Discussions that mention nifedipine

High & Low Blood Pressure board


There are 3 types of calcium channel blockers. I got this off a website:
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Verapamil
This is commonly used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It is also used to treat certain arrhythmias (when the heart rate is abnormally fast). This is because it also blocks calcium going into the special conducting cells in the heart and so it can slow the heart rate. You should not take verapamil in addition to a beta-blocker medicine.

Diltiazem
This is used to treat angina and high blood pressure. Unlike verapamil it is not used to treat arrhythmias. It can be used in addition to beta-blockers if this combination is necessary.

As a rule, you should not take verapamil or diltiazem if you have heart failure. This is because they 'relax' the heart, and can make heart failure worse.

Dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers
These include amlodipine, felodipine, isradipine, lacidipine, lercanidipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, nimodipine, and nisoldipine. These have more effect of relaxing blood vessels, and less effect of relaxing the heart muscle than verapamil or diltiazam. Most are used to treat high blood pressure and angina. But, isradipine, lacidipine, and lercanidipine are only used to treat high blood pressure. Nifedipine is also used to treat Raynaud's phenomenon.

As they do not affect heart muscle much, they are not useful for arrhythmias, and are unlikely to make heart failure worse. You can take one of these in addition to a beta-blocker. In fact, a dihydropyridine calcium-channel blocker in addition to a beta-blocker medicine is commonly used to prevent angina pains if either does not work well enough alone.

What are the possible side-effects?

Most people who take calcium-channel blockers have no side-effects, or only minor ones. Because of their action to relax and widen arteries, some people develop flushing and headache. These tend to ease over a few days if you continue to take the tablets. Mild ankle swelling is also quite common, particularly with dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers.

Constipation is quite a common side-effect, especially with verapamil. You can often deal with this by increasing the amount of fibre that you eat, and increasing the amount of water and other fluids that you drink.

Other side-effects are uncommon and include: feeling sick, palpitations, tiredness, dizziness, and rashes. Read the information leaflet which comes with your particular brand for a full list of possible side-effects.
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So you might not get the same side effects if you tried a different ccb. I take tiazac, which is in the Diltiazem category and do not have swelling or headache. I believe Norvasc is in the Dihydropyridine calcium-channel blocker family.