Nifedipine review

Those suffering from chronic high blood pressure and angina can now find relief with Nifedipine. The drug is highly known for its potent vascular effects that can improve overall cardiac condition.

Nifedipine is the generic name of the drug which belongs to a medication class called calcium channel blockers. It also comes under the brand names Procardia, Nifedical and Adalat and is mainly used to treat high blood pressure. The blood vessels are relaxed thereby causing the heart to ease in contractions as well. As a result blood and oxygen supply to the heart is enhanced reducing angine pectoris or chest pain. It can control chest pain but not cure it entirely. Nifedipine comes in the form of capsules and extended-release tablets which are taken by mouth.

As a calcium channel blocker, Nifedipine acts by inhibiting the transport of calcium into smooth muscle cells along the coronary arteries and other arteries in the body. Calcium is important in muscle contraction so as it is blocked during transport, artery muscles and coronary arteries are relaxed improving overall blood flow and oxygen supply. Other uses have been discovered for the drug such as treatment of premature labor, painful spasms in tetanus and esophageal cancer patients and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Generally, it is considered as an antihypertensive and anti-anginal drug.

Nifedipine can cause different side effects such as headache, flushing, swelling of the lower extremities and dizziness. Less common side effects are nausea, dizziness and constipation. During the first few days, the patient may experience lightheadedness and dizziness especially when suddenly rising from a sitting or lying position. Other symptoms included are bloating, heartburn, blurred vision, muscle cramps, nausea, headache, flushing, sweating, sleep disturbances and irregular heartbeat. Allergic side effects may also occur like skin rash, swelling, difficulty breathing, itching, hives and dizziness. Immediately seek medical attention for psychosis, jaundice and severe dizziness or fainting.

Contraindications include hypersensitivity to Nifedipine, patients who are about to undergo surgery including dental surgery, those with liver disease, any allergies, congestive heart failure and gastrointestinal disease. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should also take special precautions. Nifedipine may interact with certain drugs like cimetidine, itraconazole, carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampin and erythromycin. Patients should fully inform their doctors about all underlying conditions and products taken including herbal medications to avoid complications.

A clinical study involving 3240 patients was done wherein 1720 received 30 mg of Nifedipine once a day for 6 months. Others in the group received other types of calcium channel blockers including 420 who were given a placebo. After the first 3 months, patients who took calcium channel blockers including the Nifedipine group showed improvement in blood pressure while the placebo group struggled with no consistent stable status in terms of their cardiac condition. After 6 months, researchers concluded that Nifedipine works as well as other known antihypertensives and can effectively treat myocardial problems.

The mechanism of action of the drug is to block calcium ions responsible for muscle contraction from entering the slow channels or choose voltage-sensitive areas of the myocardium and smooth muscle during depolarization. The result would be more relaxed and wider coronary arteries and vascular smooth muscle improve overall oxygenation and relieving high blood pressure and vasospastic angina.

Most pharmacies, clinics and online drugstores have Nifedipine available but require a doctor’s prescription. If you’re ordering online, verify that your source is legitimate and certified to make sure that you’re only getting quality and fresh medications. Check the seal, manufacturing company and expiry date.

Take the recommended dosage with a full glass of water although Adalat CC can be taken on an empty stomach. Do not crush or chew the drug and swallow it whole. Patients are advised to avoid taking grapefruit in any form while on the drug. Patients should also refrain from abruptly stopping drug intake unless indicated by their doctor.

Nifedipine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of nifedipine

• Molecular formula of nifedipine is C17H18N2O6
• Chemical IUPAC Name is dimethyl2,6-dimethyl-4-(2-nitrophenyl)-1,4-dihydropyridine-3,5-dicarboxylate
• Molecular weight is 346.335 g/mol
Nifedipine available : 10mg capsules, 20mg capsules

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