What is this medicine?
NIFEDIPINE (nye FED i peen) is a calcium-channel blocker. It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells. This relaxes your blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of work the heart has to do. This medicine is used to treat chest pain caused by angina.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- heart problems, low blood pressure, slow or irregular heartbeat
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- previous heart attack
- an unusual or allergic reaction to nifedipine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow whole. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often then directed. Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- certain medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin
- St. John's Wort
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
- certain medicines for blood pressure
- certain medicines for diabetes
- certain medicines for erectile dysfunction
- certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole, fluconazole, and itraconazole
- certain medicines for irregular heart beat like flecainide and quinidine
- certain medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
- grapefruit juice
- local or general anesthetics
- quinupristin; dalfopristin
- stomach acid blockers like cimetidine, ranitidine, omeprazole, or pantoprazole
- valproic acid
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be and when you should contact him or her.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- blood in the urine
- difficulty breathing
- fast heartbeat, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest pain
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- reduced amount of urine passed
- skin rash
- swelling of the legs and ankles
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- facial flushing
- weakness or tiredness