What is NIFEdipine?

Nifedipine is in a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. Nifedipine relaxes (widens) your blood vessels (veins and arteries), which makes it easier for the heart to pump and reduces its workload.

Nifedipine is used to lower hypertension (high blood pressure) and to treat angina (chest pain).

Nifedipine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.


Before taking nifedipine, tell your doctor if you have

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • another disease of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, aortic stenosis, heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease.

You may not be able to take nifedipine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Nifedipine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether nifedipine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take nifedipine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Nifedipine passes into breast milk. Do not take nifedipine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from nifedipine. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

Do not consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice during treatment with nifedipine. Nifedipine can interact with grapefruit and grapefruit juice, and the interaction may have dangerous effects. You should discuss the use of grapefruit and grapefruit juice with your doctor.

Follow any recommendations your doctor makes about diet or exercise.

Use caution when you stand or sit up from a lying position, especially if you wake up during the night. You may become dizzy when changing positions.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may further lower blood pressure and increase drowsiness or dizziness while taking nifedipine.

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Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a nifedipine overdose include dizziness, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, an unusually fast or slow heartbeat, coma, slurred speech, and confusion.

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

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Side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking nifedipine and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
  • unusually fast or slow heartbeats;
  • severe dizziness or fainting;
  • psychosis;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice); or
  • swelling of the legs or ankles.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take nifedipine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • headache, fatigue, or tiredness;
  • flushing;
  • insomnia;
  • vivid or abnormal dreams;
  • nausea or constipation; or
  • increased urination.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Before taking nifedipine, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:

  • another heart medication to treat the same or another condition;
  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB);
  • erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Eryc, Ery-Tab, others);
  • itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol);
  • phenytoin (Dilantin); or
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) or rifabutin (Mycobutin).

You may not be able to take nifedipine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with nifedipine or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Other Names

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

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Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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