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Diltiazem follow-up…

Posted May 11 2010 12:00am

Continuing from yesterday’s post on the subject, below are the side-effects of Angitil (Diltiazem). Those in bold are the ones from which I suffered.

Some side effects can be serious; specifically, it can cause Stevens-Johnson Syndrome , which can be fatal.

Obviously, because of my COPD and ME/CFS, and the lightning-strike-related problems, plus potential side-effects from other drugs (for new readers, that’s a total of 15, not including Angitil), it’s difficult to know what to ascribe to Angitil and what’s part of my normal buggeration (my Blood Pressure is up rather a lot, though, at 161/93).

In the list below, you’ll see most of the bold items are followed by asterisks – 2 means a definite improvement, 3 means a considerable improvement, 4, gone completely.

As you can see, overall, the improvement is huge. However, the increase in my blood pressure is worrying. Until I can get to the doctor (or, even, if I can; it’s impossible for me to make appointments as I have no idea from one day to the next – sometimes even from one hour to the next –  how I’m going to be), to discuss alternative medication, I’ll take one capsule of Angitil daily, around midday, and monitor both my adverse reactions (especially lower limb swelling which is, apparently, dangerous), and my BP. I’ll also introduce a diuretic. These are prescribed, but taking them is problematic, as my ME/CFS causes urge incontinence, which is exacerbated by diuretics. They should, though, counter any tendency to retain fluid again.

As for unusual bruising, or flu-like symptoms, well, time will tell. Bruising has been much investigated for pretty much everything up to and including leukaemia – nobody ever thought of Angitil!

One thing I almost forgot to mention – my brain is working better. I can read without forgetting what’s gone before, and I’ve been writing far more the past few days than I have done for months. I think I might be writing a bit better too, though it’s hard to be objective. That’s not officially linked to Angitil, but I think it is related to my not being plagued by all these side-effects, which were probably cumulative.

* dizziness or lightheadedness**

* flushing (feeling of warmth)

* headache**

* weakness**

* slow heartbeat

* vomiting

* diarrhoea***

* constipation**

* nasal congestion**

* cough***

* swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, hands, arms, feet****, ankles****, or lower legs****

* difficulty breathing** or swallowing

* fainting

* rash

* yellowing of the skin or eyes

* nausea**

* extreme tiredness***

* unusual bleeding or bruising (I have been investigated in depth for this problem – no-one suggested Angitil!)

* lack of energy****

* loss of appetite**

* pain in the upper right part of the stomach

* flu-like symptoms

* increase in frequency or severity of chest pain (angina)

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