Nifedipine tablets are used either to treat high blood pressure or to prevent chronic stable angina, one of a number of types of angina.
Nifedipine tablets are not used for the relief of a sudden attack of angina.
Each tablets contain the active substance nifedipine which belongs to a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers. They work by opening up blood vessels in the body to lower blood pressure and improve the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
||Do not take Nifedipine if you have an allergy to:
• nifedipine or any of the ingredients in the contents
• active substances similar to nifedipine such as: amlodipine, felodipine and israpidine.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
• shortness of breath
• wheezing or difficulty breathing
• swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
• rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take Nifedipine if you have had a heart attack in the last 8 days, or if you are in cardiogenic shock (very low blood pressure due to a failing heart).
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack and blister. If it has expired return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
Do not take this medicine if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If the packaging is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
|Drug Special Care
||Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
• heart failure
• other heart or blood vessel disorders
• low blood pressure
• narrowing of the aorta
• liver disease
• kidney disease
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking Nifedipine.
Nifedipine contains lactose. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, tell your doctor before taking it.
Things you must do
• Take Nifedipine tablets exactly as told by your doctor. If you do not follow your doctor’s instruction, you may not get control of your blood pressure or relief from your angina.
• If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Nifedipine.
• Tell your doctor if you continue to have angina attacks or if they become more frequent while you are taking Nifedipine tablets.
• Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Nifedipine tablets.
• The use of Nifedipine may affect the results of certain laboratory tests or x-rays. If you are about to have any tests or x-rays, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
• If you become pregnant while taking this medicine, tell your doctor immediately.
Things you must not do
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
Do not take Nifedipine to treat any other complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
|Drug Drug Interactions
||Do not take Nifedipine tablets if you are taking another medicine containing the active substance rifampicin, an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis and other serious infections.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines and Nifedipine may interfere with each other. These include medicines used to treat:
• stomach ulcers, such as cimetidine, cisapride
• angina (chest pain), such as diltiazem, nitrates
• heart failure, such as digoxin, betablockers
• arrhythmia (fast or irregular heartbeats), such as quinidine
• bacterial infections, such as quinupristin and dalfopristin
• tuberculosis, such as rifampicin
• medicines used to treat
epilepsy, such as phenytoin
• asthma, such as theophylline
These medicines may be affected by Nifedipine or may affect how well it works. You may need to take different amounts of your medicine or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor or pharmacist has a more complete list of medicines to avoid while taking Nifedipine.
You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are taking Nifedipine because this can cause unwanted changes in the blood pressure lowering effect of the tablets.
|Drug Pregnancy Interaction
||Do not take this medicine in the first 20 weeks of your pregnancy.
It may affect your developing baby if you take it during this period.
|Drug Breast feeding Interaction
||Do not breast-feed if you are taking this medicine.
The active ingredient in Nifedipine passes into breast milk and there is a possibility that your baby may be affected.
|Drug Machinery Interaction
||Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Nifedipine affects you. It may cause dizziness or fainting in some patients, especially when they first start taking the medicine.
If you have angina, be careful not to overdo physical activities when you first start taking Nifedipine. You may feel better when you start taking it,but you will need time to improve your physical fitness.
|Drug More Information
|How to take the
||Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
||The correct dose of Nifedipine to take has been decided by your doctor. Make sure you follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. The usual dosage is 10 mg to 20 mg twice daily. If required, your doctor may increase the dose up to 40 mg twice daily. The maximum dose of 80 mg (daily)should not be exceeded.
||How to take it
The tablets are to be swallowed whole with some liquid, either with or without a meal. Do not halve the tablets.
When to take it
The tablets are usually taken every 12 hours.
How long to take it
Your doctor will determine how long you should take Nifedipine tablets.
|Excess Drug Consumption
||Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too many Nifedipine tablets. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
Signs of an overdose include feeling dizzy and fainting due to drop in blood pressure, irregular or rapid heart beats, shortness of breath and even loss of consciousness.
|Forgot Drug Consumption
||If you have forgotten to take your Nifedipine tablet(s) at the right time, take it as soon as you remember, then continue as normal for the next dose. If you do not remember until it is almost time to take your next dose [i.e. within 6 (six) hours of your next dose], then skip the dose that you forgot but be sure to take the next dose when it is due.
Do NOT take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you have missed several doses, consult your doctor.
|Stop Drug Consumption
||Do not stop taking your medicine or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor.
If you stop taking it suddenly, your condition may worsen or you may have unwanted side effects.
||Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Nifedipine.
All medicines have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. In serious cases, you may need medical attention.
Do not be alarmed by the following lists of side effects. You may not experience any of them. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
|Common Drug Side Effects
||Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you.
The list below includes the more common side effects of your medicine. They are usually mild andshort-lived.
• generally feeling unwell
• general swelling and/or swelling of the arm, ankles or legs
Your doctor may need to monitor your liver function, as Nifedipine can increase your liver enzymes. You may not experience any specific symptoms.
Swelling at the back of the throat can occur, which may cause difficulty in talking or breathing.
Tell your doctor if this occurs; you may need urgent medical attention.
|Rare Drug Side Effects
||If any of the following happen, stop taking Nifedipine and tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital:
• chest pain
• signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or other parts of the body, shortness of breath, wheezing, or trouble breathing
• signs of liver problems such as yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (jaundice)
• signs of frequent infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
These serious side effects are very rare. If you have these side effects you may need urgent medical attention.
|Very Rare Drug Side Effects
||Very rarely, some people experience a purple/brown discolouration of the skin or redness, flaking and itching of the skin. Also, it has been reported for some people to develop a rash or blistering of the skin when they are exposed to sunlight. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
In a small number of cases of in vitro fertilisation, medicines like nifedipine appeared to have interfered with the normal function of sperm. This effect went away after the medicine was stopped. In those men who are taking Nifedipine tablets and are repeatedly unsuccessful in fathering a child by in vitro fertilisation, the medicine should be considered as one of the possible causes if no other explanation can be found.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell.
|Drug Side Effects Symptoms
|How to Store the
|How to Store the Medicine
Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them. If you take the tablets out of the pack they may not keep well.
Keep the medicine in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom, near a sink, or on a window-sill.
Do not leave it in the car.
Heat and damp can destroy some medicines.
Keep the tablets where children cannot reach them.
A locked cupboard at least one-and ahalf metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Nifedipine, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets left over. Return any unused medicine to your pharmacist.