What is Nifedipine?Nifedipine is used to treat angina (condition of chest pain or discomfort). Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker, drugs that help the heart work better by relaxing the muscles in the walls of the arteries, allowing them to dilate. This improves blood flow through the heart and throughout the body, reduces blood pressure, and helps prevent angina.
What is the most important information I should know about Nifedipine?Nifedipine may cause your blood pressure to become too low, which may make you feel light-headed or faint. Your doctor should check your blood pressure when you start taking Nifedipine and continue monitoring it while your dosage is being adjusted.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience increased angina when you start taking Nifedipine when your dosage is increased, or if you suddenly stop taking beta blockers (atenolol, propranolol, metoprolol)when beginning Nifedipine therapy.
Notify your doctor and dentist that you are taking Nifedipine before you have surgery or dental treatment, or if you have a medical emergency.
Who should not take Nifedipine?Nifedipine should not be used if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it or you are sensitive to other calcium channel blockers. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.
Do not take Nifedipine for the first week or two following a heart attack, or if you are in danger of a heart attack.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Nifedipine?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with Nifedipine. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history; especially if you have kidney disease, liver disease, stomach or intestinal narrowing, another disease of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, aortic stenosis (a narrowing of the aortic valve that obstructs blood flow from the heart to the body), heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual starting dose of Nifedipine is one 10 milligram (mg) capsule, 3 times a day. The usual range is 10 to 20 mg 3 times a day. Some people may need 20 to 30 mg, 3 or 4 times a day. Usually you will not take more than 120 mg in a day and should take no more than 180 mg.
If an increase in dose is warranted for Nifedipine, your doctor should increase over a 7-14 day period to assess the response to each dose level..
Although no serious side effects have been reported when Nifedipine is stopped, your doctor will probably have you lower the dose gradually under close supervision.
How should I take Nifedipine?Take Nifedipine exactly as prescribed by your doctor, even if your symptoms have disappeared. Take Nifedipine with or without food.
Nifedipine tablets should be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush, or chew. Do not substitute another brand of nifedipine for this medication unless your doctor directs you to do so.
What should I avoid while taking Nifedipine?Do not combine Nifedipine with grapefruit juice, which can dramatically increase the effect of the drug.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Nifedipine?If Nifedipine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Nifedipine with the following: Cimetidine, digoxin, grapefruit or grapefruit juice, and Quinidine.
What are the possible side effects of Nifedipine?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: Constipation, cough, dizziness, fatigue, flushing, giddiness, headache, heartburn, heat sensation, light-headedness, mood changes, muscle cramps, nasal congestion, nausea, sore throat, swelling of arms, legs, hands, and feet, tremors, wheezing
Can I receive Nifedipine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Nifedipine during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Nifedipine?If you miss a dose of Nifedipine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How should I store Nifedipine?Store Nifedipine at room temperature. Protect from moisture, light, humidity, and excessive heat.
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