Nifedipine Uses

Nifedipine Uses for Blood Pressure

A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example: 120/80. The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as an average blood pressure higher than 140/90 with multiple blood pressure readings.
In clinical studies, nifedipine has been shown to significantly lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. By lowering blood pressure, the drug can decrease the risk of developing health problems (such as a stroke, heart disease, or congestive heart failure) that often occur with long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). Nifedipine is not a cure for high blood pressure, however.
Short-acting nifedipine (Procardia) should not be used for the treatment of high blood pressure.

How Nifedipine Works

Nifedipine is part of a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It helps slow down the rate at which calcium moves into your heart and into the blood vessel walls. This, in turn, helps to relax the vessels, which allow better blood flow and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
There are two basic types of calcium channel blockers: dihydropyridine and non-dihydropyridine. The most important difference between the two is that non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers can slow down the heart rate, while dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers do not. Nifedipine is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, which means that it does not usually decrease the heart rate. In fact, short-acting nifedipine (Procardia) can actually increase the heart rate, although this is not usually a problem with long-acting nifedipine.
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Nifedipine Drug Information

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