Generic Name: verapamil hydrochloride
Product Name: Anpec
Indication: What Anpec is used for
Anpec tablets are used to treat:
- High blood pressure, also called hypertension;
- Angina (chest pain);
- Some types of arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
This medicine is available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Action: How Anpec works
Anpec belongs to a group of medicines called calcium antagonists or calcium channel blockers. These medicines work by opening up blood vessels, causing blood pressure to fall and letting more blood and oxygen reach the heart. Calcium channel blockers also help control an irregular heartbeat.
Anpec does not change the amount of calcium in your blood or bones. Calcium in your diet or in calcium supplements will not interfere with the way Anpec works.
Dose advice: How to use Anpec
Before you take Anpec
When you must not take it
Do not take Anpec if you have an allergy to:
- Medicines containing verapamil hydrochloride;
- Any of the ingredients listed here.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- Shortness of breath;
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing;
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body;
- Rash, itching or hives on the skin
Do not take this medicine if you have:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension);
- Certain other heart conditions (such as heart failure, a very slow heart rate, some irregular heartbeats or disease of the heart muscle);
- Are taking any of the following medicines or medications containing these ingredients:
- Dabigatran (in certain situations).
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the bottle or if the bottle shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Anpec may harm your developing baby. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking Anpec during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or wish to breastfeed. Anpec passes into breast milk. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking Anpec when breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor if you have, or have had, any of the following medical conditions:
- Any other heart problem;
- Blood vessel (circulatory) disease or a stroke;
- Liver problems;
- Kidney problems;
- Muscle conditions such as myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, and Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.
Your doctor may want to take special care if you have any of these conditions.
Tell your doctor if you plan to have surgery.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Anpec.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Anpec may interfere with each other. These include:
- Beta-blockers (e.g. atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol);
- Fuid tablets, also called diuretics;
- Any other medicines used to control an irregular heartbeat e.g. digoxin, quinidine, flecainide, amiodarone, disopyramide;
- Medicines used to treat high blood pressure (especially prazosin or terazosin);
- Medicines used to lower cholesterol, such as atorvastatin or simvastatin;
- Medicines used to treat psychological problems, such as imipramine, buspirone, midazolam or lithium;
- Medicines used to treat epilepsy or seizures, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine and phenobarbitone;
- Medicines used to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection, such as cyclosporine, everolimus, sirolimus and tacrolimus;
- Medicines used to treat infections or tuberculosis, such as erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin or rifampicin;
- Medicines used in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), such as ritonavir;
- Medicines used to treat or prevent gouts, such as colchicine or sulfinpyrazone;
- Medicines used in surgical procedures such as general anaesthetics used for inducing sleep, muscle relaxants;
- Theophylline, a medicine used to treat asthma;
- Doxorubicin, a medicine used to treat certain cancers;
- Cimetidine, a medicine commonly used to treat stomach ulcers and reflux;
- Glibenclamide, a medicine used to treat diabetes;
- Dabigatran, aspirin, blood thinning medicine also used for pain relief.
Avoid alcohol while using Anpec. You may experience greater blood pressure lowering effects than usual.
Avoid grapefruit juice, as this may increase the blood levels of verapamil.
These medicines may be affected by Anpec or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
How to take Anpec
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained here.
If you do not understand the instructions on the bottle, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
How much to take
The dose varies from person to person.
Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you need to take each day and when to take them. This depends on the condition being treated and whether or not you are taking any other medicines.
People with liver problems may need smaller doses.
How to take it
Swallow the tablets with a glass of water.
Anpec tablets can be divided in half along the breakline, if your doctor has prescribed half a tablet.
When to take it
Anpec tablets are usually taken two or three times a day, space the tablets evenly apart throughout the day. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
It does not matter if you take this medicine before or after food.
How long to take it
Anpec is usually taken as long-term treatment. Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to.
This medicine helps to control your condition but does not cure it. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist. If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much Anpec. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too much Anpec, you may develop a slow heartbeat, experience chest pain, feel very faint or collapse.
While you are taking Anpec
Things you must do
If you become pregnant while taking Anpec, tell your doctor immediately.
Tell your doctor if you continue to have chest pain or if it becomes more frequent while you are taking Anpec.
Before starting any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Anpec.
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Anpec.
If you plan to have surgery, including dental surgery, tell your surgeon, anaesthetist or dentist that you are taking Anpec.
Visit your doctor regularly so they can check on your progress. Your doctor may ask you to have blood tests to check your liver from time to time.
Things you must not do
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are being treated with Anpec. Grapefruit can affect Anpec levels in the body. This may increase the chance of getting unwanted side effects.
Do not stop taking Anpec, or change the dose, without checking with your doctor.
Do not let yourself run out of Anpec over weekends or holidays.
Do not use Anpec to treat any other conditions unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful getting up from a sitting or lying position. Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting may occur, especially when you get up quickly. Getting up slowly may help.
Make sure you know how Anpec affects you before you drive a car, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous. Anpec may cause tiredness, dizziness or lightheadedness in some people, especially when they first start taking the medicine or the dose is changed.
Be careful drinking alcohol while taking Anpec. Combining alcohol with Anpec may make you more drowsy, dizzy or lightheaded. Your doctor may suggest you avoid alcohol while you are taking Anpec.
Lifestyle measures that help reduce heart disease risk
By following these simple measures, you can further reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke;
- Limit alcohol intake;
- Enjoy healthy eating by:
- Eating plenty of vegetables and fruit;
- Reducing your saturated fat intake (eat less fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, coconut and palm oils, most takeaway foods, commercially-baked products);
- Be active. Progress, over time, to at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on 5 or more days each week. Can be accumulated in shorter bouts of 10 minutes duration. If you have been prescribed anti-angina medicine, carry it with you when being physically active;
- Maintain a healthy weight;
- Discuss your lifestyle and lifestyle plans with your doctor;
- For more information and tools to improve your heart health, call Heartline, the Heart Foundation’s national telephone information service, on 1300 36 27 87 (local call cost).
Know warning signs of heart attack and what to do:
- Tightness, fullness, pressure, squeezing, heaviness or pain in your chest, neck, jaw, throat, shoulders, arms or back;
- You may also have difficulty breathing, or have a cold sweat or feel dizzy or light-headed or feel like vomiting (or actually vomit);
- If you have heart attack warning signs that are severe, get worse or last for 10 minutes even if they are mild, call triple zero (000). Every minute counts.
After taking Anpec
Keep your tablets in the bottle until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the bottle they may not keep well.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C. Do not store Anpec or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a windowsill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
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.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine, or the expiry date has passed, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over
Schedule of Anpec
Anpec is a Schedule 4 – prescription only medicine.
Side effects of Anpec
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Anpec. Anpec helps most people and is usually well tolerated, but may have unwanted side effects in some people. All medicines can 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.
If you are over 65 years of age, you may have an increased chance of getting side effects.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness;
- Feeling sick (nausea);
- Upset stomach;
The above list includes the milder and more common side effects of Anpec.
Tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital if you notice any of the following:
- Chest pain, fainting, collapse;
- Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat;
- Shortness of breath (sometimes with tiredness, weakness and reduced ability to exercise), which may occur together with swelling of the feet or legs due to fluid build up;
- Fever, upper stomach pain, feeling generally unwell;
- Severe blisters, skin rash, itching or flaking skin.
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell. This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.
For further information talk to your doctor.
- Anpec Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Millers Point, NSW: Alphapharm Pty Ltd. January 2017. [PDF]
- Anpec Product Information (PI). Millers Point, NSW: Alphapharm Pty Ltd. January 2017. [PDF]