What side effects are possible with this medication?
A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses and cannot be anticipated. It can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, but does not occur in everyone. The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. If you develop any of these side effects (or any other side effects not listed here) or they change in intensity, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice on managing them and on the risks and benefits of the medication.
- breathing difficulty, coughing, or wheezing
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- flushing and feeling of warmth
- irregular or fast, pounding heartbeat
- low blood pressure
- mood changes or nervousness
- muscle cramps or trembling
- nervousness or mood changes
- skin rash
- swelling of ankles, feet, or lower legs
- unusual tiredness or weakness
to learn about serious side effects that can potentially occur with any medication. These examples are provided for information purposes only and are not meant to be exhaustive. Always consult your doctor for sound medical advice specific to your particular medication and treatment.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone at 1-800-332-1088.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Congestive heart failure: If you have congestive heart failure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Increased angina or heart attack: People with severe heart disease may, in rare cases, develop worsening angina or experience a heart attack when starting nifedipine or increasing the dose.
The short-acting forms of nifedipine (e.g., immediate release, PA) should not be taken in the first 2 weeks after a heart attack or by people with acute coronary syndromes (a type of heart problem which may lead to a heart attack).
Liver disease: If you have liver disease, you may experience increased effects. Discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Low blood pressure: Nifedipine may lower blood pressure too much in certain cases. If you experience lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness, talk to your doctor.
Stomach disorders: If you have certain stomach disorders (e.g., narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract) you should be closely followed by your doctor when taking this medication.
Surgery: If you are scheduled for surgery, inform your doctor that you are taking this medication.
Swelling of ankles, feet, and lower legs: Swelling (edema) occurs in higher frequency as the dose of nifedipine is increased. For people with congestive heart failure, the doctor will need to identify whether the symptoms are from the medication or the medical condition.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it immediately and call your doctor.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If taking nifedipine is considered essential, stop breast-feeding.
Seniors: Seniors may be more sensitive to the side effects of nifedipine.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between nifedipine and any of the following:
- barbiturates (e.g., phenobarbital)
- beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol, atenolol)
- grapefruit juice
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.