What are bepridil tablets?
BEPRIDIL (Vascor®) is a calcium-channel blocker. It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells. This results in relaxation of blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of work the heart has to do. Bepridil relieves chest pain (angina). It is not a cure.
NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.
What should my health care professional know before I take bepridil?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
heart problems, low blood pressure, slow heart rate
previous heart attack
over 65 years old
low blood potassium
an unusual or allergic reaction to bepridil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take bepridil tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. If bepridil upsets your stomach, take it with food or at bedtime. Do not significantly increase grapefruit juice intake while taking this drug, or avoid grapefruit juice if possible. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often then directed. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What drug(s) may interact with bepridil?
Do not take Bepridil with any of the following:
certain medicines to control heart rhythm such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, flecainide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol
some antibiotics (clarithromycin, erythromycin, gatifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, sparfloxacin, telithromycin, troleandomycin)
Bepridil may also interact with the following medications:
antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen)
barbiturates such as phenobarbital
herbal or dietary supplements such as gingko biloba, ginseng, hawthorn, ma huang (ephedra), melatonin, St. John's wort, went yeast
hormones such as prednisone or cortisone
local anesthetics or general anesthetics
medicines for asthma or breathing difficulties
medicines for depression or mental problems
medicines for fungal infections (fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
medicines for heart-rhythm problems
medicines for high blood pressure
medicines for HIV infection or AIDS
medicines for prostate problems
medicines for seizures (carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone)
rifampin, rifapentine, or rifabutin
water pills (diuretics)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What should I watch for while taking bepridil?
Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly; this is important while you are taking bepridil. Ask your prescriber or health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be and when you should contact him or her.
It is important to keep up your potassium level while you are taking bepridil. Serious heart problems can develop if you are short of potassium. Bananas and orange juice are high-potassium foods. You may need to take a potassium supplement. Visit your prescriber or health care professional for regular checks on your progress.
You may feel dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how bepridil affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Avoid alcoholic drinks; they can make you more dizzy, increase flushing and rapid heartbeats.
Do not suddenly stop taking bepridil. Ask your prescriber or health care professional how to gradually reduce the dose.
If you are going to have surgery, tell your prescriber or health care professional that you are taking bepridil.
What side effects may I notice from taking bepridil?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
difficulty breathing, wheezing
fainting spells, lightheadedness
fast heartbeat or pounding heart
nervousness or agitation, confusion, tremors
slow heartbeat (fewer than 50 beats per minute)
swelling of the feet and ankles
unusual weakness or tiredness
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
constipation or diarrhea
drowsiness or dizziness
flu-like symptoms, muscle aches and pains
sexual difficulties (impotence or decreased sexual urges)
stomach pain, stomach upset, heartburn
Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 25 degrees C (59 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.