Nifedipine - oral


Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Nifedipine helps to keep your blood pressure under control.

This medicine may also be used on its own or together with other medicines to prevent angina pectoris (chest pain which occurs when the heart does not receive enough oxygen and blood supply).

Nifedipine may also be used to manage Raynaud’s disease (poor blood circulation which makes the toes and fingers numb and pale when feeling cold or stressed).

This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
How do I take this medicine?
Take Nifedipine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.

You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.

Nifedipine is available as a tablet or capsule (in immediate-release or extended-release form).

If you are taking the extended-release or other long-acting types of tablet or capsule, (usually labelled as "XL", "ER", "MR", "SR" or "Retard"), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew, or crush the tablet or capsule.

The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and response to the medication.

Nifedipine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it suddenly as it may worsen your condition.
What should I do if I have forgotten to take this medicine?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.

If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • suffered a collapse caused by a heart problem
  • severe aortic stenosis (narrowing of heart valves)
  • suffered a recent heart attack within the last 1 month
  • sudden attacks of chest pain
  • unstable angina (chest pain that occurs randomly or unexpectedly)
as Nifedipine may not be suitable for you.

Do not take Nifedipine with rifampicin (medicine used to treat TB, an infection known as tuberculosis).
What should I take note of while taking this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • low blood pressure
  • heart disease e.g. poor heart function, heart failure, abnormally thick heart muscles
  • diabetes
  • liver disease
  • bowel obstruction or inflammation e.g. Crohn’s disease (long-term inflammatory disease of the digestive tract)
  • obstruction or narrowing of the food pipe
  • Kock pouch (surgically constructed pouch with an opening through the abdomen) in your gut
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.

Do not switch between different brands or dosage forms of this medicine unless advised by your doctor.

With the extended-release or other long-acting forms of Nifedipine, you may see a small tablet or capsule-shaped casing in your stool. This is normal, do not be alarmed. This casing is just an empty shell; the medicine inside it has already been absorbed by your body.

If you are going to have a procedure (e.g. barium contrast x-ray), a laboratory test (e.g. certain urine test) or an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.

Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?

Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
  • Your blood pressure may fall and pulse rate may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly.
  • Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of heart failure and swelling of the ankles, feet or hand may also be needed.
What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my blood pressure?

Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will help control your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Engage in physical activity like walking for at least 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start with light exercises such as slow walks. Speak to your doctor about what type of exercise would be suitable for you. Follow a healthy diet plan by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products and reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Cutting down on deep-fried foods and using less salt when cooking can kick-start your healthy diet.

If you smoke, you should try to quit. Smoking is harmful to your blood pressure, heart and overall health. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to stop your smoking habit.
What side effects could I experience?
Nifedipine may cause dizziness, tiredness or some problems with your eyesight. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.

This medicine may cause swelling of the ankles, feet or hand. To reduce swelling in the ankles or feet, elevate your legs by putting a pillow under your feet when lying down.

Other side effects include any of the following: headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, constipation, stomach pain, indigestion, stomach wind, dry mouth, feeling unwell, muscle cramps, tremors, nervousness, and flushing.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • shortness of breath, fainting
  • worsening chest pain
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I take this with other medicines?
Do not take Nifedipine with rifampicin (medicine used to treat TB, an infection known as tuberculosis).

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • other medicines for high blood pressure or chest pain e.g. diltiazem, atenolol
  • medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. digoxin, quinidine
  • certain antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, quinupristin/dalfopristin
  • medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole
  • medicines for HIV infection e.g. indinavir, ritonavir, nelfinavir
  • medicines to treat depression e.g. fluoxetine, nefazodone
  • medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, valproic acid
  • cimetidine (medicine that reduces stomach acid production)
  • tacrolimus (medicine used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders)
  • St. John’s wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Nifedipine.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol and grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

Cut down on your salt intake. This may help lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Speak to your doctor or dietitian about ways to cut down on your salt intake.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light and moisture.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on nifedipine - oral and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2023 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by MIMS.com
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