This medication is used to prevent certain types of chest pain (angina). It may allow you to exercise more and decrease the frequency of angina attacks. Nifedipine belongs to a class of medications known as calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily. This medication must be taken regularly to be effective. It should not be used to treat attacks of chest pain when they occur. Use other medications (such as sublingual nitroglycerin) to relieve attacks of chest pain as directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
Older adults should discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with their doctor or pharmacist, as well as other possibly safer forms of nifedipine (such as the long-acting tablets).
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Swallow the tablet or capsule whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.
Take the extended-release tablet on an empty stomach.
Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of Procardia. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often and you may need other medical tests.
Keep using this medicine even if you feel well. Use all your heart or blood pressure medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or stop taking your medicine without your doctor's advice.
You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medication. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Procardia. You may need to stop using the medicine at least 36 hours before surgery.
Some tablets are made with a shell that is not absorbed or melted in the body. Part of this shell may appear in your stool. This is normal and will not make the medicine less effective.
Store in the original container at room temperature, away from moisture, heat, and light.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have a certain medical condition. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain heart problems (such as congestive heart failure, aortic stenosis).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems, kidney problems.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, constipation, or swelling ankles/feet.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Dizziness, flushing, weakness, swelling ankles/feet, constipation, and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/irregular/pounding heartbeat, fainting.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: vision changes.
Although this medication is effective in preventing chest pain (angina), some people who already have severe heart disease may rarely develop worsening chest pain or a heart attack after starting this medication or increasing the dose. Get medical help right away if you experience: worsening chest pain, symptoms of a heart attack (such as chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow whole. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often then directed. Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your doctor or health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be and when you should contact him or her.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 25 degrees C (59 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light and moisture. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.