Felodipine – Dose | Use | Side Effects
Felodipine is in a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers. It works by changing the flow of calcium into the cells and thus widens the blood vessels and increase blood flow. Dilatation of blood vessels decreases blood pressure. Due to such an effect, it is used in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and helps to prevent stable angina pectoris.
Felodipine cannot be used in patients allergic to it or other similar medicines:
- nicardipine and others.
If you experience symptoms of an allergy (hives, itching, redness, swelling of the face, swelling of the tongue, trouble breathing), contact your doctor.
Patients suffering from tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) should not use this medicine because it may cause hypotension (low blood pressure), accompanied by tachycardia.
It should be used only with great caution in patients with liver disorders, because in such patients Felodipine may cause side effects more easily.
This drug is absolutely contraindicated in patients who have ever had cardiogenic shock, in pregnancy and in patients with unstable angina pectoris.
It cannot be used neither in patients with heart failure, and patients with aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart).
Use of Felodipine during pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medicament cannot be used in pregnancy!
According to the US Agency for Food and Drug Administration, Felodipine belongs to the group C (FDA: Group C). This means that animal studies have shown that this drug have side effects during pregnancy in animals but there are no human studies. It can be used during pregnancy only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the child.
Felodipine passes into breast milk, so you need to avoid breastfeeding while using Felodipine.
Use and Dose
Take Felodipine pills in the morning on an empty stomach, to increase efficacy of this medicine.
The usual initial dose is Felodipine 2.5 mg or 5 mg once a day (in the morning). The dose may be increased to 10 mg once a day.
The daily dose should not exceed 20 mg. In patients older than 65 years of age and in patients with liver disorders dose should be reduced.
It should be taken on an empty stomach, because certain foods can affect its efficacy.
Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water (250 ml). Do not crush or chew the tablets.
Keep in mind that you need to change lifestyle habits in order to lower your high blood pressure. Avoid greasy and spicy food, avoid stress, quit smoking and be physically active for at least half an hour a day.
Use with other medicines (Interactions)
Felodipine cannot be used concomitant with the following medicines:
- Antibiotics, used in the treatment of bacterial infections such as:
- Medicines used in the treatment of fungal infections such as:
- Medicines used in the treatment of viral infections (HIV or AIDS) such as:
- indinavir and others.
- Grapefruit (including grapefruit juice).
All of the above listed medicines may increase the blood level of Felodipine and cause side effects.
The following medicines may decrease the blood level of Felodipine and reduce this drug effects:
- Medicines used in the treatment of epilepsy, such as:
- Antibiotics, such as:
- rifamycin (used in the treatment of tuberculosis).
- Efavirenz, used in the treatment of AIDS (HIV).
- St. John’s Wort.
Felodipine should be used only with great caution concomitant with the following medications:
- Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), used in the treatment of pain and inflammation such as:
- Beta-blockers, used in the treatment of high blood pressure such as:
- Other calcium channel blockers such as:
Felodipine can cause the following side effects:
- tachycardia (rapid heartbeat),
- muscle pain,
- joint pain,
- swelling of the joint,
- mood changes (anxiety, depression),
- difficulty urinating,
- allergy and others.
Tell your doctor if you experience any of above mentioned side effects.