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.
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 right away. 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, impotence, 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, signs of kidney problems (such as 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: shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, unusual tiredness, unusual/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 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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. Some products have ingredients that could raise your heart rate or blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: very slow heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting, slow/shallow breathing, seizures.