Nitrendipine belongs to the calcium channel blocker (CCB) drug class and treats high blood pressure. The medication has limited availability or is not marketed in many regions and less extensive information exists about it. It is known that the medicine may interact poorly with other drugs or be inappropriate in the presence of certain health conditions. Additionally, it has side effects that can range from mild to severe.
Since there are so many CCBs available, it’s not surprising that some of them, like nitrendipine, aren’t mass marketed. On the other hand, limited availability means there are fewer individuals using the medication and it may be harder to judge its efficacy or uncover its potential problems. Information about drugs like nitrendipine should be viewed as incomplete and subject to change.
As a general rule, CCBs like nitrendipine are considered viable options for hypertension because of their action. They retard the movement of calcium into the heart cells, which helps the muscles move with greater efficiency. At the same time, CCBs cause blood vessel dilation, and this allows blood to move through them with less resistance, reducing blood pressure.
This medication, as stated above, can affect or be affected by certain health conditions. Nitrendipine should never be used in the period directly following a myocardial infarction or as hypertension treatment, for unstable angina, or in patients with sick sinus syndrome or atrioventricular block. Pregnancy and nursing are also contraindications. The elderly and patients with liver disease may use the drug in reduced doses.
Nitrendipine has a strong interaction with diuretics. When these two drug types are taken together, they may cause electrolyte imbalance, and careful attention to fluid intake is required. Other medications that react with this CCB are carbamazepine, digoxin, rifampin, and cimetidine. This is not a complete list, and patients should tell their doctors about all medications they use to prevent additional reactions. Also, grapefruit juice can strengthen nitrendipine and should be avoided.
The most common adverse effects that may occur with this CCB are headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea or vomiting. These and other reactions like fatigue and diarrhea are generally not judged as serious, though patients should tell their doctors about them if they become bothersome. More concerning side effects, which require emergency medical care, are changes in heart rhythm, very low blood pressure and extreme allergy. Patients should consult their doctors for a full list of side effects and warnings before taking this drug.