Nifedipine (By mouth)


Nifedipine (nye-FED-i-peen)

Used alone or together with other medicines to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina). This medicine is a calcium channel blocker.

Brand Name(s)

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

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to nifedipine or to similar medicines such as diltiazem, verapamil, Lotrel®, or Norvasc®, or if you have a shock caused by heart attack. Do not use this medicine together with certain other medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or St. John's Wort. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medications you are receiving. You should not use the extended release tablet form of this medicine if you have a hereditary condition where you cannot digest certain sugars (Galactose intolerance, Glucose-galactose malabsorption, or Lapp lactase deficiency).

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid Filled Capsule, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach.
  • Swallow the capsule or tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
  • While taking the extended-release form of this medicine, part of the tablet may pass into your stools. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using other medicine to lower blood pressure (such as benazepril, diltiazem, doxazosin, propranolol, timolol, verapamil, Cardura®, Cardizem®, Inderal®, Isoptin®, or Lotensin®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), medicine for heart rhythm problems (such as flecainide, quinidine, Cardioquin®, Quinaglute®, or Tambocor®), a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], or Lasix®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using a medicine to treat a fungus infection (such as fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, Diflucan®, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®), a stomach medicine (such as cimetidine, omeprazole, pantoprazole, ranitidine, Aciphex®, Prilosec®, Protonix®, Tagamet®, or Zantac®), or medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, quinupristin/dalfopristin, Biaxin®, Cipro®, E-mycin®, Ery-tab®, or Synercid®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are using medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as amprenavir, atazanavir, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, Agenerase®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Lexiva®, Norvir®, Rescriptor®, Reyataz®, Telzir®, or Viracept®), cisapride (Propulsid®), fluoxetine (Prozac®), nefazodone (Serzone®), valproic acid (Depakote®), tacrolimus (Prograf®), diabetes medicine (such as acarbose, metformin, miglitol, pioglitazone, repaglinide, rosiglitazone, Actos®, Avandia®, Diabeta®, Glucophage®, or Precose®), or medicines for erectile dysfunction (such as sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, Cialis®, Levitra®, Revatio®, or Viagra®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including cirrhosis), stomach problems, congestive heart failure, or coronary artery disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you have a heart condition called aortic stenosis (narrowing of a valve in your heart).
  • 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 make you dizzy or lightheaded. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Do not stop using this medicine suddenly without asking your doctor. You may need to slowly decrease your dose before stopping it completely.
  • If you stop using this medicine, your blood pressure may go up or you may have chest pain. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. Even if you feel well, do not stop using the medicine without asking your doctor.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • 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.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.

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
  • Change in how much and how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Shortness of breath, cold sweat, and bluish-colored skin.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness.

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

  • Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool).
  • Headache.
  • Leg pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • 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 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

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