Learn about the common side effects of nifedipine (2023)

Headache, weight gain, and swelling are common side effects of nifedipine. Find out how long nifedipine side effects last and how to avoid them.

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Common Side Effects of Nifedipine|Headache|Weight gain|Edema|serious side effects|heart attack|How long do the side effects last?|Warnings|interactions|How to avoid side effects

Nifedipine belongs to a group of medicines for lowering blood pressure calledcalcium channel blockers (CCBs). Nifedipine works by preventing the movement of calcium ions through channels into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. Because calcium causes the cardiac muscle in the heart and the smooth muscle in the blood vessels to contract, nifedipine relaxes these muscles and lowers blood pressure. Nifedipine is FDA-approved as a reducing agent.high blood pressure (hypertension), chest pain (angina) and blood vessel spasms seen in conditions such as:raynaud's syndrome.

CCBs, including nifedipine and other drugs in this class such as amlodipine, are also used to reduce overall cardiovascular mortality, although they are associated with a higher side effect profile than beta-blockers such as propranolol.

Nifedipine is not available without a prescription. It is a prescription drug available in various formulations, dosages, and brands.

  • Procardia, Procardia XL
  • Adalat, Adalat CC
  • Nifedical XL, Nifediac CC
  • Afeditab CR
  • Nifedipine, Nifedipine ER (Generic)

Medicines to lower blood pressure can have common and serious side effects. In this article, we'll discuss some important side effects, warnings, and drug interactions associated with nifedipine use, as well as how to avoid them.

RELATED:Free Nifedipine Coupons|More details about nifedipine

Common Side Effects of Nifedipine

In some cases, the administration of nifedipine is associatedvery common side effects. If any of the following side effects bother you, tell your doctor.

  • General symptoms of malaise, including headache, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea or constipation.
  • Swelling of arms, legs, hands or feet.
  • Nervousness, nasal congestion, or palpitations.
  • dyspnoea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Skin conditions such as eczema (associated with chronic use in older people)
  • Gingival tissue growth
  • Muscle cramps
  • redness


Calcium channel blockers, including nifedipine, are often associated with headaches and even migraines when taken in high doses. Paradoxical as it may seem, CCBs can reduce headache by lowering blood pressure and increase it by dilating cerebral blood vessels.

W.a study published inbritish journal of clinical pharmacologyThe authors noted that the effect of CCBs on headache was dose dependent. At low doses (below typical therapeutic doses), CCBs have been found to reduce headaches, and at high doses (above typical therapeutic doses) to increase headache frequency. At therapeutic doses, the effect on headache was variable, which is typical of many drugs.

If you have a severe or persistent headache while taking this medicine, tell your doctor right away. Although most headache symptoms resolve on their own or with dosage adjustments, some headaches may be associated with more serious medical conditions, such as a brain aneurysm.

Weight gain

Weight gain is not a serious side effect of nifedipine. However, there are two mechanisms by which people taking this drug may gain or lose weight. Nifedipine is associated with weight loss in obese animals, which is thought to be related to nifedipine's positive effects on lipid metabolism and systolic blood pressure.

Due to the relaxant effect of nifedipine on peripheral vascular smooth muscle, nifedipine is also associated with edema (discussed later). Additional fluid retention can cause weight gain, but this usually goes away after stopping the medication or adjusting the dose.


Drugs that relax the vascular smooth muscles of the extremities can cause swelling. Reduced compliance of blood vessels leads to leakage and accumulation of extracellular and lymphatic fluid. It is most often seen on the lower legs and feet.

CCBs, including nifedipine, are known to cause peripheral edema. Yosystematic review published in the journal "Hypertension Diaryfound a 10.7% incidence of peripheral edema associated with CCB use, with 2.1% of patients discontinuing treatment due to this effect.

Swelling of the extremities is not usually dangerous, but it can be very uncomfortable and is rarely associated with fluid retention in other parts of the body or under the skin. If your body swells while taking this medication, report this side effect to your doctor.

Serious Side Effects of Nifedipine

Rare and serious side effects have been associated with the use of nifedipine. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects.

  • Heart problems, including heart attacks (myocardial infarction), congestive heart failure (CHF), and irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Fluid in or around the lungs (pulmonary edema)
  • Stomach and intestinal obstruction or ulcer (related to the extended-release tablet)
  • Blockage of bile flow (cholestasis)
  • Signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis or allergic reaction, including allergic hepatitis, swelling around the eyes, mouth, or under the skin (angioedema)
  • Serious skin reactions including Stevens-Johnson syndrome, exfoliative dermatitis, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis.

heart attack

An important distinction must be made regarding the use of CCBs in people at risk of heart failure and those with active heart failure. Long-term high blood pressure can often lead to heart failure. There are good reasons for using CCB in some patients with chronic hypertension who are at risk of developing heart failure. CCBs are known to provide better blood pressure control and reduce the risk of death and heart disease symptoms in some people and certain ethnic groups, including African-Americans.

However, there are several historical studies that show a link between CCB use and heart failure. These articles mainly describe the effects of older BCCs. These drugs often have a greater effect on the heart's ability to pump blood and therefore pose a greater risk to people with heart failure. In current practice, the best guidelines and evidence are generally to avoid using CCBs in people who already have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), but to use them in some people with hypertension that has not yet progressed to heart failure. cardiac. or in people with heart failure as a result of high blood pressure that cannot be controlled with other medicines.

How long do the side effects of nifedipine last?

The most common side effects and some serious side effects go away on their own a few days to weeks after stopping the drug or changing the dose. Other more serious side effects (anaphylaxis, cardiac symptoms, severe skin reactions) may be permanent or fatal.

Contraindications and warnings of nifedipine.

abuse and addiction

norteifedipine is not addictive or addictive. The use of nifedipine does not cause withdrawal symptoms, but do not stop taking this medication suddenly without consulting your doctor.


An overdose is possible with this drug and other CCBs. This medication should only be taken as directed and by the person for whom it was prescribed. The maximum dose of this medicine for adults is 180 mg per day in the immediate-release form or 90 mg per day in the extended-release form. Taking too much of this medication can cause life-threatening effects, including unresponsive hypotension (low blood pressure) and severe heart failure. Overdose can cause rapid death. If you think you have taken too much of this medication, get medical help right away or contact the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.


This medication is absolutelycontraindicatedFor use in people who are allergic to drugs in this group of drugs or to the ingredients of the drug. This medicine should be used with great caution in people who:

  • have low blood pressure
  • You have a heart valve problem called aortic stenosis.
  • I recently stopped taking beta blockers.
  • Have congestive heart failure (see above)
  • You have gastrointestinal obstruction or motility problems.

Nifedipine Interactions

Nifedipine is absolutely not contraindicated for use with any medication. However, caution should be exercised when combining with other drugs, including the followingmedications and supplements:

  • Rifampicin reduces the effect of nifedipine.
  • During concomitant treatment with nifedipine, digoxin levels need to be carefully monitored.
  • Itraconazole can lower blood pressure and increase swelling.
  • Erythromycin may increase the concentration of nifedipine.
  • Cimetidine may increase the concentration of nifedipine.
  • Carbamazepine can reduce the concentration of nifedipine and the antihypertensive effect.
  • Phenytoin can increase the excessive growth of gum tissue.
  • St. John's wort may reduce the concentration of nifedipine
  • Grapefruit juice can increase the concentration of nifedipine.

There are many other drugs that can interact with nifedipine. Tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking.

How to avoid nifedipine side effects

1. Take the prescribed dose of nifedipine.

It is important to follow your doctor's instructions when using this medicine. Use only the dosage prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more medicine or less. Take all doses as prescribed. If you miss a dose, take the next dose as soon as possible. The medicine must be used exactly as it was prepared. The tablet should be swallowed whole. Do not crush, break, or chew the tablet or capsule. Do not modify it in any way.

2. Find out your complete list of medications and your medical history.

Before taking nifedipine, tell your doctor about all your medications, medical conditions, and allergies.

3. Store Nifedipine Properly

This medicine must be stored and disposed of properly, out of the reach of children. Nifedipine should be stored at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). Improper storage and disposal of this medication could potentially expose children for whom this medication was not prescribed, which could result in immediate death.

4. Do not stop taking nifedipine suddenly

Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Do not stop taking medicines for high blood pressure, including nifedipine, unless you and your doctor agree that it is the right thing to do.

5. Avoid certain foods and supplements

Avoid products that contain grapefruit, certain additives such as St. John's wort, and drugs that interact with nifedipine. Nifedipine overdose is known to cause severe heart failure and should not be taken with medications that may increase this risk.

6. Seek immediate medical attention if allergy or overdose symptoms occur.

Patients should contact their doctor immediately if they experience any allergic reaction to this drug or unexplained body swelling. Allergic reactions should be reported and treated as soon as possible. For any serious side effect or possible overdose, seek immediate medical attention, as BCC overdose is often fatal. Intervene early. The sooner an overdose or accidental poisoning is reported to a doctor, the more lives will be saved.


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