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  • Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

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    Old 03-04-2008, 06:19 PM   #1
    WannaBeDrugFree
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    Question Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    I have been having a huge amount of anxiety in my life since my Dad passed in Sept. last year...the story is long and there is a lot that has happened to me since...and I have had my Cartia XT updosed 2 times since Oct. last year, as my BP was surging with the stress I have been under.

    I am now on 300 mgs. and I feel awful on it. I am having panic everyday since about a week of being on it. I also got a panic attack the first night at 240, but then I was okay on it...and now I am thinking I may have gotten worse on the 300 mgs??? Has anyone experienced panic attacks and buzzing/vibrating in their chest when taking Cartia XT(Cardizem CD)??? What about higher dizziness that makes your eyes feel heavy and about to cross when the bp rises??? I also have some mild swelling in my foot arches...esp my right side. A little in my hands, too...but I already had that when I was on the 180 mgs.

    Could it be the higher dose or just the state of mind I have been in lately??? Is 300 mgs considered a high dose??? When my anxiety is up...so is my bp...even at this higher dose. When my body calms down...my bp is pretty good...esp when lying down.

    Can anyone please help??? I am not sure what to do.

    Lisa

    Last edited by mod-anon; 03-04-2008 at 10:14 PM. Reason: edited bold

     
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    Old 03-05-2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Hi Lisa,

    Quote:
    I have had my Cartia XT updosed 2 times since Oct. last year, as my BP was surging with the stress I have been under
    This might not have been the best way to go. While Cartia will indirectly relax your blood vessels through its action, it will not do much for your anxiety, which, I think, is the real problem.
    Higher doses of this drug result in more severe side effects and add to your anxiety and depression. All of the symptoms you described correspond to the known side effects of calcium channel blockers. The side effects of CCBs are dose-dependent. They get worse with higher doses.
    I have been taking my CCB at maximum recommended dose for over a year. I wanted to discontinue it mostly because of its side effects on a couple of occassions but was unable to do so. I find it impossible to manage on even a reduced dose. So watch for that.
    The swelling is one of its known and expected side effects and it can get much worse than you experienced. The higher the dose, the more severe the side effects and the worse they will get.

    Instead of increasing your dose of the CCB, your doctor should have added another a low dose of another antihypertensive drug, a diuretic. Together they would have worked well in keeping your blood pressure right on target and the side effects would have been minimal.

    You should ask your doctor to a/ reduce your dose of the CCB and b/add a low dose of another antihypertensive. See what he thinks about that. I wonder why he hasn't done that to date. Are there any compelling indications for a high dose of the CCB?l

    You have to do something about your anxiety and panic attacks. I would greatly recommend getting off this drug if you have a reason to suspect it contributes to your anxiety and affects your moods. (Depression, confusion etc. are possible side effects of this drug)

    Good luck!
    flowergirl

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 03-05-2008 at 07:36 AM.

     
    Old 03-05-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    I was jerked awake in my sleep several times last night and couldn't sleep very long at a time. This has happened a few times since updosing to 300 mgs. 12 days ago. My heart was pounding and I felt a lot of anxiety in my chest and couldn't comfortably rest. My Bp at the worst of it was 143 over 84 while lying down with a pulse of 89. It gradually went down from there, but I was still too filled with anxiety to rest. I am seeing the Dr. for a 1pm appt. today...I am so afraid of what to do here. I am afraid these pills are killing me. Can I ever get off them safely???

    Don't the symptoms usually get a little better with time??? I have been on the higher dose 12 days now.

    Last edited by WannaBeDrugFree; 03-05-2008 at 07:42 PM.

     
    Old 03-05-2008, 08:03 AM   #4
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Hi again,

    I have problems with heart rhythm and other irregularities I didn't have prior to the CCB. This drug can really affect your heart rate and rhythm. However, the irregularities get worse without the CCB.
    You should mention your concerns to the doctor. There are other drugs for you to try. Ask about an ACE inhibitor and a diuretic. You should not have to be on a drug that's not right for you. Good luck. Please let us know what happens.

    FG

     
    Old 03-05-2008, 08:13 AM   #5
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
    Hi again,

    I have problems with heart rhythm and other irregularities I didn't have prior to the CCB. This drug can really affect your heart rate and rhythm. However, the irregularities get worse without the CCB.
    You should mention your concerns to the doctor. There are other drugs for you to try. Ask about an ACE inhibitor and a diuretic. You should not have to be on a drug that's not right for you. Good luck. Please let us know what happens.

    FG
    Are the irregularities permanent??? I am afraid to switch for fear I will have a stroke or heart attack. How do they switch you over without risking that??? If I get off the CCB's will I have more heart problems??? Is that what happened to you when you tried to get off??? You are unable to get off them now??? I have been on them for almost 5 years...was able to drop from my initial dose of 180 to 120 for a month or so till I gained back more weight again. Then I had to go back up. It wasn't until 10/07 that I was updosed to 240 and then updosed again 12 days ago.

    Also, were the heart rhythms, etc. your only bad side effects??? I wish I knew how much of this anxiety is life from losing my Dad and all the stressors with that or the higher dose.

    I need to know I can be off these somehow...that I can be drug-free one day. I am sick of being sick, you know??? My Mom was able to get off her beta-blocker when she dropped weight and I hope to do that, too.

     
    Old 03-05-2008, 09:47 AM   #6
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Hi,

    Quote:
    Are the irregularities permanent??? I am afraid to switch for fear I will have a stroke or heart attack. How do they switch you over without risking that??? If I get off the CCB's will I have more heart problems???
    Everyone is different. Some people might not have any problems at all. Others can experience difficulties on even low doses. Getting the right meds in the combinations that will work effectively takes time and is different for everyone. That is why our doctors experiment with the meds, seeing what will work best. One of my doctors compared this to cooking without a recipe. I did have problems with my calcium channel blocker. I quit it once on my own after being advised to do so (by another doctor) BUT only under my doctor's supervision. My doctor was on holidays at the time and I didn't want to wait until he got back. I was very angry about the drugs' side effects and pain I was experiencing. So I just stopped taking it. I was very ill for several days. This is not something anyone should attempt and I know better now. It can be very dangerous. When my doctor got back from holidays, he put me back on the CCB rightaway and my problems were resolved. Due to the persisting side effects, I tried discontinuing the CCB once again, this time with my doctors' supervision. My max dose was cut to 1/2. I started experiencing the same difficulties as before so went back to a maximum dose.

    This is not to say that you will have any problems at all if you try to reduce your dose or completely discontinue it. Do not be afraid to give it a try, especially if you've never had any cardiac problems. We have different health issues, are on other medication that might interact, enhance or diminish the effects of the CCB. The side effect that had bothered me the most was severe edema. I'd get swollen right up to my chest and be in extreme discomfort and pain. I also could not fit into any clothes to get myself to the clinic.

    If you can lose weight, you'll give yourself a chance to a better health and perhaps be med-free like your sister some day. Why has your doctor been increasing the dose of your CCB? Ask him. Anxiety plays a big role in an elevated blood pressure, as you know. See if you can learn some stress reducing techniques.

    P.S. I don't have the answers to whether or not the side effects (if that's what they are) are permanent. More often than not, they should resolve with the discontinuing of the drug.

    Good luck with your appointment!
    flowergirl

     
    Old 03-05-2008, 01:40 PM   #7
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Just returned from my appt. My EKG was compared against the one done 3 years ago and they were pretty much identical. So that was a HUGE relief!!!

    My Dr. is concerned about my pressure going so high, but didn't like the side effects the higher dose was giving me...so he is having me add a diuretic and having me lower my CCB back to the 240 mgs. I am nervous about the new drug, as I don't even like being on the CCB. I take nothing else now, but that.

    He upped my dose, as I couldn't get my bp to stay down after some time, after my Dad died. To be totally honest...my bp was high on the 180 mgs. for several months...I just ignored it and hoped it would eventually resolve after my stress came down again.

    Will the diuretic hurt me??? I thought I read it could cause breast cancer to combine them. Am I remembering wrong??? What kind of side effects do these pills have??? I read about them and I am worrying that I will be even more tired and dizzy, etc...as or worse than I am on the CCB alone at the higher dose.

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 06:31 AM   #8
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Well...I went down to the 240 mgs. again...but I chickened out of taking the diuretic. I keep reading bad things about them and I really don't want more side-effects than I already have. Hard enough to function as it is. My Dr. hit the roof when I called and asked if I could just lower the Cartia and see what happens then. He will be really upset with me...but it is MY body, isn't it??? My Mom got angry with me when I told her, too. She takes a beta blocker and diuretic, so she sees no reason why I should be afraid. But with how sensitive my system has been since having a bad reaction to and getting off Ativan about 3 years ago...I am afraid to risk it.

    Can anyone advise me here??? Did I make a mistake not taking it when lowering the dose??? I was only on the 300 for 12 days. I hope someone can help me.

    Last edited by WannaBeDrugFree; 03-06-2008 at 06:33 AM.

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 09:26 AM   #9
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Hi wannabedrugfree,

    your name says it all.
    Unfortunately, there are times when remaining drug free means taking a chance with one's health.
    This is when the risk/benefit ratio becomes significant. You have to inform yourself of all the possible risks and with careful consideration weigh them against the possible benefits of drug therapy. Clearly, this is the challenge the doctors face on daily basis when considering treatment options. The amount of benefit must outweigh the amount of risk involved in a particular therapy. Most of us rely on our doctors to make these decisions with only minimal input on our part.
    I suggest doing a lot of research. It can be very helpful and allow you and your doctor work closely in deciding on the course of treatment. You should have some input so educate yourself as much as you can.

    Good luck,
    flowergirl

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 10:11 AM   #10
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Thanks for the input. I guess you aren't sure whether I made the right choice or not. I know most of what I am experiencing is anxiety hbp and when I am able to calm myself, my bp is very good. This is why I didn't really think the diuretic was totally needed at this point. I guess I want to prove the Dr. wrong and show him by exercise and some diet changes and meditation, I can get things down. The less anxious I am, the better my bp is. The reading at his office is hardly fair, as I get all worked up as I wait for him to come in. I guess I have to learn to relax more, so even when I get read there, I am in a normal bp range.

    One thing is for sure...the 300 mgs. was NOT agreeing with me and made my anxiety 100 times worse than it is now. Then I was terrified...now I am hopeful. I still hate being on the 240 and wish I was still at 180...but that is where I think I have to compromise and work at getting my number down at the 240 level before considering going back down to 180 again.

    As I mentioned earlier...my EKG was identical or nearly identical to the one done in 2005...so, I know my heart is still okay and I didn't have any mini-strokes or heart attacks in my sleep, as I had feared I had. My heartbeat wasn't irregular and my heart rhythms were unchanged.

    I still need to get my blood drawn...but I am waiting till my bp normalizes more, since I know I will get clobbered by the Dr. when I go in to do that and he will be angry about the decision I still made after he demanded I didn't do it. I am pretty afraid he will drop me for that...but I am hoping if I get positive results that he will forgive my decision and that I wasn't trying to go against his wishes...more that I am looking out for my best interests, as well.

    I have led a pretty sedentary life since getting off Ativan for the most part...was sick on and off and I even gained all the weight I had lost back again at different times...which I know contributed to my health issues with not feeling great. I am trying to turn that around and pray God will help me to do that, instead of taking more in the drug route to lowering my bp. When my weight is down and my anxiety low or gone...my bp is good. So I am holding on to that for now.

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 07:51 PM   #11
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Hi,

    I try not to question my doctors' decisions. If they tell me I need a medication, I take it (unless it comes from my general practitioner, who has a pill for everything). He prescribed a certain medication for me. When I asked if I REALLY needed it, he said.......NO, but he thought it would be interesting to see if it did help with a particular issue. (I never had that prescription filled). Likewise, I stopped the asthma meds I didn't feel I needed - I'd be on them to this day without seeing any benefit if it were up to him. My breathing problems were not caused by asthma. So I can see where you are coming from. You know what your blood pressure is and what it should be. If you feel comfortable with the current levels, fine, don't listen to your doctor. As long as you know the risks involved. If a drug produces intolerable side effects, it can be stopped at any time, (in most cases, I guess....). A stroke or a heart attack and the damage they cause is much more serious than the worst side effects.
    I think you have made the right decision. It's not a major one so please do not worry about it. If you find the diuretic does not agree with you, you can simply stop taking it. I hope you won't have to!

    take care,
    flowergirl

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 07:58 PM   #12
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Thanks again for your help. I did decide to go with the Dr's advice, seeing as I couldn't keep my bp down after about 12 hours at the lower dose.

    I do have a question, tho...I read you are not supposed to take NSAIDS with the Hydrochlorothiazide I am now taking. Do you know if I can take a little for menstrual cramps or the odd headache, if my kidneys are okay and I don't have Diabetes???

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #13
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Well, I have kidney issues and take Aspirin daily. One is not supposed to take it with the bp meds. I also take Tylenol occassionally. I highly recommend Tylenol for any aches and pains. You can get Tylenol extra strength capsules OTC or ask your doctor to prescribe the stronger 2's, 3's or 4's. They work well as long as you don't take them the way my hubby does-for diabetic neuropathy pain-several pills several times a day. I believe they lose effectiveness with such dosing after several years. I take mine only when I absolutely have to (at work sometimes) and they really do their job in providing pain relief from various muscle aches. They would also work well for muscle cramps. I am sure it would be OK to take Tylenol - a non- NSAID- for a headache or muscle cramps/aches.

    flowergirl

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 08:57 PM   #14
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flowergirl2day View Post
    Well, I have kidney issues and take Aspirin daily. One is not supposed to take it with the bp meds. I also take Tylenol occassionally. I highly recommend Tylenol for any aches and pains. You can get Tylenol extra strength capsules OTC or ask your doctor to prescribe the stronger 2's, 3's or 4's. They work well as long as you don't take them the way my hubby does-for diabetic neuropathy pain-several pills several times a day. I believe they lose effectiveness with such dosing after several years. I take mine only when I absolutely have to (at work sometimes) and they really do their job in providing pain relief from various muscle aches. They would also work well for muscle cramps. I am sure it would be OK to take Tylenol - a non- NSAID- for a headache or muscle cramps/aches.

    flowergirl
    Unfortunately, Tylenol doesn't work for me at all.

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #15
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    Re: Does Cartia XT(Cardizem CD) Cause Anxiety???

    OK, there's got to be something else then. Let's put our thinking caps on....
    What do you normally use? What works for you?

     
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