nisoldipine, Sular

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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.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets (Extended Release): 8.5, 17, 20, 25.5, 30, 34, and 40 mg.

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored below 30 C (86 F) and should be protected from light and moisture.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Nisoldipine is used to treat high blood pressure. It may be used alone or in combination with other agents.

DOSING: The recommended dose is 17 to 34 mg or 20 to 40 mg daily depending on the formulation that is used. Doses may be increased at one week intervals. Tablets should be swallowed whole and taken on an empty stomach. Individuals with poor liver function require lower doses of nisoldipine.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Cimetidine (Tagamet) or any drug that reduces the activity of liver enzymes that break down nisoldipine can increase blood levels of nisoldipine, possibly causing more side effects. Examples of drugs that may reduce break down of nisoldipine include ketoconazole, itraconazole (Sporanox), and erythromycin.

PREGNANCY: The effects of nisoldipine in pregnancy are unknown.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is unknown if nisoldipine appears in breast milk.

SIDE EFFECTS: Peripheral edema (swollen ankles and feet), headache, dizziness, nausea, palpitations are the most common side effects of nisoldipine. Hypersensitivity reactions, worsening of chest pain, low blood pressure, and heart attacks have also been reported.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 8/1/2012




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