Procardia XL

Generic Name: Nifedipine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Procardia XL is a medicine known as a calcium channel blocker, which is used alone or in combination with other medicines, to treat high blood pressure and chest pain.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Procardia XL is an extended-release medicine, which releases medicine into your body throughout the day. Procardia XL lowers high blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels, which allows your blood to flow through with less resistance. Procardia XL also helps to reduce chest pain by increasing the supply of oxygen delivered to your heart and reducing the workload of your heart.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: By lowering your blood pressure, Procardia XL may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Procardia XL may help manage your symptoms of chest pain. Also, it is taken just once a day, which may make it easier for you to remember.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider will also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: swelling of your legs, ankles, or feet; headache.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Low blood pressure with symptoms such as fainting or dizziness. Possible increased chest pain or risk of a heart attack.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Procardia XL if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Procardia XL. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have diabetes, heart or stomach problems (including a history of colon cancer or gastric bypass surgery [a weight loss surgery]), hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), or if you are pregnant, plan to become, pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    Also, talk to your healthcare provider about any planned surgeries or procedures.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 30 or 60 milligrams once a day. Your healthcare provider will increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Procardia XL exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Procardia XL without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Swallow tablets whole.

    Do not be concerned if something that looks like a tablet appears in your stool. This is normal and means that the medication has been released, and the shell that contained the medication has been eliminated from your body.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not chew, divide, or crush Procardia XL tablets before swallowing.

    Do not take Procardia XL with grapefruit juice or grapefruit.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Procardia XL is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Procardia XL with the following: blood pressure/heart medications known as beta-blockers (such as atenolol or metoprolol), blood thinners (such as warfarin), cimetidine, digoxin, fentanyl, or phenytoin.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Procardia XL during pregnancy are unknown. Procardia XL can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not take Procardia XL while you are breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Procardia XL, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from moisture and humidity.

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