carvedilol (Coreg, Coreg CR)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What is carvedilol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Carvedilol is used for treating high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It is related to labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate). Carvedilol blocks receptors of the adrenergic nervous system, the system of nerves in which adrenalin (epinephrine) is active. Nerves from the adrenergic system enter the heart and release an adrenergic chemical (norepinephrine) that attaches to receptors on the heart's muscle and stimulates the muscle to beat more rapidly and forcefully. By blocking the receptors, carvedilol reduces the heart's rate and force of contraction and thereby reduces the work of the heart. Carvedilol also blocks adrenergic receptors on arteries and causes the arteries to relax and the blood pressure to fall. The drop in blood pressure further reduces the work of the heart since it is easier to pump blood against a lower pressure. The FDA first approved carvedilol in 1995.

What brand names are available for carvedilol?

Coreg, Coreg CR

Is carvedilol available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: yes

Do I need a prescription for carvedilol?

yes

What are the side effects of carvedilol?

The most common side effects of carvedilol are:

Taking carvedilol with food minimizes the risk of postural hypotension.

Other common side effects of carvedilol are irregular heart rhythm, and abnormalities of vision.

Carvedilol should be used cautiously in patients who use diuretics or who are elderly or have cirrhosis, asthma, peripheral vascular disease, hyperthyroidism, Prinzmetal's variant angina (angina at rest), or kidney disease.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/18/2015

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