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    Information about Nicorandil

    Nicorandil uses

    Nicorandil is used in the treatment of Angina (heart-related chest pain).

    How nicorandil works

    Nicorandil is a vasodilator. It works by reducing the workload of the heart. As a result, heart muscle does not need as much blood and oxygen supply. This reduces the frequency and severity of angina attacks.

    Common side effects of nicorandil

    Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Weakness, Dizziness, Flushing (sense of warmth in the face, ears, neck and trunk)
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Betina Chandolia
    MDS, BDS
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Lalit Kanodia
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    09 Jan 2020 | 02:55 PM (IST)
    Want to know more?
    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Nicorandil

    • You must continue to take it as advised, usually for a long time.
    • Nicorandil may cause headaches. Drink plenty of water and take a suitable painkiller. Inform your doctor if it does not go away.
    • Nicorandil may cause dizziness or sleepiness. Do not drive or do anything which requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
    • Do not consume alcohol while taking Nicorandil as that may cause increased dizziness.
    • Do not take medications like sildenafil or tadalafil (prescribed for erectile dysfunction) while on treatment with Nicorandil as it may cause low blood pressure.
    • Inform your doctor if you notice any bleeding from the anal passage, blood in vomit or black stools.

    Frequently asked questions for Nicorandil


    Q. What class of drug is Nicorandil and what is it used for?

    Nicorandil belongs to a class of medicines known as “potassium channel openers”. It helps in the removal of potassium from the walls of arteries resulting in widening of the arteries. This decreases the workload of the heart to pump the blood. It also improves the blood and oxygen supply to your heart muscle. It is prescribed to patients of stable angina (heart-related chest pain) who cannot take other medicines (beta blockers, calcium channel antagonist) meant for angina.

    Q. Can I stop taking Nicorandil?

    No, you should not stop taking Nicorandil without speaking to your doctor first. If you stop Nicorandil suddenly, your anginal pain may recur. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.

    Q. How long does it take Nicorandil to start working?

    Nicorandil starts working after about an hour of taking the medicine, but full benefits may be seen only after 4 to 5 days.

    Q. For how long do I need to continue Nicorandil?

    Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you. Nicorandil is generally prescribed for a long term. You may even need to take it for the rest of your life.

    Q. Who should not use Nicorandil?

    People who are allergic to Nicorandil or any of its ingredients should avoid using this medicine. Also, patients who have heart problems such as cardiogenic shock or left ventricular failure with low filling pressure or cardiac decompensation or have a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) should not use Nicorandil. Additionally, patients taking medicines to treat erectile dysfunction (e.g., sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil) or medicines to treat pulmonary hypertension (e.g., riociguat) should not use the medication. Your blood pressure may be affected if these medicines are taken with Nicorandil or if you have low blood volume.

    Q. Can I take Nicorandil if I am taking aspirin?

    You should avoid taking Nicorandil and aspirin together. Taking the two medicines together increases the risk of ulcer or bleeding in the mouth, stomach or intestine. Immediately consult your doctor, If you notice blood in your stool or vomit while using Nicorandil.

    Q. Can Nicorandil affect my sex life?

    No, Nicorandil does not affect your sex life. However, it is not recommended to take medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction (e.g., sildenafil or tadalafil) or premature ejaculation (e.g., vardenafil or dapoxetine) while taking Nicorandil. Taking them together can lead to a serious drop in your blood pressure.

    Q. What if somebody accidentally takes excess of Nicorandil?

    He or she should be taken to the hospital immediately. The person may experience signs of low blood pressure, which include feeling weak or dizzy. He or she may also experience irregular or fast heart beat.

    Content on this page was last updated on 09 January, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)