Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®

US Brand Name

  1. Adalat CC
  2. Afeditab CR
  3. Nifediac CC
  4. Nifedical XL
  5. Procardia
  6. Procardia XL

Canadian Brand Name

  1. Adalat
  2. Adalat OROS
  3. Adalat PA 10
  4. Adalat PA 20
  5. Adalat XL
  6. APO-Nifed
  7. APO-Nifed PA
  8. Mylan-NIFEdipine
  9. NIFEdipine
  10. NIFEdipine ER
  11. pms-NIFEdipine
  12. pms-NIFEdipine ER


Nifedipine is used alone or together with other medicines to treat severe chest pain (angina) or high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. High blood pressure may also increase the risk of heart attacks. These problems may be less likely to occur if blood pressure is controlled.

Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker. It works by affecting the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessels. As a result, nifedipine relaxes blood vessels and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule, Liquid Filled
  • Tablet, Extended Release

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of nifedipine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of nifedipine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving nifedipine.


Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Abametapir
  • Amobarbital
  • Aprobarbital
  • Armodafinil
  • Atazanavir
  • Boceprevir
  • Bosentan
  • Butabarbital
  • Butalbital
  • Carbamazepine
  • Ceritinib
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clobazam
  • Clopidogrel
  • Cobicistat
  • Conivaptan
  • Dantrolene
  • Darunavir
  • Dexamethasone
  • Digoxin
  • Efavirenz
  • Enzalutamide
  • Epirubicin
  • Etravirine
  • Fedratinib
  • Fentanyl
  • Fexinidazole
  • Fluconazole
  • Fosnetupitant
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Idelalisib
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lacosamide
  • Lopinavir
  • Mavacamten
  • Mephobarbital
  • Methohexital
  • Mibefradil
  • Modafinil
  • Nafcillin
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Netupitant
  • Nevirapine
  • Omaveloxolone
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Pentobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Pioglitazone
  • Posaconazole
  • Prednisone
  • Primidone
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Ritonavir
  • Rufinamide
  • Saquinavir
  • Secobarbital
  • St John's Wort
  • Tacrolimus
  • Telaprevir
  • Telithromycin
  • Thiopental
  • Topiramate
  • Voriconazole

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Cimetidine
  • Dalfopristin
  • Doxazosin
  • Ginkgo
  • Ginseng
  • Indinavir
  • Magnesium
  • Micafungin
  • Quinidine
  • Quinupristin
  • Vincristine
  • Vincristine Sulfate Liposome

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Grapefruit Juice

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Aortic stenosis (narrowing of a valve in your heart) or
  • Bowel blockage, severe or
  • Congestive heart failure or
  • Coronary artery disease or
  • Heart attack or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)—Use with caution. May increase risk of serious side effects.
  • Cardiogenic shock (shock caused by heart attack)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Galactose intolerance (rare hereditary problem) or
  • Glucose-galactose malabsorption (rare hereditary problem) or
  • Lapp lactase deficiency (rare hereditary problem)—The extended release tablet form of this medicine contains lactose (milk sugar), and should not be given to patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney problems or
  • Liver problems (including cirrhosis)—Use with caution. The effects of nifedipine may be increased because of the slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

In addition to the use of this medicine, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium (salt). Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.

Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.

Remember that this medicine will not cure your high blood pressure, but it does help control it. You must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.

Swallow the extended release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it. It is best to take this tablet on an empty stomach.

If you are taking the extended-release tablets, part of the tablet may pass into your stool after your body has absorbed the medicine. This is normal and nothing to worry about.


The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For treatment of chest pain or high blood pressure:
    • For oral dosage form (capsules):
      • Adults—At first, 10 milligrams (mg) three times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
      • Adults—At first, 30 or 60 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 90 mg once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.


It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

You should not use this medicine if you are also taking certain other medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol®), phenobarbital (Luminal®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or St. John's Wort. Using these medicines together can cause serious problems. Make sure your doctor knows all of the medications you are taking.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur, especially when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. These symptoms are more likely to occur when you begin taking this medicine, or when the dose is increased.

This medicine may cause fluid retention (edema) in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you have bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet; tingling of the hands or feet; or unusual weight gain or loss.

Do not stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are using before stopping completely.

Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.

Grapefruits and grapefruit juice may increase the effects of nifedipine by increasing the amount of this medicine in your body. You should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you taking this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  2. cough
  3. difficult or labored breathing
  4. dizziness or lightheadedness
  5. fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  6. feeling of warmth
  7. headache
  8. muscle cramps
  9. rapid weight gain
  10. shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  11. shortness of breath
  12. tightness in the chest
  13. tingling of the hands or feet
  14. trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  15. unusual weight gain or loss
  16. weakness
  17. wheezing

Less common

  1. Blue lips and fingernails
  2. chest congestion
  3. chest pain
  4. chills
  5. coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
  6. decreased urine output
  7. difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
  8. dilated neck veins
  9. extreme fatigue
  10. fever
  11. increased sweating
  12. irregular breathing
  13. nausea
  14. pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  15. pale skin
  16. severe unusual tiredness or weakness
  17. sweating
  18. troubled breathing
  19. vomiting


  1. Black, tarry stools
  2. bleeding gums
  3. blood in the eyes
  4. blood in the urine or stools
  5. bloody stools
  6. bluish color
  7. blurred vision
  8. body aches or pain
  9. changes in skin color
  10. cold sweats
  11. dark urine
  12. difficulty with swallowing
  13. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  14. dry mouth
  15. dryness or soreness of throat
  16. ear congestion or pain
  17. extra heartbeats
  18. eye pain
  19. feeling unusually cold
  20. general tiredness and weakness
  21. headache, severe and throbbing
  22. hoarseness
  23. increased urge to urinate during the night
  24. irritation in the mouth
  25. itching
  26. large, hive-like swelling on face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  27. light-colored stools
  28. nasal congestion
  29. neck pain
  30. nervousness
  31. no blood pressure or pulse
  32. noisy breathing
  33. pain
  34. pain in the groin or genitals
  35. pain or burning while urinating
  36. painful or difficult urination
  37. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  38. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  39. redness and swelling of the gums
  40. redness in the whites of the eyes
  41. runny nose
  42. shakiness and unsteady walk
  43. sharp back pain just below ribs
  44. shivering
  45. skin rash
  46. small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds in the lung when listening with a stethoscope
  47. sneezing
  48. sore throat
  49. sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  50. stopping of heart
  51. swelling around the eyes
  52. swollen glands
  53. tenderness
  54. tender, swollen glands in the neck
  55. troubled breathing with exertion
  56. unconsciousness
  57. unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  58. unusual bleeding or bruising
  59. upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  60. vision changes
  61. voice changes
  62. vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  63. waking to urinate at night
  64. yellow eyes and skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Belching
  2. feeling of indigestion
  3. mood changes
  4. pain in the chest below the breastbone
  5. redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest

Less common

  1. Abnormal ejaculation
  2. bloody nose
  3. burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  4. decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  5. decreased sexual performance or desire
  6. diarrhea
  7. difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  8. excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
  9. feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  10. full feeling
  11. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  12. inability to have or keep an erection
  13. increased need to urinate
  14. joint stiffness
  15. leg cramps or pain
  16. loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  17. nervousness
  18. passing gas
  19. passing urine more often
  20. sneezing
  21. stuffy nose
  22. trouble sleeping


  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. ankle, knee, or great toe joint pain
  3. cracks in the skin
  4. difficulty with moving
  5. discouragement
  6. excessive muscle tone
  7. fear or nervousness
  8. feeling sad or empty
  9. hair loss or thinning of the hair
  10. heartburn
  11. increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  12. irritability
  13. itching, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or warmth on the skin
  14. lack of appetite
  15. lack or loss of strength
  16. loss of heat from the body
  17. loss of interest or pleasure
  18. loss of strength or energy
  19. loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  20. lower back or side pain
  21. muscle pain or weakness
  22. muscle stiffness
  23. muscle tension or tightness
  24. pain or burning in the throat
  25. red, swollen skin
  26. redness or other discoloration of the skin
  27. scaly skin
  28. severe sunburn
  29. sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  30. sleeplessness
  31. stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  32. swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
  33. tiredness
  34. trouble concentrating
  35. unable to sleep

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.