Nifedipine is a drug used to treat high blood pressure and treat chest pain (angina pectoris).
It is sold under the trademarks Procardia XL, Adalat CC and others.
This medication is also sometimes used to treat premature births and conditions, such as Raynaud’s disease (a disorder that affects the blood vessels).
Nifedipine belongs to the class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers.
The drug acts by relaxing your arteries, so the stress on the heart decreases. It also increases the supply of oxygen and blood to the heart.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved Nifedipine in 1981 for the manufacturer Pfizer, Inc. under the brand name Procardia.
Warnings about Nifedipine
Before taking Nifedipine, tell your doctor if you have or have had:
- Any conditions that cause food to move through your digestive system more slowly
- Heart, liver or kidney disease
- Recent heart attack
- Chronic heart failure
- Low or high blood pressure
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Insufficient thyroid gland
- Allergy to any medicine
Tell your doctor that you are taking Nifedipine before any type of surgical intervention, including a dental procedure.
This medicine can be safe for the elderly. Talk with your doctor about the risks of Nifedipine before you start taking the drug if you are 65 years of age or older.
Your doctor will probably want to frequently check your blood pressure while you are taking Nifedipine. Observe all meetings with your doctor.
This medicine will help control your symptoms, but it will not cure your illness. Continue to take Nifedipine, even if you feel good.
Do not stop taking this medicine without first talking to your doctor.
Pregnancy and Nifedipine
It is not known whether Nifedipine can harm an unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking this medicine.
Nifedipine can pass into breast milk. Do not take this medicine if you are breast-feeding.
Nifedipine side effects
Common side effects of Nifedipine
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects is serious or does not disappear:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle spasms
- Decreased sexual ability
Serious side effects of Nifedipine
Immediately notify your doctor if you experience the following serious side effects:
- More intense or more frequent chest pain
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, tongue, hands, hands, feet, ankles or legs
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
Inform your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, food or dietary preparations that you are taking:
- Acarbose (Prandase, Precose)
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- Antifungal agents such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- Beta-blockers, such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Trandate), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren)
- Carbamazepine (carbatrol, epitol, tegretol)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Digoxin (lanoxin, lanoxicapa)
- Diltiazem (Kardizem)
- Doxazosin (Cardura)
- Erythromycin (EES, E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
- Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Sublimaze)
- Flecainide (Tambocor)
- HIV protease inhibitors, including amprenavir (agenar), atazanavir (Reyataz), delovirdine (rescriptor), fosamprenavir (Lexic), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept) and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra)
- Metformin (glucophag)
- Nefazodone (Serzone)
- Phenobarbital (Luminal)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin)
- Quinprustin and dalfopristin (Synercid)
- Rifampin (Rifadine, Rifamate, Rifater, Rimatan)
- Rifapentin (Prithtin)
- Tacrolimus (Prograf)
- Valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote)
- Verapamil (Kalan, Kavka, Isoptin, Velelan)
Nifedipine and other interactions
Nifedipine may cause dizziness.
Do not drive or drive the machine until you know how this medicine affects you.
Nifedipine and Alcohol
Alcohol can worsen certain side effects of Nifedipine.
Talk with your doctor about how much alcohol it is safe to consume while taking this medicine.
Nifedipine and grapefruit
Grapefruit can interact with Nifedipine. Do not eat grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit for three days before starting this medication or taking it.
Talk with your doctor about this potential interaction.
Dosage of Nifedipine
Nifedipine is supplied as a capsule and in the form of a sustained release tablet, which must be taken orally. Your dose will depend on your state of health and the response to treatment.
Capsules are usually taken three to four times a day.
A sustained-release capsule is usually taken once a day on an empty stomach.
Do not chew or crush the sustained-release tablets. You must swallow them whole.
Some Nifedipine tablets are manufactured with a shell that is not absorbed in the body. Part of the shell may appear in your stool. This is normal and does not make the drug less effective.
Try to take this medicine at about the same time every day.
When you take this medicine, carefully follow the instructions on the drug label. Do not take more or less Nifedipine than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start with a low dose of Nifedipine and gradually increase the dosage.
Overdose of Nifedipine
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or legs
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room. You can contact the Toxicology Center.
The missed dose of Nifedipine
If you miss a dose of Nifedipine, take it as soon as you remember.
However, if your next dose comes, skip the missed dose and continue your regular medication schedule.
Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.