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Topic Contents

Verapamil

Drug Information

Verapamil is one of the calcium channel blocker drugs used to treat angina pectoris , heart arrhythmias , and high blood pressure (hypertension) .

Common brand names:

Calan, Isoptin SR, Veralan, Covera HS, Verelan PM

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • Vitamin D

    Vitamin D may interfere with the effectiveness of verapamil.2 People taking verapamil should ask their doctor before using vitamin D-containing supplements.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Explanation Required 

  • Grapefruit

    Grapefruit juice may increase verapamil blood levels.3 The importance of this interaction regarding verapamil effectiveness and side effects is unknown. Until more is known, it makes sense for people taking this drug to either avoid drinking grapefruit juice entirely or drink grapefruit juice only under the careful monitoring and supervision of the prescribing doctor. In theory, this last possibility might allow for a decrease in drug dose, but it could be dangerous in the absence of diligent monitoring. The same effects might be seen from eating grapefruit as from drinking its juice.

  • Pleurisy Root

    As pleurisy root and other plants in the Aesclepius genus contain cardiac glycosides, it is best to avoid use of pleurisy root with heart medications such as calcium channel blockers.4

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Pomegranate

    Pomegranate juice has been shown to inhibit the same enzyme that is inhibited by grapefruit juice.5 , 6 The degree of inhibition is about the same for each of these juices. Therefore, it would be reasonable to expect that pomegranate juice might interact with verapamil in the same way that grapefruit juice does.

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Threlkeld DS, ed. Diuretics and Cardiovasculars, Calcium Channel Blocking Agents. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, Nov 1992, 150-b.

2. Threlkeld DS, ed. Diuretics and Cardiovasculars, Calcium Channel Blocking Agents. In Facts and Comparisons Drug Information. St. Louis, MO: Facts and Comparisons, Nov 1992, 150-b.

3. Holt GA. Food & Drug Interactions. Chicago: Precept Press, 1998, 274-5.

4. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press, 1996, 213-4.

5. Sorokin AV, Duncan B, Panetta R, Thompson PD. Rhabdomyolysis associated with pomegranate juice consumption. Am J Cardiol 2006;98:705-6.

6. Summers KM. Potential drug-food interactions with pomegranate juice. Ann Pharmacother 2006;40:1472-3.

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