Precautions and Warnings With Carvedilol
Precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking carvedilol include the following:
- Carvedilol can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Carvedilol).
- Carvedilol may hide certain signs of hyperthyroidism. Do not stop this medication suddenly, as this can cause serious symptoms. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before stopping treatment so that it can be done so in a safe manner.
- This medication may cause extreme low blood pressure and/or a slow heart rate in some people. Symptoms can include dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. These symptoms may be more noticeable when going from a sitting or lying-down position to standing. If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. Extreme low blood pressure is more likely to occur in people who are taking a diuretic, are on dialysis, or have diarrhea or vomiting.
- Make sure not to drive, operate any heavy machinery, or perform any other tasks that require alertness before you know how carvedilol affects you.
- Although carvedilol is approved for treating heart failure, using beta blockers such as carvedilol can, in some cases, lead to heart failure or a worsening of heart failure. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice:
- Unexplained weight gain
- Swelling of the ankles, feet, or legs
- Shortness of breath (see Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure).
- When taking carvedilol for severe congestive heart failure, there is a risk of the condition becoming worse. This occurs more often when the dose is increased. Therefore, if your healthcare provider prescribes this medicine because he or she believes that the benefits outweigh the potential risks, your healthcare provider may choose to monitor your situation more closely, especially during dosage changes. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any symptoms of congestive heart failure.
- People taking carvedilol should not stop abruptly. In clinical studies, this has been shown to increase a person's chances for developing angina (chest pain), heart attack, or serious irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). This risk is even greater in people with existing heart disease.
- Beta blockers, including carvedilol, should be used with caution (if at all) in people with certain lung diseases, such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Beta blockers affect the lungs and can cause a narrowing of the airways. This risk is increased in people with certain lung diseases. If you develop problems breathing or wheezing while taking carvedilol, call your healthcare provider.
- This medication may cause low blood sugar in some people. In some people, it may also increase blood sugar (see Coreg and Blood Sugar for more information).
- In rare cases, carvedilol has been known to cause a decrease in kidney function, especially in certain groups, such as those with severe congestive heart failure. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience a decrease in urine output, drowsiness, headache, or back pain.
- For people with allergies, carvedilol may increase the reaction to the specific allergens, and your body may not respond to the usual doses of epinephrine.
- Carvedilol may worsen symptoms in people with certain conditions that affect the circulation (known medically as peripheral vascular diseases).
- If you are going to have surgery, let your healthcare provider or dentist know that you are taking carvedilol.
- Medications like carvedilol have been reported to cause intraoperative floppy iris syndrome, a problem with the eyes that can occur during cataract surgery. Stopping carvedilol before surgery probably does not prevent this problem from occurring. Before having eye surgery, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are (or have been) on carvedilol.
- Carvedilol is a pregnancy Category C medicine, which means it may present an increased risk to the fetus. Let your healthcare provider know if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant while taking this drug (see Coreg and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is unknown if carvedilol passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this (see Coreg and Breastfeeding).