What Is Trimetazidine?

Medically Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on February 16, 2022
3 min read

Trimetazidine (TMZ) is a medication used to treat heart-related conditions like angina. It helps metabolize fatty acids, which helps your body use oxygen. The drug allows for more blood flow to your heart and limits quick changes in your blood pressure. This can help lessen chest pain from blocked blood vessels. It can also improve overall performance in someone with a heart-related disease.

TMZ is approved for angina therapy in Europe but not in the United States.

Other than angina, doctors may prescribe TMZ to treat heart failure and peripheral artery disease. The medication comes in a pill form. Those on the medication usually take it twice a day.

You shouldn’t take this drug if you:

  • Are under 18 years old
  • Are allergic to any ingredients in TMZ
  • Have Parkinson’s disease or parkinsonian symptoms
  • Have severe kidney issues
  • Tend to get tremors, restless legs syndrome, or other related movement disorders
  • Have a severe renal impairment

If you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, ask your doctor before you begin TMZ.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned the use of TMZ in all sports in 2014. It’s considered a “hormone and metabolic modulator,” a group of drugs that are illegal for athletes to use.

If a person uses TMZ while competing in a sport that requires a lot of physical energy, TMZ could potentially help their heart function better. Therefore, use of this drug in a competition would be unfair.

A handful of Olympians over the years have tested positive for TMZ use.

Side effects of TMZ differ for each person. Common reactions (which can affect up to 1 in 10 people) include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling sick overall
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Feeling of weakness

Because this drug can make you feel dizzy, it can affect your ability to drive safely.

Rare side effects could occur in up to 1 in 1,000 people. They include:

  • A fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Extra heartbeats
  • A fall in blood pressure when standing up, which causes dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
  • Malaise (a general feeling of being unwell)
  • Dizziness or flushing

Other side effects of TMZ could include:

  • Extrapyramidal symptoms (Odd movements like trembling and shaking in your hands and fingers, twisting movements in your body, a shuffling walk, and stiffness of your arms and legs. These are usually reversible after treatment.)
  • Sleep disorders (trouble sleeping or drowsiness)
  • Constipation
  • Severe, red skin rash with blistering
  • Swelling of your face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat, which could cause trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Large drop in number of white blood cells, which puts you at a higher risk for infection
  • A drop in blood platelets, which heightens your risk of bleeding or bruising
  • Liver disease

If you notice any of these side effects after use of TMZ (or any other reactions not listed), call your doctor right away.

Before you begin TMZ, it’s important to tell your doctor about any over-the-counter or prescription drugs you currently use or have used before. But as of now, experts don’t know of any medications that interact with TMZ.