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- What is carvedilol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for carvedilol?
- Is carvedilol available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for carvedilol?
- What are the side effects of carvedilol?
- What is the dosage for carvedilol?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with carvedilol?
- Is carvedilol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about carvedilol?
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?
What are the side effects of carvedilol?
The most common side effects of carvedilol are:
- edema (fluid accumulation),
- decreased heart rate,
- diarrhea and
- postural hypotension (a rapid decrease in blood pressure when going from the seated to the standing position that causes lightheadedness and/or fainting).
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.
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