Verapamil Side Effects
Verapamil is an immediate release medication that is used alone or in conjunction with other medications to treat or prevent heartbeat irregularity, blood pressure and even bipolar disorder. Verapamil side effects that are most common are not life threatening, but careful monitoring for more serious side effects such as jaundice, flu like symptoms or pain in the upper right quadrant of the stomach is necessary.
Common Verapamil Side Effects
- A feeling of lightheadedness
Serious Verapamil Side Effects
- Swelling of hands, lower legs, ankles or feet
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Slow heart rate
- Blurred vision
- Abnormal bleeding or bruising
- flu like symptoms
- Upper right quadrant stomach pain
- Reduced appetite
- Lack of energy
Breast enlargement also known as gynecomastia is one of the rare Verapamil side effects of treatment. Less than 1% of men treated with Verapamil in studies also experienced incidences of erectile dysfunction, more commonly called impotence. Men experiencing sexual dysfunction as a result of Verapamil should discuss dosage levels and alternative treatments with their doctor.
Women and children
Decreased sex drive and delayed orgasm or inability to achieve orgasm is one of the reported Verapamil side effects for some women. If you experience any of these conditions that were not present before beginning your treatment, talk to your doctor to determine whether the frequency and severity of your symptoms warrant altering dosage levels or discontinuing Verapamil.
The effects of Verapamil on children have not been evaluated and therefore it should not be used in children. Possible Verapamil side effects on the unborn child warrant that women who are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant should discuss the risks of Verapamil with their doctor before beginning treatment.
Other Side Effects
Verapamil can cause rapid initial weight gain, although patients reported a lessening of this effect over time.
Verapamil may also cause drowsiness and impair cognitive ability and motor functions, so patients should avoid activities such as driving and operation of machinery which require alertness when beginning therapy with Verapamil. In light of the fact that side effects can cause patients to become drowsy or dizzy, it should also be used only with careful monitoring in elderly patients, who are more prone to falls.
It is not safe to consume alcohol while taking Verapamil. Verapamil interacts negatively with a wide variety of other medications, thus patients undergoing treatment with this drug are advised to provide full disclosure about any medications taken in conjunction with Verapamil. If taken in the correct dosages and monitored, patients will rarely have any serious side effects.