Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about VERACAPS SR.
It does not contain all of the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking VERACAPS SR against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine.
You may need to read it again. What is VERACAPS SR The name of your medicine is VERACAPS SR. The active ingredient is called verapamil hydrochloride. Verapamil hydrochloride belongs to a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers or calcium antagonists. They work to lower blood pressure by preventing the narrowing of blood vessels. Calcium channel blockers do not change the amount of calcium in your blood or bones. VERACAPS SR is available as 160 mg and 240 mg capsules. What VERACAPS SR is used for VERACAPS SR is used for the treatment of essential hypertension (high blood pressure) or angina pectoris (severe chest pain with heart disease), but it is not for the relief of a sudden attack of angina. Angina is an uncomfortable feeling in the chest, often spreading to the arms or neck and sometimes to the shoulders and back. This may be caused by too little blood and oxygen getting to the heart. The pain of angina is due to a shortage of oxygen to the heart. Your doctor, however, may prescribe VERACAPS SR for another purpose. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why VERACAPS SR has been prescribed for you. If you have any concerns, you should discuss this with your doctor. VERACAPS SR are not addictive. This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription. Before you take VERACAPS SR When you must not take it
Do not take VERACAPS SR if you are allergic to verapamil hydrochloride or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction to VERACAPS SR may include urticaria and other skin rashes.
Do not take VERACAPS if:
You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while you are taking VERACAPS SR.
You have had any previous heart condition that the doctor does not know about.
You must tell your doctor about previous heart attacks, low blood pressure, dizziness or anything affecting you that your doctor has not known about before.
Do not use VERACAPS SR after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack.
If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may have no effect at all, or worse, there may be an entirely unexpected effect. Do not purchase or use VERACAPS SR if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. The capsules should not be taken if they show visible signs of deterioration. Do not give it to children, it is not recommended for use in children. Before you start to take it
You must tell your doctor if:
1. You are allergic to any other medicines or any foods, dyes or preservatives.
2. You have any other medical conditions or heart problems including:
a heart pace-maker
an enlarged heart
kidney or liver problems
muscle conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
3. You are taking any similar or other medicines, as they may be harmful or interfere with this medicine.
4. You are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using VERACAPS SR during pregnancy.
5. You are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed.
Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking VERACAPS SR when breastfeeding.
Before you take any VERACAPS SR
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and foods may interfere with VERACAPS SR.
Medicines used to treat heart problems, including irregular heart beat, high blood pressure or angina e.g. beta-blockers, digoxin.
Medicines used to treat epilepsy e.g. carbamazepine, phenobarbitone.
Lithium, used to treat mood swings.
Cimetidine, used to treat stomach ulcers and reflux.
Cyclosporin, used after organ transplant and for disorders of the immune system.
Certain antibiotics e.g. rifampicin.
Grapefruit and its juice.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking VERACAPS SR if you are about to be started on any new medicines. These medicines may be affected by VERACAPS SR or may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to avoid while taking VERACAPS SR. How to take VERACAPS SR a) How much to take
The usual adult dose is one 160 mg or 240 mg capsule once a day. In some adults an initial dose 160 mg once a day is used.
The doctor may increase or lower your dose depending on your response to treatment. The dose may be increased to two 240 mg capsules a day.
b) How to take it
The dose should be taken at the same time each day with some water or other liquid. The capsules should be swallowed whole not be chewed or sucked.
In patients having difficulty in swallowing, VERACAPS SR can also be used by carefully opening the capsule and sprinkling the pellets on a spoonful of cool apple sauce. The apple sauce should be swallowed immediately without chewing and followed with a glass of cool water to ensure complete swallowing of the pellets.
The apple sauce used should not be hot, and it should be soft enough to be swallowed without chewing.
VERCAPS SR pellets apple sauce mixture should be used immediately and never stored for future use. Subdividing the contents of VERACAPS SR pellets is not recommended. VERACAPS SR is designed to release the verapamil hydrochloride in a controlled manner throughout the day so that angina and high blood pressure is treated for 24 hours. It does not matter whether the dose is taken before or after a meal. c) How long to take it
VERACAPS SR should be taken for as long as your doctor thinks it necessary.
d) If you forget to take it
If you miss a dose and remember it in less than 12 hours, take it straight away, then continue as normal the next day.
Otherwise, skip that day's dose but be sure to take the next day's dose when due.
Do not try to make up for missed doses by taking more than one dose at a time.
This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
IF YOU TAKE TOO MUCH (overdose):
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to casualty at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much VERACAPS SR. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Keep telephone numbers for these places handy.
While you are using VERACAPS SR
Things you must do:
Take VERACAPS SR exactly as your doctor has prescribed it.
Tell your doctor if you continue to get angina attacks or if they become more frequent while you are taking VERACAPS SR.
Tell all doctors or dentists and pharmacists that you are taking VERACAPS SR.
Tell or remind your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking VERACAPS SR if you are to be started on any new medicines.
Tell your doctor (immediately) if you become pregnant while you are taking VERACAPS SR.
Tell your doctor if you feel VERACAPS SR is not helping your condition.
Visit your doctor regularly.
Your doctor needs to check your progress and see whether you need to keep taking VERACAPS SR. Always discuss with your doctor any problems or difficulties during or after taking VERACAPS SR . Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as prescribed.
Otherwise your doctor may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily.
Keep enough VERACAPS SR to last weekends and holidays.
Things you must not do:
Do not take VERACAPS SR with grapefruit or its juice.
Do not take VERACAPS SR to treat any other complaints unless your doctor says you should.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if his or her symptoms seem similar to yours.
Do not stop taking VERACAPS SR or lower the dose, without first checking with your doctor.
Stopping this medicine suddenly may cause some unwanted effects.
Things to be careful of:
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how VERACAPS SR affects you. VERACAPS SR may cause dizziness, fainting and blurred vision in some patients especially when you first start to take it. Make sure you know how you react to VERACAPS SR before you drive a car, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous if this happens to you.
Be careful not to overdo physical activities when you first start taking VERACAPS SR. You may feel better when you start taking it, but you will need time to improve your physical fitness.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are using VERACAPS SR.
VERACAPS SR helps most people with angina, but it may have unwanted side effects in some people.
All medicines have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have. Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
nausea or vomiting
stomach upsets (dyspepsia)
dizziness or drowsiness
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them. Your doctor may lower the dose to help control serious side effects and decide on necessary tests to monitor any of the above problems. Tell your doctor immediately, or go to accident and emergency at your nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
fast or irregular heart beats
symptoms of allergy such as skin rash
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you have any problems while taking VERACAPS SR even if you do not think the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.
After using VERACAPS SR
Keep it where children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
Keep VERACAPS in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25 °C and protect from light. Do not store it, or any other medicines, in a bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car or on windowsills.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep your capsules in the packaging until it is time to take them.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking VERACAPS SR or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any VERACAPS SR left over.
a) What it looks like
Each VERACAPS SR 160 mg is a red/transparent hard gelatin capsule marked 160 SR. It comes in a blister pack containing 30 capsules.
VERACAPS SR 240 mg is an opaque brown/yellow hard gelatin capsule marked 240 SR. It comes in a blister pack containing 30 capsules.
Each VERACAPS SR 160 capsule contains 160 mg of the active ingredient verapamil hydrochloride.
Each VERACAPS SR 240 capsule contains 240 mg of the active ingredient verapamil hydrochloride.
The excipients or other non-active ingredients are:
Fumaric acid, non pareil seeds (sugar spheres), talc, povidone, and shellac.
The capsule shell is made of gelatin and the colouring agents in the capsule shell are:
titanium dioxide (CI 77891), iron oxide yellow (CI 77192), indigotine (CI 73015), and erythrosine (CI 45430)
The Australian Registration Number for VERACAPS SR 160 mg and 240 mg capsules are AUST R 41033 and AUST R 41035, respectively.
Sigma Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd (A.C.N. 004 118 594)
1408 Centre Road
Clayton Victoria 3168
Telephone: 03 - 9839 2800
This leaflet was prepared in May 1997, and updated in January 1999 and April 2000.