergy to:
diltiazem hydrochloride or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to these medicines may include:
asthma, wheezing or shortness of breath
swelling of the face, lips or tongue, which may cause difficulty in swallowing or
hives, itching or skin rash
If you are pregnant, or intend to become pregnant.
These medicines may affect your developing baby if they are taken during pregnancy.
If you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed.
The active ingredient of these medicines passes into breast milk and may affect your
If the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering or if tablets or capsules do
not look quite right.
If the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack has passed.
If you take this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking these medicines, contact your
Do not give these medicines to a child.
The safety and effectiveness of these medicines have not been established in children.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor:
If you have any allergies to:
any other medicines
any other substances, such as foods, preservatives or dyes
If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.
Cardizem CD capsules and Cardizem tablets should not be used during pregnancy.
If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Your doctor will discuss this situation with you. A decision will have to be made
whether to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue therapy taking into consideration
the importance of the medicine.
If you have or have had any medical conditions, especially the following:
abnormal heart beat rhythm
hypotension (low blood pressure)
heart attack or other heart-related complications
impaired renal (kidney) or hepatic (liver) function
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy
without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Cardizem CD capsules or Cardizem tablets. These
dantrolene (a muscle relaxant)
medications used to help prevent blood clots (antiplatelets)
cilostazol (a medicine used to treat blockage of blood vessels to the legs)
Some other medicines for your heart or high blood pressure (eg. beta blockers, digoxin,
ciclosporin, which you may have been given after an operation or because of rheumatoid
rifampicin (an antibiotic)
cimetidine or ranitidine (for ulcers or reflux)
diazepam (for depression, alcohol withdrawal or anxiety)
phenytoin (for epilepsy)
carbamazepine (for bipolar disorder or epilepsy)
lithium (for bipolar disorder)
theophylline (for asthma and other breathing problems) certain drugs used to treat
ivabradine (an antiviral)
inhaled anaesthetic agents such as halothane, isoflurane, enflurane (for surgery)
drugs used to lower your blood cholesterol (including simvastatin, lovastatin)
benzodiazepines or medicines used as sedatives or to treat anxiety such as midazolam,
corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone, prednisone, cortisone
antiarrhythmics or medicines used to treat irregular heart beats
medicines used during scans to see images of your body
Cardizem CD capsules or Cardizem tablets may themselves be affected, or they may affect
how well these medicines work. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine,
or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
Your doctor and pharmacist may have more information on medicines to be careful with
or to avoid while taking Cardizem CD capsules or Cardizem tablets.
How to take these medicines
How much to take
Cardizem CD capsules can be taken once a day, preferably at the same time every day.
Cardizem tablets can be taken three or four times a day. Your doctor will tell you
how often and how much Cardizem CD or Cardizem tablets to take. Follow all directions
given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. Write them down if necessary.
If you do not understand the instructions on the packaging of these medicines, ask
your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How to take it
Swallow the capsules or the tablets with a glass of water. Do not chew them.
When to take it
Take these medicines at the same time(s) every day.
How long to take it
If you are not sure how long to take your medicine, talk to your doctor.
If you forget to take it
If you are taking these medicines for angina, do not suddenly stop taking them since
this can cause severe angina for a day or two.
If you forget to take a dose and it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose
you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon
as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablets or capsules as you would
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some
If you take too much (overdose)
If you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much of these medicines, immediately
telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (Australia telephone 13 11 26,
New Zealand telephone 0800 764766), or go to the Accident and Emergency Department
at your nearest hospital. Do this even if there is no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
If you take too much of these medicines, you may:
feel continuously light-headed or dizzy
notice your heart beating very slowly
feel pain, which could be severe, in your left arm and chest.
If any of these occur, you should get medical attention immediately.
While you are using these medicines
Things you must do
Take these medicines exactly as your doctor has prescribed.
If you do not follow your doctor's instructions, you may not get relief from your
attacks of angina, or your blood pressure may not be as well controlled as it could
If you are taking these medicines for angina, tell your doctor if you continue to
have angina attacks or if they become more frequent.
Tell all your doctors, dentists and pharmacists that you are taking these medicines.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Cardizem CD capsules or Cardizem
tablets if you are about to be started on any new medicine.
Things you must not do
Do not use these medicines to treat any other complaints unless your doctor says to.
Do not give these medicines to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as
As mentioned previously, if you are taking these medicines for angina, do not suddenly
stop taking your medicine since this can cause severe angina for a day or two.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how these medicines affect
These medicines may cause dizziness and fainting in some patients, especially when
you first start to use them. Make sure you know how you react to these medicines
before you drive a car, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous
if this happens to you.
Be careful not to overdo physical activities when you first start using these medicines.
You may feel better when you start taking these medicines, but you will need time
to improve your physical fitness.
Drinking grapefruit juice may increase the effects of Cardizem and Cardizem CD.
Get up slowly when getting out of bed or standing up if you feel light-headed, dizzy
If this is a problem and it gets worse or continues, talk to your doctor.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you
are using these medicines.
These medicines help most people with angina, and Cardizem CD will help control most
people's blood pressure, but they may have unwanted effects in a few people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time
they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
swelling or flushing (feeling hot suddenly)
nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, gastric pain
confusion, hallucinations, abnormal dreams, mental depression or mood changes
ringing or other persistent noise in the ears
loss of memory
loss of appetite
increased sensitivity to the sun
unusual movements or uncontrollable movements
rash or an itchy, burning or prickly sensation
small round, raised itchy areas on the skin
weakness or tiredness
These side effects are usually mild.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
you feel continuously light headed or dizzy
you notice your heart beating irregularly, slowly or very quickly
you feel pain, which may be severe, in your left arm and chest
you have blisters and bleeding in the lips, eyes, mouth, nose or genitals
you have skin reactions such as red, painful or itchy spots, blisters or peeling of
you have difficulty breathing, wheezing or coughing
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side
effects are rare.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor
if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand anything in this section.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any
After taking these medicines
Keep these medicines in their container until it is time to take them.
If you take the medicine out of its container it may not keep well.
Keep these medicines in a cool, dry place where it stays below 25°C. Do not store
them, or any other medicine, in a bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave them in the
car or on a windowsill.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine where young children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a half metres above the ground is a good place
to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking your Cardizem medication, or it has passed
its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets or capsules that
are left over.
What your medicine looks like
Cardizem CD capsules
Cardizem CD capsules are available in packs of 30 for the 180 mg and 240 mg strengths.
Each blister strip is calendarised and contains 15 capsules. For your first dose,
take the capsule labelled "Take this Capsule First". Take the next doses according
to the day of the week which is printed on the blister foil.
The 360 mg strength is available in a bottle of 30 capsules.
All doses (180 mg, 240 mg and 360 mg) are two component capsules:
The 180 mg capsules are blue and light turquoise
The 240 mg capsules are blue
The 360 mg capsules are white and light blue
Cardizem tablets are supplied in plastic bottles of 90 tablets with a seal in the
mouth of the bottle. The tablets are light yellow, speckled, round and biconvex. The
word "Marion" is engraved on one side of the tablet while the other side is scored
and engraved with "1772".
Cardizem CD 180 and 240 mg capsules contain:
Diltiazem hydrochloride 180 mg or 240 mg, fumaric acid, purified talc, non-pareil
seeds (sucrose), colloidal anhydrous silica, white beeswax, ethylcellulose, castor
oil, stearic acid, methacrylic acid copolymers, tributyl acetylcitrate, simethicone,
gelatin, brilliant blue FCF, black iron oxide and titanium dioxide.
Cardizem CD 360 mg capsules contain:
Diltiazem hydrochloride 360 mg, non-pareil seed (sucrose), povidone, sodium lauryl
sulfate, diethyl pthalate, purified talc, methacrylic acid copolymers, tributyl acetylcitrate,
simethicone, titanium dioxide, brilliant blue FCF, titanium dioxide and gelatin.
Cardizem tablets contain:
Diltiazem hydrochloride 60 mg, lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose,
colloidal anhydrous silica, magnesium stearate, methyl hydroxybenzoate, sunset yellow
FCF CI 15985, quinoline yellow CI 47005 and a film-coating (Opadry YS-5-7044 & methylhydroxybenzoate).
Cardizem CD capsules and Cardizem tablets are distributed by:
sanofi-aventis australia pty ltd
12-24 Talavera Road
sanofi-aventis new zealand limited
Level 8, 56 Cawley Street
Ellerslie, Auckland, New Zealand
Australian Registration Numbers:
The following products are available:
Cardizem CD capsules
180 mg: AUST R 46818
240 mg: AUST R 46822
360 mg: AUST R 75251*
60 mg: AUST R 73179*
*denotes not available in New Zealand
This leaflet was prepared in September 2017