felodipine, Plendil (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

DOSING: The recommended dose of felodipine is 2.5-10 mg once daily. It should be taken without food or with no more than a light meal since food may reduce its absorption. Since felodipine comes as a sustained-release tablet, it should be swallowed whole. It should not be chewed or crushed.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Cimetidine (Tagamet), ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric), itraconazole (Sporanox), and erythromycin can block the breakdown of felodipine, resulting in higher blood concentrations of felodipine and drops in blood pressure. Carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, or phenytoin (Dilantin) can lower felodipine blood concentrations. Therefore, higher doses of felodipine may be necessary in patients receiving these medications.

Taking felodipine with grapefruit juice increases its absorption and may lead to sudden drops in blood pressure. Felodipine may increase blood concentrations of tacrolimus (Prograf). Tacrolimus blood concentrations should be monitored and the dose should be modified as necessary.

PREGNANCY: The effects of felodipine in pregnant women have not been adequately studied. Animal studies have shown adverse effects. Therefore, the physician must weigh the potential risks to the fetus against the potential benefits to the mother.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known if felodipine is excreted in breast milk.

SIDE EFFECTS: Peripheral edema (swollen ankles and feet), headache, flushing, dizziness, and increased heart rate, low blood pressure are the most common side effects of felodipine. Overgrowth of gums, rash, upper respiratory tract reactions, and fainting also may occur.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 2/24/2012



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