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    Information about Nifedipine

    Nifedipine uses

    Nifedipine is used in the treatment of Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Angina (heart-related chest pain).

    How nifedipine works

    Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker. In high blood pressure, it normalizes the blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels to reduce the pressure on them, thereby improving the blood flow in the body. The enhanced blood flow in the body further relaxes the heart muscles by reducing the workload on the heart. It also improves the oxygen flow in the body, thereby, preventing any heart-related chest pain.

    Common side effects of nifedipine

    Ankle swelling, Dizziness, Edema (swelling), Fatigue, Flushing (sense of warmth in the face, ears, neck and trunk), Headache, Palpitations
    Content Details
    Written By
    Dr. Betina Chandolia
    MDS, BDS
    Reviewed By
    Dr. Varun Gupta
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    18 Feb 2020 | 05:21 PM (IST)
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    Read Our Editorial Policy

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    Expert advice for Nifedipine

    • Take it at the same time every day to help you remember to take it.
    • A sudden drop in your blood pressure may occur, especially when you first start taking Nifedipine. To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly if you have been sitting or lying down.
    • It can cause ankle or foot swelling. To reduce the swelling, raise your legs while you are sitting down. Talk to your doctor if it does not go away.
    • It may cause dizziness. Do not drive or perform any activity that requires mental focus until you know how Nifedipine affects you. 
    • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding. 

    Frequently asked questions for Nifedipine


    Q. Is Nifedipine a diuretic?

    No, Nifedipine is not a diuretic medication. However, some evidence indicates that Nifedipine has a partial diuretic property which may result in increased sodium loss through urine. It is a medication which relaxes the blood vessels by directly acting on them. This helps to decrease the blood pressure of the individual. As a result, blood flows more easily and lowers blood pressure, which helps to reduce the strain or pressure on your heart.

    Q. Is Nifedipine bad for kidneys?

    No, Nifedipine is not bad for kidneys. In few research studies, taking Nifedipine in recommended doses has in fact been shown to be beneficial for the kidneys. It is not advised to use this medicine without consulting the doctor. It should be used exactly as prescribed.

    Q. Can Nifedipine cause liver damage?

    Yes,Nifedipine can cause liver damage in some cases, but this is very rare. However, some people may develop a rise in liver enzymes after taking Nifedipine. Let your doctor know if you notice any such changes in your recent lab tests. Do not start this medication without consulting your doctor and do inform him if you have any history of liver disease or liver damage. This is because, in case of liver damage, dose adjustment may be required.

    Q. Does Nifedipine affect blood sugar?

    No, Nifedipine does not cause any change in blood sugar levels. It has been observed that Nifedipine has no effect on the release of insulin or change in blood sugar levels. However, before starting the medicine, inform the doctor if you are diabetic. This is done because the medicine for blood pressure is suggested accordingly when a patient is diabetic.

    Q. Can Nifedipine be used in pregnancy and nursing mothers?

    It is advised that you should consult your doctor before taking this medicine if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. It should be used only if prescribed by the doctor in case of pregnancy. Studies have shown significant risks to the developing baby and it is given only if the benefits are clearly more than the risks involved.

    Q. Does Nifedipine cause palpitations?

    Yes. Nifedipine can cause palpitations as a side effect. However, this is usually not bothersome and resolves as you continue with the treatment. If the symptom persists for long, consult the doctor who will suggest the ways to prevent it.

    Q. Do I need to change my diet while taking Nifedipine?

    Yes, making small changes to your diet can help your medicine work better. You must take a low sodium and low-fat diet, and adhere to the lifestyle changes as advised by your doctor. You should also avoid eating grapefruit (chakotra) or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Nifedipine.

    Q. My blood pressure is now controlled. Can I stop taking Nifedipine now?

    No, do not stop taking it on your own as it may worsen your condition. You should take Nifedipine in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. Consult your doctor for any query or dose modification.

    Content on this page was last updated on 18 February, 2020, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)