- High Blood Pressure Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Salt Quiz!
- Lowering Blood Pressure Exercise Tips Pictures
- What is carvedilol? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses 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? 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 are the uses for carvedilol?
- Carvedilol is a diuretic or "water pill" used to control high blood pressure (hypertension). In addition to treating high blood pressure, carvedolil is prescribed to treat:
- Carvedilol may be used in combination with other drugs to manage mild or moderate congestive heart failure. When it is combined with other treatments for heart disease among patients with recent heart attacks, carvedilol can reduce the risk of a second heart attack by 40% and increase survival among patients with congestive heart failure.
- Carvedilol is also used for treating angina (chest pain from heart disease).
What are the side effects of carvedilol?
The most common side effects of carvedilol are:
- Edema (fluid accumulation)
- Decreased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Weight gain
- increased blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia)
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 an irregular heart rhythm and vision abnormalities.
Carvedilol should be used cautiously in patients who use diuretics or who are elderly or that have:
What is the dosage for carvedilol?
- Carvedilol tablets are usually given twice daily. For high blood pressure, the dose is 6.25 mg twice daily to a maximum of 25 mg twice daily.
- For congestive heart failure, the dose is 3.25 mg twice daily to a maximum of 25 mg twice daily. A maximum dose of 50 mg twice daily has been used in persons weighing more than 85 kg (187 pounds).
- Carvedilol should be taken with food to slow its absorption and reduce the occurrence of low blood pressure when rising from a sitting or sleeping position (orthostatic hypotension). Stopping and changing doses of carvedilol should be done under the direction of a doctor because sudden changes in dose can result in serious cardiac complications such as arrhythmias.
- The dose range for treating heart failure or high blood pressure with extended-release capsules is 10 to 80 mg once daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with carvedilol?
Carvedilol can mask early warning symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) such as tremors and increased heart rate. (These symptoms are caused by activation of the adrenergic nervous system that are blocked by the carvedilol.) Therefore, patients with diabetes taking medications that lower blood sugar such as insulin or oral anti-diabetic medications may need to monitor their blood sugar more often.
Reserpine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (phenelzine or isocarboxazid) and clonidine (Catapres), because they have similar mechanisms of action as carvedilol, may greatly accentuate the effects of carvedilol and cause a steep decline in blood pressure and/or heart rate. Close monitoring of blood pressure and heart rate may be needed.
Carvedilol may cause an increase in digoxin (Lanoxin) blood levels. Therefore, in patients receiving digoxin, the digoxin blood level should be monitored if carvedilol is started, adjusted, or discontinued.
Rifampin (Rifadin) can sharply decrease the carvedilol blood level. Therefore, in patients taking rifampin, the dose of carvedilol may need to be increased.
Carvedilol shares a common pathway for elimination by the liver with several other drugs such as quinidine (Quinaglute), fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), or propafenone (Rythmol). Use of these drugs may block the elimination of carvedilol. No studies have been done to confirm these effects on the elimination of carvedilol; however, carvedilol blood levels may be increased (along with the risk for carvedilol's side effects) if patients are taking any of these drugs.
Is carvedilol safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about carvedilol?
- Is available in generic form.
- Needs a prescription from your doctor.
- Is available as:
- Tablets of 3.125, 6.25, 12.5, and 25 mg.
- Capsules (Extended Release) of 10, 20, 40, 80 mg
- Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
Brand names available for carvedilol in the US are Coreg and Coreg CR (extended release).
Carvedilol (Coreg, Coreg CR) drug prescribed to control high blood pressure in addition to a diuretic. Carvedilol also may be prescribed in addition with other drugs to manage mild to moderate congestive heart failure and heart disease for patients who have suffered a recent heart attack. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Heart Disease: Causes of a Heart Attack
Learn about heart disease and heart attack symptoms and signs of a heart attack in men and women. Read about heart disease...
Atrial Fibrillation: Heart Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Afib Treatment
Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation or AF can lead to serious heart...
Chest Pain Quiz
What causes chest pain? If you have chest pain, does it mean you're having a heart attack? Take the quiz to learn what diseases...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Quiz: Symptoms, Signs & Causes
Take this quiz and test your IQ of high blood pressure (hypertension), the cardiovascular disease that causes most strokes and...
Atrial Fibrillation (A-Fib) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments of the common heart abnormality known as atrial fibrillation (A-fib)....
Heart Failure Quiz
What is heart failure? Learn about this dangerous condition, as well as who is at risk, and what to do about it....
Heart Disease Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take our Heart Disease Quiz to get answers and facts about high cholesterol, atherosclerosis prevention, and the causes,...
Heart Disease: Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
What is heart disease (coronary artery disease)? Learn about the causes of heart disease. Symptoms of heart disease include chest...
Picture of Hypertension
High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140...
Picture of Heart Detail
The heart is composed of specialized cardiac muscle, and it is four-chambered, with a right atrium and ventricle, and an...
Picture of Heart
The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. See a picture of the Heart and learn more...
Lower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart
Need to lower your cholesterol levels? Use these smart diet tips to quickly and easily lower your blood cholesterol levels....
Heart Health Pictures: How to Lower Triglycerides
Learn 14 ways to lower triglycerides. Learn to keep your heart healthy and triglyceride levels in check with these diet,...
Heart-Healthy Diet: 25 Foods to Protect Your Cardiovascular System
See 25 foods loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your cardiovascular system. Plus, find easy meal/recipes and...
The Benefits of Omega 3 Foods on Heart Health
What are the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids? Learn how Omega 3 rich foods like fish oil, salmon, walnuts, & more can boost brain...
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib): Tips for Living with Atrial Fibrillation
What is atrial fibrillation? Learn how to making living with atrial fibrillation (AFib) easier. Explore tips that can help you...
Food Swaps for Meals and Snacks for Heart Health in Pictures
Explore 10 food swaps for heart-wise dining. Learn what food to buy and how to cook in order to make a big difference for your...
Related Disease Conditions
12 Congestive Heart Failure Symptoms, Stages, Causes, and Life Expectancy
Congestive heart failure (CHF) refers to a condition in which the heart loses the ability to function properly. Heart disease,...
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Signs, Causes, Diet, and Treatment
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a disease in which pressure within the arteries of the body is elevated. About 75 million...
Chest pain is a common complaint by a patient in the ER. Causes of chest pain include broken or bruised ribs, pleurisy,...
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to...
Heart failure (congestive) is caused by many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiomyopathy, and...
High Blood Pressure Treatment (Natural Home Remedies, Diet, Medications)
High blood pressure (hypertension) means high pressure (tension) in the arteries. Treatment for high blood pressure include...
Angina (Symptoms, Causes, Types, Diagnosis, and Treatment)
Angina is chest pain due to inadequate blood supply to the heart. Angina symptoms may include chest tightness, burning,...
Heart Disease in Women
Heart disease in women has somewhat different symptoms, risk factors, and treatment compared to heart disease in men. Many women...
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Treatment Drugs
Atrial fibrillation (also called Afib or Afib) is heart rhythm disorder that causes irregular, and often, a rapid heartbeat. The...
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can be caused by a variety of infections, conditions, and viruses....
Heart Attacks in Women
Heart disease, particularly coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks. Women are more likely to die from a...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- High Blood Pressure FAQs
- Heart Disease FAQs
- Atrial Fibrillation A-Fib FAQs
- Chest Pain FAQs
- Heart Failure FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information