Carvedilol

Sounds like 'KAR-ve-dil-ol'

Easy-to-read medicine information about carvedilol – what it is, how to take carvedilol safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called beta-blockers
  • Dilatrend ®
  • Auro-Carvedilol ®
  • DP-Carvedilol ®

What is carvedilol?

  • Carvedilol has many uses. It is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Carvedilol is also used after a heart attack, to improve the chance of survival if your heart is not pumping well.
  • Carvedilol works by blocking certain chemicals in the body, and in that way, slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and reduces any strain on the heart. It makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.

Dose

  • The dose of carvedilol will be different for different people. Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose and increase this over a few days. This allows your body to get used to the medicine and reduces unwanted side effects.
  • Always take your carvedilol exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much carvedilol to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions. 

How to take carvedilol

  • Take your carvedilol dose at the same time each day.
  • Swallow your tablets whole or halved, with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew them.
  • Take carvedilol with food, or immediately after food. It may cause stomach upset if you take it without food.
  • Limit drinking alcohol while you are taking carvedilol.
  • If you forget to take your tablet, take is as soon as your remember that day.
  • But, if it is nearly time for your next tablet, just take the next tablet at the right time. Do not take double the amount of tablets.
  • Do not stop taking carvedilol suddenly; speak to your doctor or nurse before stopping.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, carvedilol can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting
  • These are quite common when you first start taking carvedilol, and usually go away with time.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • This is common when you first start taking carvedilol.
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls.
  • Changes in your heart beat (either too fast or irregular)
  • Tell your doctor
  • Problems with breathing such as chest tightness, or wheezing or swelling of the ankles or feet.
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.

Interactions

  • Check with a pharmacist before taking over the counter medicines such as:
    • Cold or flu tablets containing phenylephrine (e.g. Sudafed PE), or diphenhydramine (e.g. Benadryl Original)
    • Anti-inflammatories such as diclofenac (e.g. Voltaren Rapid), ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen), mefenamic acid (e.g. Ponstan), naproxen (e.g. Naprogesic)
  • Carvedilol may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets
Dilatrend 
Auro-Carvedilol

New Zealand Formulary Patient Information:
Carvedilol

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft. Health Navigator NZ