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Old 12-16-2006, 12:59 AM   #1
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Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Hi,

I was using Diltiazem SR 120 mg (twice daily) for about a year but 10 days ago I started the 180 mg SR (twice daily too). Now I want reduce it back to 120mg for few days and see if this will make me feel better. Can I do that? I'm worry because CCBs relax blood vessels and I don't know what this might do to me.
Thanks for help,
Michael

 
Old 12-17-2006, 06:52 AM   #2
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Not likely to be a problem.

 
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Old 12-17-2006, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellabibat
Hi,

I was using Diltiazem SR 120 mg (twice daily) for about a year but 10 days ago I started the 180 mg SR (twice daily too). Now I want reduce it back to 120mg for few days and see if this will make me feel better. Can I do that?l
Hi Mike! Hope that you and your mom are doing very well.

I have tried to reduce or eliminate my CCB, Verapamil, many times over the past 15 years. It is not the slow release version, like you take. I take 80 mg, twice a day. When I have tried to reduce it, I have had to do it very slowly, over several weeks, otherwise I would get increases in chest pains, difficulty breathing, heart arrhythmias and fatigue. You have only been on the increased dosage for 10 days, and you don't have the same level of heart disease as I do, so perhaps you won't suffer from withdrawal, the same as I did.

I'll be watching to see how well you do at reducing the med.

What type of nasty side effects are you having from the 180mg? Do you ever get a hard thumping heart that goes POUND, POUND, POUND, for hours?

Quote:
I'm worry because CCBs relax blood vessels and I don't know what this might do to me.
Thanks for help,
Michael
After trying to reduce, or eliminate, Verapamil many times over the past 15 years, with the aid of blood pressure charts, BP reports and evaluating increases or decreases in various symptoms, I have determined that Verapamil is the most effective BP med that I take. The next most effective is Quinapril, an ACEI, which is the only other BP med that I take.

But, Verapamil is a bear to take. It interacts badly with my other meds. It interacts badly with certain foods or drinks, among other things, so I've got to be very careful with it.

If you are concerned about the effects of reducing your CCB-SR, you might consider gradually reducing back to 120mg.

Regards...... take care!
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Hello beerzoids,

It's nice to hear from you and hope you are doing good my friend . My mother is fine, thanks for asking.

I was on the 90 mg SR version twice daily for few months, that was a year ago, then I started the 120 mg SR since months ago. I was fine but my blood pressure gets higher in winter, even when I was on Zebeta, so my readings were between 140\130 over 100\95 and it's stable.

I started the 180 version and after a day I felt that my a little sleepy, a little tired, some headache and also I couldn't concentrate much. When I read something I get lost a lot. I don't know if it was the increased dosage or the increased dosage of Magnesium, I doubled my Magnesium from 250 to 500 mg in the same day I started the 180 version.

I was on the 180 mg version for only 10 days then I'm back to 120 mg and I reduced the Magnesium back to 120 and I stopped Flaxseed too. I did that 3 days ago, today I was feeling just great and I worked with no problems and I didn't feel that anything is wrong.

When I reduced from 180 to 120 I felt that I can't breath and I was feeling that something is wrong. I stop diltiazem for 2 days and I was not able to breath too, got heart arrhythmias, fatigue and very bad headache.

My blood pressure was 120/80 while I was on the 180 mg now it's 140/90 again but I was able to lower it to 125/90 using breathing techniques.

No I didn't get this pound effect while I was on the 180 mg.

Could you please tell me what those foods that interact with CCBs?
Thanks for helping me,
Michael

 
Old 12-18-2006, 07:01 AM   #5
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellabibat
I was on the 90 mg SR version twice daily for few months, that was a year ago, then I started the 120 mg SR since months ago. I was fine but my blood pressure gets higher in winter, even when I was on Zebeta, so my readings were between 140\130 over 100\95 and it's stable.
Blood pressure is a moving target. There are many things that can cause higher blood pressure, among them pollens. There are different types of pollens in the winter versus the summer. Your increased problems, in winter, gives you a clue about some of the things that are causing your higher blood pressure problems. But, it might not just be winter pollens, it might be something else that changes during your winter months. What type of heating do you use? Is there more air pollution in your city in the winter? Is there a lot of traffic congestion near you?

Quote:
I was on the 180 mg version for only 10 days then I'm back to 120 mg and I reduced the Magnesium back to 120 and I stopped Flaxseed too. I did that 3 days ago, today I was feeling just great and I worked with no problems and I didn't feel that anything is wrong.
Taking supplements is like playing Russian Roulette. Some supplements are helpful towards lowering blood pressure, but questions still have to be asked, as to how much? Do the supplements interact with medicines or foods? If the supplements, like flaxseed, were truly a powerful agent against blood pressure the drug companies would be incorporating it into new bp meds.

Quote:
When I reduced from 180 to 120 I felt that I can't breath and I was feeling that something is wrong. I stop diltiazem for 2 days and I was not able to breath too, got heart arrhythmias, fatigue and very bad headache.
Withdrawal can be nasty. The very first time that I slightly reduced Verapamil, I suffered from breathing problems and increased heart rhythm problems for weeks. It took me about a year to get off of it. I had been taking too much of it and it badly interacted with digoxin. I then got back on Verapamil, but at a lower amount, which didn't badly interact with Digoxin. Now, when I reduce my Verapamil, I suffer for a few days, and then again about three weeks later.

Quote:
My blood pressure was 120/80 while I was on the 180 mg now it's 140/90 again but I was able to lower it to 125/90 using breathing techniques.
I find breathing techniques very effective against higher blood pressure and some of my heart rhythm problems. I'm glad to see that it is helping you also.

Quote:
Could you please tell me what those foods that interact with CCBs?
The class of the drug gives the answer. It is a calcium channel blocker. It blocks calcium flow through heart channel(s). I find when I comsume too much calcium in my foods or drinks, I suffer from some pretty nasty symptoms. I can't consume any food or drink, containing significant calcium, within 2.5 hours of taking Verapamil. I would imagine that, consuming too much calcium interfers with the CCB's attempt to limit calcium flow through heart channel(s).

Regards, have a great week!
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Hello dear friend,

I don't go out of home much in winter, I don't exercise at all in winter and I eat a lot in winter . In summer it's a different story, I exercise and I'm all the day out of the home and I don't eat that much. But I have read that blood pressure is lower in summer because blood vessels relax from the heat, we don't use heaters in Egypt in winter and maybe that's why I have higher blood pressure than in summer. The weather is not that cold for non-egyptians because I see tourist wearing very light clothes in winter although we are freezing .

About CCB and Calcium, do you mean that eating food that contains Calcium afte 2.5 hours from taking the med is fine for you? or you meant that we should reduce our Calcium intake because we are on a CCB drug?
Thanks for help and have a great healthy week
Michael

 
Old 12-18-2006, 05:05 PM   #7
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellabibat
Hello dear friend,

I don't go out of home much in winter, I don't exercise at all in winter and I eat a lot in winter .
Eating the wrong foods, and too much of them, can have nasty effects on your health and on your blood pressure. The older you get, the worse it gets. But...... everyone is different. I ate very large meals, and drank a lot of beer for decades. I could consume an entire large pizza and a six pack of beer, or a large, overflowing plate of spaghetti and meatballs, and then follow it up with a packed large bowl of ice cream and then eat a bag of potato chips, and never gain weight. I had always been about 15 pounds overweight, but my over-eating never increased my overweight problem by more than 15 pounds. In fact, I continued my poor eating habits even after I suffered from Heart Failure. It was only after I hit my late 50's that my poor diet finally caught up with me and caused severe and life-threatening problems.

I don't blame someone of your age for wanting to enjoy fun foods. Who wants to go through their lives missing out on eating the good stuff, pizza, subs, chicken wings, ice cream, potato chips, pretzels, french fries, cheeseburgers, etc. and drinking milk shakes.

What kind of meals do you have in the winter versus the summer?

Why don't you go out in the winter?

Quote:
In summer it's a different story, I exercise and I'm all the day out of the home and I don't eat that much. But I have read that blood pressure is lower in summer because blood vessels relax from the heat, we don't use heaters in Egypt in winter and maybe that's why I have higher blood pressure than in summer. The weather is not that cold for non-egyptians because I see tourist wearing very light clothes in winter although we are freezing .
How cold does it get there? Ever get snow? What's your coldest month?

Quote:
About CCB and Calcium, do you mean that eating food that contains Calcium afte 2.5 hours from taking the med is fine for you? or you meant that we should reduce our Calcium intake because we are on a CCB drug?
Thanks for help and have a great healthy week
Michael
I avoid any food or drink or vitamin, that contains significant amounts of calcium, 2.5 hours before or after I take Verapamil. Servings of foods with small amounts of calcium I don't worry about. I also limit my daily intake of calcium. I can take 500 mgs of Calcium, once a day, but if I take 1000mgs of calcium, I'll suffer from heart rhythm and breathing problems. I drink about a glass of milk per day, two slices of cheese and 3/4 cup of almonds per day, as far as calcium foods.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:19 PM   #8
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

In winter I just eat double the bread, cheese, meat and fast food. I feel so hungry in winter but not in summer. I don't go out a lot in winter because I have a weak immunity system and I catch cold all the winter if I go out. It's like 9 degrees in Jan and Feb each year but it nevers snow in Egypt. I stopped exercising 1.5 month ago because I had a cold and when it's gone I didn't exercise again. I will start exercising after 2 days or so because I need to lose the extra 20 pounds that I have.
I stopped fast food, I don't eat much these days but still I need to improve the kind of food I eat.

I drink 2 full-cream glass milk daily, I eat a lot of cheese and I think I get 1,000 mg of Calcium daily. I still have heart rhythm and breathing problems although that I'm on Diltiazem and Magnesium but it's never like it used to be, now I'm much more better. I will stay away from Calcium for a week and see if I will feel better, thanks for this information .

But I wonder if my bones will become weak from insufficient Calcium intake?

yesterday at night my blood pressure was 140/100 and I had my breathing exercising and guess what the reading was 125/85 . I'm very happy with the results but I know it will take more than a year for the breathing to positively effect my body but it's ok I can do that.
Thanks for your help and have a great day
Michael

 
Old 12-19-2006, 01:04 PM   #9
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellabibat
I don't go out a lot in winter because I have a weak immunity system and I catch cold all the winter if I go out.
What kinds of colds do you get in the winter? Stuffed nose? Digusting, thick, bloody nasal discharge? Sneezing? Watery eyes? Sore throat? Cough? Difficulty breathing? Wheezing? Foggy headed? After you go outside, during the winter, how long before a nasty cold sets in? A week? Two weeks?

When and how did you find out that you had a weak immune system?

Quote:
It's like 9 degrees in Jan and Feb each year but it nevers snow in Egypt.
Egypt must be a dry, dry place. When was the last time in history that snow fell in Egypt? It's cold enough to snow if there is enough moisture in the air.

Quote:
I will start exercising after 2 days or so because I need to lose the extra 20 pounds that I have. I stopped fast food, I don't eat much these days but still I need to improve the kind of food I eat.
The best thing that you could do for your health and body would be to feed it quality, well balanced, low calorie meals. Eating well is better than any blood pressure medication or supplement on the market. We won't put garbage into the fuel tank of our vehicles, because we want our vehicles to run well, but we put garbage into our bodies, and then expect our bodies to run well. So...... why did I stuff garbage into my body for almost sixty years, before I went on a diet? The answer: I refused to stop my unhealthy eating and drinking until my health got so miserable that I had to either diet or die. If I had the same thing to do over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I enjoyed it too much!

Quote:
I drink 2 full-cream glass milk daily,
Would you consider switching to low fat milk, or lite beer? (just kidding about the beer).

Quote:
I eat a lot of cheese and I think I get 1,000 mg of Calcium daily.
Unless that is low fat swiss cheese, it's a double whammy in both high salt and high fat.

Quote:
I still have heart rhythm and breathing problems although that I'm on Diltiazem and Magnesium but it's never like it used to be, now I'm much more better.
Heart rhythm and breathing problems and high blood pressure can be effected by allergies. Have you ever been tested for allergies?

Quote:
I will stay away from Calcium for a week and see if I will feel better, thanks for this information .
Calcium is a very, VERY important mineral for our bodies and for our heart health. Even with my problems with consuming calcium, and taking my CCB, I still take 500mg of calcium each day, and low fat cheese and low fat milk. Totally giving up calcium might hurt you more than help you.

Quote:
But I wonder if my bones will become weak from insufficient Calcium intake?
Good point. You want the strongest bones that you can get.

Quote:
yesterday at night my blood pressure was 140/100 and I had my breathing exercising and guess what the reading was 125/85
Nice going! Love to hear those kind of readings!

Regards, and best of luck!
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:47 PM   #10
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

I think I will reduces my Calcium intake for some time until I get my blood pressure down and I will eventually wean off Diltiazem and as you said the food we eat is everything but the problem is that I really don't know much about that as you do. Maybe you can write an article, a big one, and publish it some where or maybe here at the boards about how to eat healthy for he blood pressue. I have seen a lot of articles online but never came fom someone who managed to lowers his blood pressure and improves his health like you are doing .

In winter when I go out I get cold hands and feets, I also get it in home but when I got out it's another thing. I have eyes allergy only, as far as I know (I haven't done any allergy tests).

I'm confused now because Calcium is improtant and in the same time it's not good with CCBs. I will try to drink my milk in the middle of the day, maybe after 6 hours of taking my dosage but it's SR . Anyway, I will see what I will feel.
Thanks for your great help, have a good day
Michael

 
Old 12-19-2006, 04:33 PM   #11
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellabibat
I think I will reduces my Calcium intake for some time until I get my blood pressure down and I will eventually wean off Diltiazem and as you said the food we eat is everything but the problem is that I really don't know much about that as you do. Maybe you can write an article, a big one, and publish it some where or maybe here at the boards about how to eat healthy for he blood pressue. I have seen a lot of articles online but never came fom someone who managed to lowers his blood pressure and improves his health like you are doing .
I got the idea for the diet from the following UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center, 2002 article about insulin resistance and diet:

[url]http://www.snac.ucla.edu/pages/Resources/Handouts/HODiabetesandInsulinResistance.pdf[/url]

You might want to revisit the discussion of the blood pressure diet that I am on, at the thread: Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?, at thread location: [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229[/url]

If you do not have a flat stomach, in other words, if your stomach protrudes, somewhat like a beer belly, then there is a very high probability that you are Insulin Resistant. When the body doesn't handle insulin properly, it causes all kinds of different health problems, including high blood pressure.

Insulin Resistance can also be a genetic problem.

The diet has been great for me. For the month of Jan 1999, based on 500 bp readings, I averaged 156/99 for the entire month. I've been on the diet for about two years. For the month of Nov 2006, based on 186 readings, I averaged 126/75, for the entire month. I feel ten years younger and I have far fewer problems with my heart disease. The diet worked wonders for me, but it is a very difficult diet to follow.

Quote:
In winter when I go out I get cold hands and feets, I also get it in home but when I got out it's another thing. I have eyes allergy only, as far as I know (I haven't done any allergy tests).
You don't have breathing problems when you go out in cold weather, or after you return from being outside in cold weather? How do you know that your cold hands and cold feet is not normal? Does it get painful? Do your hands and feet get numb? Any tingling sensation? Does it feel like needles are sticking into your hands or feet?

Quote:
I'm confused now because Calcium is improtant and in the same time it's not good with CCBs. I will try to drink my milk in the middle of the day, maybe after 6 hours of taking my dosage but it's SR . Anyway, I will see what I will feel.
Thanks for your great help, have a good day
Michael
Do not assume just because I have a problem with consuming calcium with Verapamil, that normal calcium consumption for others, also taking CCBs is not good. I am more concerned about your overall diet than I am about your calcium consumption. Calcium consumption is supposed to lower blood pressure, more than raise it.

Regards, take care................
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Last edited by Machaon; 12-19-2006 at 04:40 PM.

 
Old 12-20-2006, 12:54 AM   #12
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Yes I remember that you told me about the insulin resistance diet few months ago. I will read the pdf and see if I can do it, in winter when I go out I feel that my hands are cold and it gets numb.

beerzoids what do you mean by "Do not assume just because I have a problem with consuming calcium with Verapamil, that normal calcium consumption for others, also taking CCBs is not good.". Why taking CCBs are not good?
Thanks for help,
Michael

 
Old 12-20-2006, 02:10 AM   #13
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellabibat
beerzoids what do you mean by "Do not assume just because I have a problem with consuming calcium with Verapamil, that normal calcium consumption for others, also taking CCBs is not good.". Why taking CCBs are not good?
Thanks for help,
Michael
I meant that, consuming calcium in foods, while also on a CCB, might not effect others like it effects me. Others might be able to eat cheese, or drink milk, or take a calcium supplement, within 2.5 hours of taking their CCB and not have the same problems that I've had.
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:52 AM   #14
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

I see, I will do my best to know if Calcium effects me or not . I guess you are on only 2 medications right now? it's a great achievement especially with your condition. I have only HBP and I'm depressed for that, beerzoids do you think that anxiety caused High BP?
I think I have anxiety since I was a little kid and that is why I couldn't study much and concentrate much too. After I did those breathing exercises for few days I feel much different, better actually, than before.
Thanks for help,
Michael

 
Old 12-20-2006, 04:34 AM   #15
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Re: Reducing Diltiazem dosage is safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaellabibat
I see, I will do my best to know if Calcium effects me or not . I guess you are on only 2 medications right now? it's a great achievement especially with your condition.l
I am only on two blood pressure medications. I am also on Digoxin, which slows my heart rate and boosts my damaged heart's ability to pump, and on Warfarin which protects against stroke.

Quote:
I have only HBP and I'm depressed for that, beerzoids do you think that anxiety caused High BP?
Absolutely! Anxiety and stress are big factors in causing higher blood pressure. But, there are many other things that cause higher blood pressure. Anything that can cause one's hormonal system to pump unhealthy levels of hormones, can result in higher blood pressure and heart rhythm problems. In many cases, it is the unhealthy levels of hormones that causes the anxiety, increased stress and higher blood pressure. It's kinda like a chicken and egg scenario. Which comes first, the unhealthy hormone levels, or the anxiety?

Most blood pressure medications try to block the unhealthy hormone levels. Ace Inhibitors attempt to inhibit the problems of unhealthy increases in the Angiotensin hormones. Beta Blockers attempt to block the problems of unhealthy increases in Adrenal hormones, among others. Calcium Channel Blockers also has a major effect on changing hormone levels, including those from the thyroid gland.

Quote:
I think I have anxiety since I was a little kid and that is why I couldn't study much and concentrate much too. After I did those breathing exercises for few days I feel much different, better actually, than before.
Thanks for help,
Michael
Allergies can cause both high levels of anxiety, problems with concentration and higher blood pressure. Allergies do not always have symptoms of asthma or sinus problems. Allergies can effect other processes of the body. Eliminate the allergens or irritants and one can eliminate or greatly reduce the problems.

Regards, and best of luck!
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