Therapeutic ClassificationsCardiovascular Agent
Pharmacologic ClassificationsCalcium Channel Blocker
Nifedipine is used alone or together with other medicines to treat severe chest pain (angina) or high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.
Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker. It works by affecting the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. As a result, nifedipine relaxes blood vessels and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
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In addition to the use of this medicine, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium (salt). Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.
Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.
Remember that this medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it does help control it. You must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.
Swallow the extended release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it. It is best to take this tablet on an empty stomach.
If you are taking the extended-release tablets, part of the tablet may pass into your stool after your body has absorbed the medicine. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For treatment of chest pain or high blood pressure:
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
- Adults—At first, 10 milligrams (mg) three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
- Adults—At first, 30 or 60 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 90 mg once a day.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For oral dosage form (capsules):
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Use & StorageTOP
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of nifedipine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of nifedipine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving nifedipine.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- St John's Wort
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
- Grapefruit Juice
Other Medical ProblemsTOP
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Aortic stenosis (narrowing of a valve in your heart) or
- Bowel blockage, severe or
- Congestive heart failure or
- Coronary artery disease or
- Heart attack or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)—Use with caution. May increase risk of serious side effects.
- Cardiogenic shock (shock caused by heart attack)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Galactose intolerance (rare hereditary problem) or
- Glucose-galactose malabsorption (rare hereditary problem) or
- Lapp lactase deficiency (rare hereditary problem)—The extended release tablet form of this medicine contains lactose (milk sugar), and should not be given to patients with these conditions.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
You should not use this medicine if you are also taking certain other medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or St. John's Wort. Using these medicines together can cause serious problems. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medications you are taking.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. These symptoms are more likely to occur when you begin taking this medicine, or when the dose is increased.
This medicine may cause fluid retention (edema) in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet; tingling of the hands or feet; or unusual weight gain or loss.
Do not stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping completely.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
Grapefruits and grapefruit juice may increase the effects of nifedipine by increasing the amount of this medicine in your body. You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you taking this medicine.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.