Nifedipine (By mouth)


Nifedipine (nye-FED-i-peen)

Treats high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). This medicine is a calcium channel blocker.

Brand Name(s)

Adalat CC, Afeditab CR, Nifedical XL, Procardia, Procardia XL

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid Filled Capsule, Long Acting Tablet

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach.
  • Swallow the capsule or tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
  • If you take the extended-release tablet, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how nifedipine works. Tell your doctor if you are using the following:
    • Cimetidine, clarithromycin, digoxin, erythromycin, fentanyl, fluconazole, fluoxetine, indinavir, itraconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, phenytoin, quinidine, ranitidine, saquinavir
    • Beta-blockers
    • Blood thinner (such as warfarin)
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have stomach problems, heart failure, coronary artery disease, or recently had a heart attack.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Heart failure
    • Worsening chest pain or increased risk of heart attack
    • Stomach or bowel blockage or ulcers
  • This medicine could lower your blood pressure too much, especially when you first use it or if you are dehydrated. Stand or sit up slowly if you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without asking your doctor, even if you feel well. This medicine will not cure high blood pressure, but it will help keep it in normal range. You may have to take blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before you have surgery or medical tests.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Chest pain that may spread, trouble breathing, nausea, unusual sweating, fainting
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Stomach pain or bloating, nausea, vomiting, weight loss

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps or tremors
  • Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/4/2015

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