A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example, 120/80. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. During clinical studies in people taking carvedilol, systolic blood pressure decreased 9 mmHg (millimeters of mercury), on average, and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 5.5 mmHg. The higher the dose, the greater the drop in blood pressure tended to be. By lowering blood pressure, the medication can decrease the risks that often accompany long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure).
For people with mild to severe congestive heart failure, the effects of carvedilol on the heart and blood vessels have been shown to decrease the progression of the disease, improve symptoms, and decrease hospitalizations and loss of life from congestive heart failure.
Following a heart attack, the medication has been known to decrease the chances of death, as well as the chances for another heart attack.
General considerations for when and how to take carvedilol include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form and is generally taken twice a day.
- Carvedilol should be taken with food.
- Your dose should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. Carvedilol will not work if you stop taking it.
- You should not stop carvedilol without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. Stopping the drug abruptly increases the risk for serious side effects (see Precautions and Warnings With Carvedilol).