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Nifedipine

INFORMATION

Uses

Nifedipine is used in the treatment of increased blood pressure , angina (chest pain) and hypertensive emergency.

How it works

Nifedipine blocks the action of calcium on the heart and blood vessels. As a result, blood vessels are relaxed and heart beats with less force. This lowers the blood pressure, abnormally fast heart beat and protects the heart following a heart attack.

Common side effects

Nausea, Allergic reaction, Swelling of tongue, Ankle swelling, Limb swelling, Chest pain, Constipation, Cough, Decreased sexual function, Dizziness, Difficulty in swalloing, Shortness of breath, Eye swelling, Facial swelling, Lip swelling, Fainting, Headache, Heartburn, Muscle cramp, Skin rash, Tachycardia, Yellow discoloration of skin, Yellow discoloration of eye

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Expert advice

  • Notify your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant.
  • Nifedipine can cause swelling in the ankle or feet. Notify your doctor if it bothers you.
  • The missing dose of the Nifedipine can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. You can take the medicine at the same time every day to avoid forgetting it.
  • You may get a headache that lasts for a short time, after starting Nifedipine. This should become less noticeable after a few days.
     
  • Nifedipine may cause dizziness in the first few days of starting the treatment.
  • Your doctor may recommend a change in the lifestyle to lower your blood pressure. It may include: 
    • Consume fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and reduce saturated-total fat.
    • Reduce daily dietary sodium intake as much as possible, ideally to 65 mmol/day (1.5 g/day sodium or 3.8 g/day sodium chloride).
    • Regular aerobic physical activity (at least 30 minutes/day, most days of the week).
     
  • Swelling, bleeding or tenderness of gums may occur after starting the treatment. Brushing and flossing of teeth carefully and regularly may prevent this.

Frequently asked questions

Nifedipine

Q.Is nifedipine safe?
Nifedipine is relatively safe if used as recommended. In case of any side-effects, consult your doctor

Q.Is Nifedipine a nitrate/beta-blocker/ACE inhibitor/tocolytic?
No. Nifedipine is not a nitrate, beta-blocker, or an ACE inhibitor. It is a calcium channel blocker

Q.What is Calcigard/Nicardia/Dipin used for?
Calcigard, Nicardia, Dipin are examples of a few brands containing nifedipine and used for treating high blood pressure, chest-pain and Reynaud's phenomenon

Q.Can I take aspirin/Tylenol/Benadryl/Viagra/ Tums/Sudafed with nifedipine?
Nifedipine can be taken with Tylenol (paracetamol), Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and Benadryl. Taking Viagra (sildenafil) may increase the blood pressure lowering effect of nifedipine. Taking aspirin may increase the blood pressure. Tums (calcium carbonate) may decrease the effect of nifedipine. Consult your doctor before use

Q.Does nifedipine cause migraine/constipation/insomnia/bradycardia/cough/weight gain/urination/changes in heart rate?
Nifedipine may cause migraine, constipation, insomnia or bardycardia (slow heart rate). There is no evidence of nifedipine causing cough or weight changes. If you notice such symptoms, please consult your doctor

Q.Is nifedipine a narcotic or tocolytic?
No. Nifedipine is a non-narcotic/ uncontrolled/nonaddictive drug. Nifedipine is used as tocolytic (to delay preterm birth).


Content on this page was last updated on 05 December, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)