GENERIC NAME: Nifedipine

COMMON BRANDS: Adalat, Procardia, Afeditab CR, and Procardia XL

Nifedipine is an oral prescription drug, belongs to a class of medications known as calcium channel blockers. It works by reducing arterial blood pressure by vasodilation blood vessels throughout your body thereby reducing peripheral vascular resistance. This result in less pressure to built up and your heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood.

Nifedipine is available in both brand-name version and generic-name version. Brand name version is available in two forms immediate-release capsules, and extended-release tablets. The nifedipine extended-release tablet is sold under the common brand “Adalat”, and the immediate-release capsule is sold under the common brand “Procardia”. Generic drugs usually cost less.

Hypertension:

Nifedipine is either used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Low blood pressure prevents strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

Angina:

Nifedipine is also used to treat certain types of chest pain (for example vasospastic angina, chronic stable angina). It may also increase your ability to exercise and limit the frequency of angina attacks. It should be avoided to treat attacks of chest pain when they happen. Use other medications (for example sublingual nitroglycerin) to reduce attacks of chest pain as directed by your doctor.

How to use Nifedipine?

Nifedipine immediate-release capsules usually taken three or four times with or without food in a day and extended-release tablet should be taken once a day on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Swallow the whole extended-release tablets; do not split, chew, or crush them.

To help you remember to take this drug, take it at around the same time every day. Carefully follow all the directions on your prescription label and discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubt. Take nifedipine precisely as instructed. Do not alter your dosage or take it more frequently than prescribed by your doctor.

The dose of the drug depends upon your medical examination and response to treatment. Your doctor/physician may slowly increase your dose if needed.

In the case of angina, this medication must be taken without missing to be effective. It should not be used in the treatment of angina when it occurs. Use other drugs (for example sublingual nitroglycerin) to reduce attacks of chest pain as directed by your doctor/physician. Discuss with your doctor for further information.

Notify your doctor if your health does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure remain high or increase, chest pain persists or worsens).

What are the side effects of Nifedipine?

The commonly observed side effects with the use of this drug include dizziness or lightheadedness, a headache, nausea, heartburn, cough, flushing (reddening of the skin), muscle cramps, constipation, decreased sexual ability, edema (swelling in the legs or feet), weakness. Inform your doctor/pharmacist immediately, If any of these side effects continue or worsen.

To lower your danger of dizziness and lightheadedness, stand up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Get emergency medical assistance promptly, if you notice any of the following serious side effects like chest pain getting worse, symptoms of a heart attack (like chest pain radiating to jaw/left arm, shortness of breath, unusual sweating), low blood pressure or low heart rate (symptoms like lightheadedness, fainting), fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat.

Tell your doctor promptly if you observe any of these rare but severe side effects like vision changes, eye hemorrhage, conjunctivitis (an inflammation of the conjunctiva).

Tell your doctor promptly if you observe symptoms like arthralgia (joint pain), arthritis, joint disorder, myalgia and myasthenia.

Rarely this drug may cause liver damage symptoms like yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. If you notice any of these effects notify your doctor right away.

Severe allergic reaction to this drug is uncommon. However, get medical assistance help right away if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, severe dizziness, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing.

This is not a full record of all possible side effects. Inform your doctor at the earliest, if you notice any of the side effects that are not mentioned in this article.

What are the precautions while using Nifedipine?

Inform your doctor/pharmacist before taking Nifedipine, if you are allergic to it; or if you have other allergies. This drug may also contain some inactive ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your doctor/pharmacist for more information.

Inform your doctor/pharmacist about all the products you are using including prescription, non-prescription, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products.

Before taking this drug, tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, mainly of liver problems, kidney problems, certain heart problems (such as congestive heart failure, aortic stenosis).

Nifedipine may cause dizziness, do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs sharpness until you can do it cautiously. Limit use of alcoholic beverages. Speak to your doctor if you are using marijuana.

Older adults may be more likely susceptible to the side effects of this drug, mainly dizziness, constipation, swelling of ankles/feet.

This medication should be used only if needed during pregnancy and for more information about the safety of drug talk to your doctor.

This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What are the drug interactions of Nifedipine?

Nifedipine may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you may be using. A drug interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works which can be harmful or hinder the drug from working well.

Do not start, stop, or alter the dose of the drug without discussing your doctor because your doctor may be monitoring you for possible drug interactions.

Taking certain antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, quinupristin/dalfopristin with nifedipine may increases levels of nifedipine in your body. This result in increased risk of side effects from nifedipine whereas rifampin decreases the levels of nifedipine and make nifedipine less effective.

Taking certain antifungal drugs like fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole with nifedipine may increase the level of nifedipine in your body. This result in increased risk of side effects from nifedipine

Taking certain antiseizure drugs like phenytoin, carbamazepine with nifedipine may cause a lower level of nifedipine in your body. This makes it less effective whereas valproic acid with nifedipine can cause higher levels of nifedipine in your body. This causes a higher risk of side effects from nifedipine.

Some antiviral drugs like atazanavir, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir may interact with nifedipine can cause higher levels of nifedipine in your body. This increases the chance of side effects from nifedipine.

Cimetidine (H2 antagonist) is a commonly used nonprescription drug for acidity. As cimetidine may interact with nifedipine, ask your pharmacist about other products to treat extra stomach acid.

NSAIDs (such as diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen), a nasal decongestant (such as phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine), cough-and-cold products, may decrease the effectiveness of nifedipine.

What are the forms and strengths of Nifedipine?

Generic: Nifedipine
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 10mg, 20mg

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 30mg, 60mg, 90mg

Brand: Adalat
Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 30mg, 60mg, 90mg

Brand: Afeditab CR
Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 30mg, 60mg

Brand: Procardia XL
Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 30mg, 60mg, 90mg

Brand: Procardia
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 10mg

What is the dosage of Nifedipine?

For Hypertension (high blood pressure):

Adult (18 to 64 years):

Initial dose: Take 30mg or 60mg orally once per day. The dose can be increased every 7 to 14 days.
Maximum dose: Range from 90–120mg per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0 to 17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established yet.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

Older adults are susceptible to the side effects of this drug due to slow kidney and liver function. To avoid this, your doctor may initiate your treatment on a low dose.

For Vasospastic Angina:

Adult (18 to 64 years):

Initial dose: Take 30mg or 60mg orally once per day. The dose can be increased every 7 to 14 days.
Maximum dose: Do not exceed a daily dose of 180mg per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0 to 17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established yet.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

Older adults are susceptible to the side effects of this drug due to slow kidney and liver function. To avoid this, your doctor may initiate your treatment on a low dose.

For Chronic Stable Angina:

Adult (18 to 64 years):

Initial dose: Take 30mg or 60mg orally once per day. The dose can be increased every 7 to 14 days.
Maximum dose: Range from 90–120mg per day.

Pediatric:

Children (0 to 17 years):

Avoid use of this drug in children below 18 years of age, as the studies have not been established yet.

Geriatric (65 years and older):

Older adults are susceptible to the side effects of this drug due to slow kidney and liver function. To avoid this, your doctor may initiate your treatment on a low dose.

Special Dosage Considerations:

Hepatic impairment and renal impairment:

Nifedipine is mainly metabolized in the liver, and kidney dosage reduction is recommended for patients with severe hepatic impairment, or patients with hepatic disease and renal failure.

Most common questions asked about Nifedipine / Q&A’s:

What are the symptoms of Nifedipine overdose?

Nifedipine overdose symptoms may include dizziness, fast heartbeat, flushing, nervousness, nausea, vomiting, swelling of the hands/feet/ankles/lower legs, blurred vision and fainting. Seek a medical emergency as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

Disclaimer

TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.