What Is It?: Diltiazem allows the heart to work more efficiently and is used to treat heart disease.
How To Use: The successful outcome of your animal’s treatment with this medication depends upon your commitment and ability to administer it exactly as the veterinarian has prescribed. Please do not skip doses or stop giving the medication. If you have difficulty giving doses consult your veterinarian or pharmacist who can offer administration techniques or change the dosage form to a type of medication that may be more acceptable to you and your animal. Some other drugs can interact with this medication so tell your veterinarian about any drugs or foods that you currently give your animal. Do not give new foods or medications without first asking your veterinarian.
Dogs usually receive this medication as a “long acting form” twice daily or as the non-long-acting form three times daily. Cats may receive the long acting form once. Cats can use the non-long-acting form three times daily. The long acting forms of tablets or beads of this drug should not be crushed before giving to your cat as this may release too much drug into your cat’s bloodstream.
The CREAM form of this medicine should be applied to the inside (non-hairy) part of the ear. Rub it in gently and wash your hands after applying. The cream form is NOT long-acting.
Possible Side Effects: Diltiazem does not have many side effects, but the most common one is a very slow heart rate. Sometimes diltiazem can cause stomach upset, low blood pressure, irregular heart rate, rashes and abnormal liver tests. If your cat vomits, you should tell your vet as this may be a sign that your cat is getting too much diltiazem.
Storage: Keep in the original container. Keep out of the reach of children and pets. Capsules and tablets may be stored at room temperature. Some liquids should be stored in the refrigerator (see the prescription label.) Store all medicines away from excess heat and moisture. Do NOT store in the bathroom.
Note: If you miss a dose give it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Do not give a double dose to make up for the missed one