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Calcium channel blockers are rate-control medicines used for atrial fibrillation. They are used if your heart rate is too fast, which may cause symptoms.
Rate-control medicines such as calcium channel blockers usually do not return your heart to a normal rhythm—in other words, your heartbeat will still be irregular. But these medicines can keep your heart from beating at a dangerously fast rate. This may also relieve symptoms caused by a fast heart rate.1
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Your doctor may ask you to take your pulse regularly to make sure your heart rate is not too slow. To learn how to take your pulse, see the topic Taking a Pulse (Heart Rate).
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments. And call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Last Revised: February 14, 2012
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.