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Bepridil can cause new, serious arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) or worsen already existing arrhythmias, especially after a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Discuss with your doctor the risks associated with the use of bepridil to treat your condition.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Bepridil is used to control chest pain (angina) by increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart. If taken regularly, bepridil controls chest pain, but it does not stop chest pain once it starts. Your doctor may give you a different medication to take when you have chest pain.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Bepridil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take bepridil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Bepridil controls chest pain (angina) but does not cure it. Continue to take bepridil even if you feel well. Do not stop taking bepridil without talking to your doctor.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking bepridil,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to bepridil or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially fentanyl (Duragesic); heart and blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers, digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), procainamide (Procanbid), and quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex); medications to treat glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye); tricyclic antidepressant medications such as amitriptyline (Elavil), clomipramine (Anafranil), doxepin (Sinequan, Adapin), imipramine (Tofranil), trimipramine (Surmontil), desipramine (Norpramin), nortriptyline (Pamelor), or protriptyline (Vivactil); and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, gastrointestinal obstruction (strictures), liver, kidney, or heart disease, especially a recent myocardial infarction (heart attack) or a history of arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking bepridil, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you take bepridil.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Bepridil may cause an upset stomach. Take bepridil with food or milk.

If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet or added potassium to your diet, follow these directions carefully.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from bepridil are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • excessive tiredness
  • flushing (feeling of warmth)
  • upset stomach
  • heartburn
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • nervousness or tremors
  • fast heartbeat
  • slow heartbeat
  • dry mouth
  • loss of appetite
  • numbness
  • cold or flu symptoms
  • muscle cramps
  • blurred vision

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • fever
  • cough
  • fainting
  • rash
  • increase in frequency or severity of chest pain (angina)

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure and heart rate should be checked regularly to determine your response to bepridil.

Your doctor may ask you to check your pulse (heart rate) daily and will tell you how fast it should be. If your pulse is slower or faster than it should be, call your doctor for directions on taking bepridil that day. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to teach you how to check your pulse.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT