Doctors prescribe carvedilol to people who have hypertension (high blood pressure). Carvedilol also prevents episodes of stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
Carvedilol belongs to a class of drugs called beta-adrenergic blocking agents, also known as beta-blocking agents, or more commonly, beta-blockers. Beta-blockers work by affecting the response of nerves to certain stimuli. As a result, this prescription drug helps lower the heart's workload by reducing the demand for blood and oxygen. Carvedilol also relaxes blood vessels by blocking alpha receptors, lowering blood pressure. It also slows the heart rate by blocking the action of certain hormones, like adrenaline.
Carvedilol is the generic drug name for the brand Coreg or Coreg CR (Extended-Release).
Doctors prescribe carvedilol to people at risk for or with a history of:
In addition, carvedilol is prescribed with other drugs to treat heart failure or prevent chest pain due to angina (reduced blood flow to the heart). Doctors may also prescribe carvedilol to those with atrial fibrillation (a-fib), which is a certain type of irregular heartbeat.
Your doctor will prescribe carvedilol based on your individual needs. They may increase or decrease the dosage as needed. Always speak with your doctor before making any changes to your medication regimen.
Carvedilol is available in the following dosages and forms:
Tablet (3.125mg, 6.25mg, 12.5mg, 25mg)
Extended-ReleaseCapsule (10mg, 20mg, 40mg, 80 mg)
An initial dose of 6.25 mg, taken orally, twice daily
After seven to 14 days, it could be increased, as tolerated, to 12.5mg, twice daily, then 25mg, twice daily
An initial dose of 20mg, taken orally, once daily for one to two weeks
The subsequent dose could be increased to 40mg, once daily, as needed
Dosage should not exceed more than 80mg per day
An initial dose of 3.125mg, taken orally every 12 hours for two weeks
The subsequent dose could be increased every two weeks, as tolerated, to 6.25mg, 12mg, or 25mg, twice daily
The maximum dosage could be 25mg, taken orally, twice daily
An initial dose of 10mg, taken orally, once daily, for one to two weeks
The subsequent dose could be increased to 20mg per day, 40 mg per day, or 80 mg per day, as needed
An initial dose of 3.125mg to 6.25mg, taken orally every 12 hours
After 3–10 days, it could be increased as tolerated, first to 12.5mg every 12 hours, and then to 25mg every 12 hours
An initial dose of 10–20 mg, taken orally, once, daily
It could be increased every 3-10 days, as tolerated, up to 80mg daily
25–50mg, taken orally, twice daily
Carvedilol typically starts to work within two hours of taking it.
If you are using carvedilol to treat hypertension, it usually takes about seven days to get results. You may not notice a difference at first, but that doesn’t mean the medication isn’t working.
Common side effects of carvedilol include:
Low blood pressure or hypotension
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
Slow heart rate
Rare side effects of carvedilol include:
Doctors prescribe carvedilol for both short-term and long-term use. Those who take carvedilol for health maintenance may need to take it for life.
If you miss a dose of carvedilol, take it as soon as you remember. However, do not take it within six hours of your next scheduled dose. If you are too close to the timing of the next dose, skip it and take the next dose as planned. Try to take your medication on a regular schedule and avoid missed doses.
If you accidentally take too much carvedilol, you might experience the following side effects:
Low blood pressure
Slow heart rate
If you know or suspect that you have exceeded your prescribed amount of carvedilol, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention.
Here are some of the topics to discuss with your doctor before taking carvedilol:
Allergies you have or past allergic reactions to medications (especially carvedilol or other beta-blockers).
Medications you are currently taking (prescribed or non-prescribed), including vitamins and supplements you take (or plan to take).
Circulatory (blood flow) problems in your legs and feet.
Whether you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Whether you are currently breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.
Upcoming medical or dental procedures (or plans to have one).
Whether or not you consume alcohol, how much, and how frequently.
Your career, lifestyle, and hobbies. Some side effects of carvedilol may prevent you from certain activities, such as driving.
Suitability of wearing contact lenses (dry eyes are a side effect of taking carvedilol).
Appropriate dietary and exercise regimens that are suitable while using carvedilol to treat hypertension (if applicable).
Always speak with your doctor before stopping carvedilol. Suddenly stopping carvedilol can cause serious issues, including severe chest pain, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, or heart attack.
If your doctor determines that it’s appropriate to take you off of carvedilol, they will monitor you closely for several weeks. You will likely be advised to slowly wean down the dose rather than stop this medication abruptly unless you are having severe side effects.
There is insufficient data on the safety of carvedilol’s use in pregnant women or the risks it may pose to unborn children.
Be sure to speak with your doctor about carvedilol’s suitability if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. If you are taking carvedilol while pregnant, your doctor will likely advise you to stop taking it at least two or three days before the expected birth. Carvedilol can pass from mother to child through breastfeeding.
Carvedilol falls into what was previously called Category C, meaning that risk to the fetus is possible.¹ The risks vs. benefits of carvedilol use during pregnancy should be discussed directly with your physician, who will determine if you should continue this medication. Typically, carvedilol should not be stopped abruptly. More commonly, it is weaned down slowly with decreasing doses over one to two weeks. You should follow the instructions given to you by your physician which are specific to your particular medical profile.
Drugs that may interact with carvedilol and cause unwanted side effects include:
Beta-blockers Acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), bisoprolol (Concor), metoprolol (Lopressor), and propranolol (Inderal) should not be used with carvedilol, as it could cause low blood pressure or reduced heart rate.
Diabetes medication When taken with carvedilol, insulin injections and oral medication for diabetes may increase the risk of low blood sugar levels.
Cyclosporine Taking carvedilol with the organ transplant rejection drug cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, or Sandimmune) could increase your level of cyclosporine.
Clonidine Taking carvedilol with the blood pressure medication clonidine (Catapres) could significantly lower your blood pressure and heart rate.
Severe allergic reaction, also known as anaphylaxis is rare, but a possibility for those who take carvedilol. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
Swelling of the face and lips
Elevated heart rate
If you experience symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical help or call 911.
Carvedilol was developed to treat congestive heart failure. It has gone through four clinical trials in the US, and one in Australia/New Zealand. Carvedilol received FDA approval in 1995.
Tips and advice for taking carvedilol:
Take carvedilol at the same time every day.
Always take carvedilol with food to reduce the risk of a drop in blood pressure from suddenly standing up, sitting, or lying down.
When sitting up or lying down, do so slowly to avoid dizziness.
Check your blood pressure at least twice per day, especially when starting to take carvedilol. Inform your doctor if your condition hasn’t improved after a week.
If you have diabetes, frequently monitor your blood sugar while taking carvedilol.
Avoid driving, using machinery, or doing activities that require full attention. Carvedilol may cause dizziness.
Avoid drinking alcohol within two hours before or after taking this drug.
Never switch from immediate-release to extended-release Carvedilol without guidance and approval from your doctor.
Follow your doctor’s recommendations for diet and exercise.
Keep carvedilol away from moisture and heat. Store it at room temperature.
Carvedilol | Rx Wiki
Carvedilol | Drugs.com
Coreg (Carvedilol) | Good Rx
Carvedilol | NHS
Carvedilol (Rx) | Medscape
Carvedilol (Coreg) | Medicine Net
Carvedilol, oral tablet | Medical News Today
Carvedilol | MedlinePlus
All about carvedilol oral tablet | Healthline
Carvedilol (Oral route) | Mayo Clinic
Carvedilol: The new role of beta blockers in congestive heart failure | American Family Physician
Carvedilol | Drug Bank
Effects of short- and long-term carvedilol administration on rest and exercise hemodynamic variables, exercise capacity and clinical conditions in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (1994)
Here at HealthMatch, we’ve done our best to ensure that the information provided in this article is helpful, up to date, and, most importantly, accurate.
However, we can’t replace the one-to-one advice of a qualified medical practitioner or outline all of the possible risks associated with this particular drug and your circumstances.
It is therefore important for you to note that the information contained in this article does not constitute professional medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or recommendation of treatment and is not intended to, nor should be used to, replace professional medical advice. This article may not always be up to date and is not exhaustive of all of the risks and considerations relevant to this particular drug. In no circumstances should this article be relied upon without independent consideration and confirmation by a qualified medical practitioner.
Your doctor will be able to explain all possible uses, dosages, precautions, interactions with other drugs, and other potential adverse effects, and you should always talk to them about any kind of medication you are taking, thinking about taking or wanting to stop taking.
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