What Is It?: Nifedipine is used to treat high blood pressure. It relaxes your blood vessels so your heart does not have to pump as hard. It also increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart to control chest pain (angina). If taken regularly, nifedipine controls chest pain, but it does not stop chest pain once it starts. Your doctor may give you a different medication to take when you have chest pain. Nifedipine is also used sometimes to treat migraine headaches, Raynaud’s syndrome, congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathy. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
How To Use: Nifedipine comes as a capsule and an extended-release tablet (long-acting) to take by mouth. It is usually taken one or three times a day. The extended-release tablet should be taken on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal, and should be swallowed whole. Do not chew, divide, or crush the tablet. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take nifedipine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.Do not stop taking nifedipine without talking to your doctor.
Nifedipine may be taken with or without food, but the nifedipine extended-release tablets should be taken on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit 1 hour before or for 2 hours after taking nifedipine. Do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking this medication. Talk to your doctor before using salt substitutes containing potassium. If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.
Possible Side Effects: Although side effects from nifedipine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away: headache, dizziness or lightheadedness, excessive tiredness, flushing (feeling of warmth), heartburn, fast heartbeat, nasal congestion, cough. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs, difficulty breathing or swallowing, fainting, rash, yellowing of the skin or eyes , increase in frequency or severity of chest pain (angina)
Storage: Keep in the original container. Keep out of the reach of children and pets. Store all medicines away from excess heat and moisture. Do NOT store in the bathroom.
Note: If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed one.