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- What is felodipine, and how does it work?
- What brand names are available for felodipine?
- Is this drug available as a generic ?
- Do I need a prescription for it?
- Why doctors prescribe (uses) felodipine?
- What are the side effects of felodipine?
- How should I take this drug (dosage)?
- Which drugs, supplements, or foods interact with felodipine?
- Is it safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about this drug?
What is felodipine, and how does it work?
Felodipine is an oral calcium channel blocker (CCB) of the dihydropyridine (DHP) class. Other calcium channel blockers in the DHP class include:
- nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat)
- amlodipine (Norvasc)
- nisoldipine (Sular)
- nicardipine (Cardene)
- isradipine (Dynacirc)
Calcium is necessary for muscle cells to contract. Felodipine prevents calcium from being released within the muscle cells of the small arteries and thereby causes the muscles to relax and the arteries to dilate or expand. Dilation of arteries reduces blood pressure. It has little or no effect on the muscles of veins or the heart.
Why doctors prescribe (uses) felodipine?
What are the side effects of felodipine?
The most common side effects reported by patients include:
- Peripheral edema (swollen ankles and feet)
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
Other important side effects include:
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How should I take this drug (dosage)?
- 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.
Which drugs, supplements, or foods interact with felodipine?
- 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.
Is it safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- There aren't any adequate studies on the effects of felodipine in ppregnant women. Animal studies have shown adverse effects. Therefore, your doctor or health care professional must weigh the potential risks to the fetus against the potential benefits to the you.
- We don't know if felodipine is excreted in breast milk.
What else should I know about this drug?
- It's available as tablets (extended Release) in 2.5, 5, and 10 mg
- You should keep the tablets stored below 86 F (30 C) and protect them from light and moisture.
- Felodipine was approved by the FDA in 1991.
Felodipine (Plendil) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure to prevent heart attack and stroke. Doctors also prescribe it to treat patients for angina, however, it is not an FDA approved drug for this condition.
Common side effects include:
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