Nifedipine is employed for the management of elevated blood pressure and the regulation of angina (chest pain). It belongs to the category of medications known as calcium-channel blockers. By relaxing the blood vessels, nifedipine diminishes blood pressure, alleviating the strain on the heart’s pumping action. It effectively mitigates chest pain by augmenting the delivery of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Uses and Dosage
Nifedipine is available in capsule and extended-release (long-acting) tablet forms for oral administration. The capsule is typically taken three or four times a day. The extended-release tablet should be ingested once daily on an empty stomach, either one hour before or two hours after a meal. To ensure consistent usage, take nifedipine at approximately the same time each day.
Take nifedipine exactly as directed, refraining from altering the dosage frequency or amount without your doctor’s guidance.
When consuming the extended-release tablets, swallow them whole and do not split, chew, or crush them.
Typically, your doctor will initiate your nifedipine regimen with a low dose and gradually escalate it, generally occurring every 7 to 14 days.
While nifedipine can effectively manage chest pain, it does not provide immediate relief once chest pain has begun. Your doctor may recommend a different medication for use during episodes of chest pain.
Nifedipine efficiently regulates high blood pressure and chest pain (angina), but it is not a curative measure for these conditions. Continue taking nifedipine even if you’re feeling well, and avoid discontinuing its use without consulting your doctor. If discontinuation is warranted, your doctor will likely guide you through a gradual reduction of the dose.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- fast heartbeat
- muscle cramps
- decreased sexual ability
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, hands, arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- increase in frequency or severity of chest pain (angina)
Before initiating this medication, inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have an allergy to it, other calcium channel blockers (like amlodipine, felodipine), or any other allergies. This product might include inert components that can trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before using this medication, communicate your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have heart conditions, liver issues, problems related to the esophagus/stomach/intestine, kidney disorders, or a specific metabolic disorder known as porphyria.
This medication may induce dizziness. The consumption of alcohol or marijuana can amplify this dizziness. Refrain from operating machinery, driving, or engaging in activities requiring vigilance until you can do so safely.
In cases of pregnancy, use this medication only if the benefits clearly outweigh the potential risks. Discuss the advantages and potential risks with your doctor.
Nifedipine is passed into breast milk. Although no adverse effects on nursing infants have been reported, consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Procardia XL is available in the following forms and strengths:
Procardia XL sustained-release tablet:
nifedipine XL extended-release tablet:
Does Procardia XL affect heart rate?
There is usually a small increase in heart rate, a reflex response to vasodilation.
How quickly does Procardia XL work?
As with most blood pressure medications, it can take a week or two to see the full effect of the dose of Procardia XL that you are taking.