What are the Different Nifedipine Side Effects?

Kevin Gill

The basic nifedipine side effects from first doses include feeling faint or dizzy and tachycardia, which is a fast heart rate. Most users don't have these side effects after their bodies adjust to the medicine and dosage. Other common side effects include drowsiness, hot flashes and fatigue, as well as water retention, nausea, muscle cramps and uncontrollable shaking. Some users and test subjects have also encountered impotence, headaches, constipation and dry mouth. It is believed that less than 20 percent of nifedipine users experience side effects of the drug and less than 10 percent experience serious side effects.

Some nifedipine users experience headaches as a side effect.
Some nifedipine users experience headaches as a side effect.

Nifedipine is a dihydropyridine calcium-channel blocker that is sold under many brand names and has many applications. It is used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure; angina pectoris, chest pain; premature labor; and spasms of the esophagus. It also helps cancer patients and people suffering from tetanus. It has been especially effective in treating Prinzmetal's angina.

Fast heart rate is a potential side effect of nifedipine.
Fast heart rate is a potential side effect of nifedipine.

Users experiencing a bloated feeling, muscle pain, stomach sickness or begin shaking and can't stop are advised to see their doctor or go to the hospital. Likewise, those who have difficulty getting an erection, feel bad head pain or have a difficulty with bowel movements should also seek help. A doctor's appointment should be scheduled if problems persist, worsen or are notably problematic to begin with.

Nifedipine may be used to treat angina pectoris.
Nifedipine may be used to treat angina pectoris.

There are also serious nifedipine side effects. Anyone experiencing these problems should stop use immediately and seek medical help. These include chest pains and any signs of low blood pressure or depression. Other serious side effects that must be immediately addressed are enlarged breasts in men, a heart attack or signs of congestive heart failure, which might include severe water retention accompanied by difficulty breathing. Some other serious side effects are paranoia and temporary blindness.

Nifedipine may be used to treat high blood pressure.
Nifedipine may be used to treat high blood pressure.

Rare nifedipine side effects occur in 1 percent or less of users. Though not at all common, these potential problems can include swelling of the face, increased perspiration and a decrease in sex drive. Other unintended effects that have been rarely reported are fever, weight gain, back pain, hair loss and migraines. Nifedipine side effects should not be ignored. One should always seek the help of a doctor or emergency treatment if the problem is severe.

Nifedipine is commonly used to treat premature labor.
Nifedipine is commonly used to treat premature labor.
Chest pain and low blood pressure are sigs of serious nifedipine side effects.
Chest pain and low blood pressure are sigs of serious nifedipine side effects.

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