GENERIC NAME: nisoldipine
BRAND NAME: Sular
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Nisoldipine is an oral calcium channel blocker (CCB) of the dihydropyridine (DHP) class that is used to treat high blood pressure. Other calcium channel blockers in the DHP class include nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat), amlodipine (Norvasc), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), and isradipine (Dynacirc). Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium from entering certain types of muscle cells. Since the muscle cells need calcium to contract, CCBs prevent the cells from contracting, that is, they cause the muscle cells to relax. Nisoldipine selectively relaxes the muscles of small arteries causing the arteries to dilate but has little or no effect on muscles of veins or the heart. Dilation of arteries reduces blood pressure. Nisoldipine was approved by the FDA in February of 1995.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Nisoldipine is used to treat high blood pressure. It may be used alone or in combination with other agents.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of nisoldipine are:
- Peripheral edema (swollen ankles and feet),
- Hypersensitivity reactions,
- worsening of chest pain,
- low blood pressure, and
- heart attacks
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