Verapamil Dosage

How to Take Verapamil

Doses of Verapamil work differently in different people. The dose should therefore be made on an individual basis, weighing the possible benefit of a higher dose with possible side effect risks. The Verapamil dose should always be individualized by starting at low doses and increasing based on response. Giving someone more than a maximum of 480 mg per day is not recommended for any indication. Watch for a delay in the effect of the new dose when changing doses.

It may be helpful to keep track of your blood pressure using a blood pressure log each day when you first begin taking Verapamil. Take your reading daily. This will help you know if the medicine is working for you at the dose you are taking.

Verapamil Dosage

(Note: These are ranges, doses will always be tailored specifically to the individual)

Verapamil Dose for High Blood Pressure:

  • Adults: 240 mg a day, when used as the only medication (taken as 80-mg doses 3 times a day)
  • Older adults and small-sized people: 120 mg a day (taken as 40-mg doses 3 times a day) may be considered
  • Your doctor will increase your dose based on how you react to Verapamil

Verapamil Dose for Chest Pain

:

  • Adults: 80 mg to 120 mg taken 3 times a day
  • Older people or those with liver damage: 40 mg 3 times per day may be more appropriate
  • Your doctor will increase your dose based on how you react to Verapamil
  • When you start Verapamil your doctor will watch you after your dose (8 hours) to see if you are able to increase the dose

Verapamil Dose For Arrhythmia (Irregular Heartbeat):

  • Adults with irregular heart rhythm (chronic atrial fibrillation) also taking a digitalis drug (e.g., digoxin): 240 mg to 320 mg a day in divided (3 or 4 times a day) doses.
  • To prevent a rapid heart rate called PSVT: 240 mg to 480 mg a day in divided (3 or 4 times a day) doses

Generally, the maximum effect will be noticeable during the first 48 hours of taking Verapamil.

Verapamil SR Dosage

Verapamil SR dose for High Blood Pressure:

  • Adults: 180 mg taken in the morning with food
  • Older adults and small-sized people: 120 mg per day may be more appropriate
  • If the 180-mg dose is not controlling blood pressure, your doctor may increase your dose in one of the following ways:
    • 240 mg each morning or
    • 180 mg each morning plus 180 mg each evening; or 240 mg each morning plus 120 mg each evening or
    • 240 mg every 12 hours.

Maximum daily dose of Verapamil SR:

  • Adults: 480 mg per day

 

Learn more about Verapamil Precautions and Warnings here.

Verapamil and Verapamil SR are not recommended for people who have:

  • Severe heart abnormalities (such as left ventricular dysfunction)
  • Low blood pressure or poor heart function (cardiogenic shock)
  • Certain heart rhythm problems (sick sinus syndrome except in patients with a pacemaker)
  • Second- or third-degree AV block (condition where heart impulses are delayed except in patients with a pacemaker)
  • Rapid heart rate (atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation and an accessory bypass tract as in Wolff-Parkinson-White, Lown-Ganong-Levine syndromes)
  • Had an allergic reaction to Verapamil

Verapamil Use in Children:

  • Safety and effectiveness in children have not been established.

Verapamil Use in Older Adults:

  • In general, older adults should be started on a low dose of Verapamil and watched because older adults are more likely to have lower liver, kidney, or heart function and take additional medications that may interact with Verapamil.
  • The half-life (the time it takes for the drug to lose half of its activity) of Verapamil may be longer in older adults.

Verapamil Use in People with Liver Damage:

  • People with severe liver damage should take one-third of the oral daily dose that people with normal liver function can take.

 

Learn more about Verapamil and the potential benefits and risks by visiting Verapamil Precautions and Warnings.

Written & reviewed by: Lisa Erwin R.Ph. CGP | Last review date: Dec 2010. Click the References Link below for a complete list of references.

Written & reviewed by: Lisa Erwin R.Ph. CGP | Last review date: Dec 2010.
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