Generic name: CarvedilolBrand names: Coreg
Coreg lowers blood pressure and increases the output of the heart. It is prescribed for people with congestive heart failure to increase survival and reduce the need for hospitalization. Coreg may be prescribed if you have survived a heart attack and now suffer from left ventricular dysfunction, a condition where the left side of the heart no longer pumps properly. It is also used to control high blood pressure. It is often used with other drugs.
Coreg CR is an extended-release version of the drug that is taken once a day.
In some people, Coreg causes a drop in blood pressure when they first stand up, resulting in dizziness or even fainting. If this happens, sit or lie down and notify your doctor. Taking the drug with food reduces the chance of this problem. Even so, during the first month of therapy, or after a change in your dose, be careful about driving and operation of dangerous machinery.
Take Coreg twice a day with food. The extended-release version, Coreg CR, should be taken once a day in the morning with food. Coreg CR capsules should be swallowed whole; they should not be chewed, crushed, or taken in divided doses. Do not drink alcohol (including medicines containing ethanol) within 2 hours of taking Coreg CR.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Coreg.
Avoid Coreg if you have asthma, certain serious heart conditions, or liver disease. Do not take the drug if it causes an allergic reaction.
Coreg sometimes aggravates chronic bronchitis and emphysema. If you have either condition, make sure the doctor is aware of it. You'll need to use the drug cautiously. Report any weight gain or shortness of breath to your doctor immediately.
Liver damage is a rare side effect of the drug. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop these signs of liver disorder: appetite loss, dark urine, flu-like symptoms, itching, pain in your side, or yellowing of the skin. You will need to be switched from Coreg.
Make sure your doctor knows if you have diabetes or low blood sugar. Coreg can interfere with the effectiveness of diabetes drugs and can cover up the symptoms of low blood sugar. Monitor your blood sugar regularly, and report any changes to your doctor.
A few people starting Coreg therapy for heart failure suffer dizziness, light-headedness, or even fainting within an hour after taking each dose. The problem is most likely to occur during the first 30 days of treatment, and especially after a dosage increase. If Coreg has this effect on you, avoid driving or hazardous tasks for the hour following each dose.
When Coreg is taken for heart failure, there is also a slight chance that it will interfere with the kidneys. If this reaction seems likely, the doctor will monitor your kidney function and, if necessary, change your dosage—or take you off the drug. Your heart failure may continue to get worse during the first 3 months of treatment, possibly requiring a temporary reduction in the dose of Coreg. After that, Coreg's benefits should begin to appear.
If you have circulation problems in the arms and legs, Coreg may aggravate your symptoms. Use it with care and report any changes to your doctor.
Under no circumstances should you abruptly stop taking Coreg on your own. Notify the doctor if you miss even a few doses of Coreg. Your symptoms could return with a vengeance; and if you have an overactive thyroid, those symptoms could be aggravated as well. If needed, the doctor will taper you off the drug gradually over a period of 1 to 2 weeks. During this time you should keep your physical activity to a minimum. If your angina worsens or heart problems occur, notify your doctor immediately; you may need to begin taking Coreg again, at least temporarily.
If you wear contact lenses, you should know that Coreg can dry your eyes.
If Coreg is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Coreg with any of the following:Calcium channel blockers (blood pressure and heart medications such as diltiazem and verapamil)CimetidineClonidineCyclosporineDiabetes pills such as chlorpropamide and metforminDrugs classified as MAO inhibitors, including the antidepressants phenelzine and tranylcypromineDigoxinFluoxetineInsulinParoxetinePropafenoneQuinidineReserpineRifampinYou should not drink alcohol (including medicines that contain ethanol) within 2 hours of taking Coreg CR extended-release capsules.
Coreg has not been adequately studied in pregnant women; and it is not known whether the drug appears in breast milk. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, check with your doctor immediately.
For Coreg: The recommended starting dose is 6.25 milligrams twice a day with food. Your doctor may raise the dosage every 1 or 2 weeks to a maximum of 50 milligrams a day.
For Coreg CR: The recommended starting dose is 20 milligrams once daily in the morning with food. Your doctor may raise the dosage every 1 or 2 weeks to a maximum of 80 milligrams once a day.
Congestive Heart Failure
For Coreg: The starting dose is 3.125 milligrams twice a day with food. Your doctor may increase the dosage every 2 weeks. The maximum dosage, for people weighing over 187 pounds, is 100 milligrams a day.
For Coreg CR: The starting dose is 10 milligrams once daily in the morning with food. Your doctor may increase the dosage every 2 weeks to a maximum of 80 milligrams once a day.
Left Ventricular Dysfunction Following a Heart Attack
For Coreg: The starting dose ranges from 3.125 to 6.25 milligrams twice a day with food. Your doctor may increase the dosage after 3 to 10 days to 12.5 milligrams twice a day. Based on your response, the doctor may again increase the dose up to a maximum of 25 milligrams twice a day.
For Coreg CR: The recommended starting dose is 20 milligrams once daily in the morning with food. Your doctor may increase the dosage after 3 to 10 days to 40 milligrams once a day. Based on your response, the doctor may again increase the dose up to a maximum of 80 milligrams once a day.
The safety and effectiveness of Coreg have not been studied in children under 18.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately.