MedlinePlus

Carvedilol

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Why is this medication prescribed?
Carvedilol is used to treat heart failure (condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to all parts of the body) and high blood pressure. It also is used to treat people whose hearts cannot pump blood well as a result of a heart attack. Carvedilol is often used in combination with other medications. Carvedilol is in a class of medications called beta-blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and slowing heart rate to improve blood flow and decrease blood pressure

How should this medicine be used?
Carvedilol comes as a tablet and an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken twice a day with food. The extended-release capsule is usually taken once a day in the morning with food. Try to take carvedilol at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take carvedilol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the extended-release capsules whole. Do not chew or crush the capsules, and do not divide the beads inside a capsule into more than one dose. If you are unable to swallow the capsules, you may carefully open a capsule and sprinkle all of the beads it contains over a spoonful of cool or room temperature applesauce. Swallow the entire mixture immediately without chewing.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of carvedilol and gradually increase your dose to allow your body to adjust to the medication. Talk to your doctor about how you feel and about any symptoms you experience during this time.

Carvedilol may help to control your condition but will not cure it. Continue taking carvedilol even if you feel well. Do not stop taking carvedilol without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking carvedilol, you may experience serious heart problems such as severe chest pain, a heart attack, or an irregular heartbeat. Your doctor will probably want to decrease your dose gradually over 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will watch you carefully and will probably tell you to avoid physical activity during this time.

Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking carvedilol,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?
Carvedilol may cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of hyperglycemia: Carvedilol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: Carvedilol may cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you experience any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include:
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain laboratory tests to check your body's response to carvedilol.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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Last Revised - 08/01/2009
© 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.
ASHP
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