Introduction to Verapamil Efficacy
Verapamil has been extensively studied to receive approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its use in the United States. Like all prescription medications, Verapamil had to be evaluated for how well it works for its intended use in relation to the number and types of side effects. Only you and your doctor can determine together if taking the medication provides enough benefit to outweigh any potential risks.
Studies Show that Verapamil Works to Treat High Blood Pressure
Verapamil has been shown to work in clinical studies prior to getting approved for use in the United States. These studies looked at the effect the drug had on high blood pressure and chest pain (angina).
Verapamil Efficacy for High Blood Pressure
Covera HS (a brand name for Verapamil) was found to be effective in treating mild to moderate high blood pressure in two studies in adults. In these studies, Covera HS consistently reduced blood pressure and was more effective in reducing blood pressure than placebo (a sugar pill that contains no medicine).
Verapamil for Cluster Headache Prevention (Non-FDA Labeled Indication!)
Verapamil is used mainly to treat heart diseases. High doses of Verapamil (360 mg to 720 mg) are, however, being used to prevent cluster headaches. The dose of Verapamil used for cluster headache is about double the dose used in people with heart disease. The effect of Verapamil in cluster headache most likely takes place in the brain area called the hypothalamus.
Verapamil Works for Angina (Chest Pain)
Verapamil relaxes the blood vessels of the heart and stops heart blood vessel spasms. This will increase oxygen to the heart in people who have angina (Prinzmetal’s or variant) or unstable angina at rest.
It is not clear whether Verapamil plays a role in classical effort angina.
Verapamil works to lower the levels at which the heart works both at rest and during exercise.
Verapamil Works for Chronic Stable Angina (Chest Pain)
Covera HS (a brand name for Verapamil) was found to be effective in increasing the ability to exercise without experiencing symptoms of chest pain in two studies in adults. In these studies, Covera HS was more effective than placebo (a sugar pill that contains no medicine) in increasing the time to tolerate exercise without experiencing signs and symptoms of angina..
Verapamil in Children:
- Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients 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.
- People with severe liver damage should take one-third of the oral daily dose that people with normal liver function can take.
Deciding if Verapamil is Right for You
Verapamil has been used effectively by millions of consumers in the United States. Only a physician can decide if Verapamil is right for you, but you should understand the potential benefits and risks of taking this medicine. If you are taking Verapamil and have any concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor. Never stop taking any medication without your doctor’s advice.
Written & reviewed by: Lisa Erwin R.Ph. CGP | Last review date: Dec 2010. Click the References Link below for a complete list of references.