Lacidipine, which is available in limited areas, belongs to a group of medications called calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and treats hypertension. It shares many things in common with other CCBs, including a similar side effect profile. The drug also has interactions with other medications or can be contraindicated in the presence of certain health conditions.
Calcium channel blockers reduce calcium flow into heart cells, which relaxes blood vessels and causes them to dilate. This reduces blood pressure and improves cardiac efficiency. Lacidipine is only one of a number of CCBs that work this way. It isn’t available in many regions, including in the US, but there are similar medications on the US market and elsewhere that may be recommended instead.
Most of the drugs classed as CCBs share comparable side effects. These aren’t experienced by everyone and may only occur for short periods of time while patients adjust to the medication. Lacidipine and other CCBs are especially noted to have drowsiness and dizziness as adverse reactions. Patients initiating therapy with any of these drugs should wait to see how they feel before operating cars or other machinery.
Other reactions that don’t indicate medical urgency are upset stomach and/or constipation. A slight rash can develop with use or sometimes people get headaches when they take lacidipine. Even though these side effects are not “medically serious,” they can be very bothersome. Patients should communicate with a doctor about any ongoing problems they’re having with lacidipine. Physicians can suggest alternative treatments, as there are many other classes of medications that treat hypertension.
More severe reactions to lacidipine require emergency attention. Patients should get immediate help if they feel any change in heart rhythm or chest pain. A severe allergy to the drug can also occur, which might include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, and tongue. In addition, a doctor’s advice should be sought if conditions like edema, defined as water retention that causes swelling, occurs in the limbs.
Many patients are not good candidates for this drug based on medical or general conditions. Children and pregnant women shouldn’t use it. People who have suffered a recent heart attack, or who have aortic stenosis, unstable angina or heart arrythmias are strongly cautioned to avoid this medicine. Porphyrias, which are blood disorders, are also contraindications.
Certain medications or substances should not be combined with lacidipine or may necessitate dosage adjustments. Hypnotics, antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants, and tranquilizers increase drowsy and dizzy effects. Antacids may weaken the strength of the drug. Even simple substances like grapefruit juice increase lacidipine’s action. To avoid these reactions, patients should tell their doctors about all the medications they take prior to obtaining new prescriptions.