Nifedipine Warnings and Precautions
To ensure a safe, effective treatment process, it's important to understand the risks involved with taking nifedipine. Warnings and precautions for the drug include being aware that it can cause water retention, low blood pressure, and chest pain (although this is rare). Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider prior to starting treatment about the nifedipine warnings and precautions that apply to you.
Nifedipine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking nifedipine if you have:
- Heart disease, including congestive heart failure
- Low blood pressure
- An esophageal stricture or other narrowing of the digestive tract
- An upcoming surgery
- Aortic stenosis
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Nifedipine Warnings and PrecautionsWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking nifedipine include the following:
- The medication can cause low blood pressure (hypotension). Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
- Immediate-release nifedipine capsules should not be used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have any upcoming surgeries. Depending on the type of anesthetic that will be used, you may need to stop taking nifedipine for a few days before surgery.
- In rare cases, nifedipine can cause worsening chest pain or even heart attacks. This is more likely in people with severe heart disease. Tell your healthcare provider if your chest pain worsens while you are taking the drug.
- In rare cases, people taking nifedipine with a beta blocker have developed congestive heart failure (CHF). This is more likely in people with a condition called aortic stenosis.
- The medication can cause water retention (edema). Because this condition can be dangerous in people with congestive heart failure, nifedipine should be used with caution in people with CHF.
- Some nifedipine tablets do not completely dissolve. You may notice the tablets in your stool; this is normal and does not change the effectiveness of the drug.
- Because some nifedipine tablets do not completely dissolve, they may cause problems in people with a narrowing of the digestive tract (such as an esophageal stricture). The medication should be used with caution in people with these problems.
- Nifedipine is a considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug while pregnant (see Nifedipine and Pregnancy).
- Nifedipine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using nifedipine (see Nifedipine and Breastfeeding).