Adalat, also known as Nifedipine, is a type of medication known as a calcium channel blocker and is prescribed as a treatment for high blood pressure.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood being pumped by the heart and the resistance to blood flow in the arteries. If the arteries become narrowed, blood pressure increases as the heart is forced to work too hard to pump blood around the body. This can lead to serious health complications such as damage to blood vessels in the brain, heart and kidneys, heart failure, stroke, or kidney failure. Calcium channel blockers such as Adalat (Nifedipine) work by relaxing, and therefore expanding, the blood vessels, helping blood to flow more easily and lowering blood pressure.
The active ingredient in Adalat is Nifedipine.
The inactive ingredients in Adalat are propylene glycol, cellulose acetate, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, polyethylene oxide, macrogol, magnesium stearate, shellac, titanium dioxide (E171), iron oxide (E172), and sodium chloride.
In some rare but uncommon cases, users might experience a severe allergic reaction to this medication. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include facial swelling, hives, dizziness, chest tightness and trouble breathing. If you notice these symptoms after taking this medication, you should seek immediate medical help at your nearest local emergency room.
Your doctor will decide your dose based on your individual requirements and will aim to prescribe the lowest effective dose, to reduce side effects. Adalat is available as short-acting, immediate-release capsules, and as long-acting, slow-release tablets or capsules. The usual starting dose for immediate-release Adalat is 5 mg taken 3 times per day, and the usual starting dose for slow-release Adalat is 10 mg twice daily, or 20 - 30 mg once per day.
Take Adalat at the same time or times each day. Swallow each tablet whole with a glass of water, with or without food. If you forget to take a tablet, do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are taking 1 tablet per day, take the dose as soon as you remember as long as it is within 12 hours of the scheduled time.
If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are planning on becoming pregnant, speak to your doctor for advice before taking Adalat. You should not take this medication if you are breastfeeding. Your doctor may tell you that you need to stop breastfeeding in order to take Adalat.
Like all medications, Adalat can cause side effects in some patients. If you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects, stop taking Adalat and contact your doctor immediately:
Common side effects, which may affect up to 1 in 10 people, include:
Uncommon side effects may affect up to 1 in 100 people and include:
The following side effects are rare, affecting up to 1 in 1,000 people:
Other side effects where the frequency cannot be estimated include:
Do NOT take Adalat if you:
Before taking Adalat, inform your doctor and take particular care if any of the following applies to you:
Before taking Adalat, tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken any other medications, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. In particular, tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken:
You can take Adalat with or without food. However, you should avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking Adalat, beginning 3 days before treatment, as this may increase blood levels of Nifedipine.
There are a variety of treatments for high blood pressure and your doctor will be able to decide which is best for you. Other calcium channel blockers include Felodipine, Lacidipine, Lercanidipine, Diltiazem and Verapamil. Alternatively, a doctor may choose to prescribe an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), such as Valsartan, Candesartan or Losartan, or an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, such as Enalapril, Ramipril or Perindopril. ARBs and ACE inhibitors both work by interfering with the activity of the hormone angiotensin II, which is involved in the narrowing of blood vessels. However, these options are thought to be less effective in patients over the age of 55 and in patients of Afro-Caribbean descent. Other options are beta-blockers, which also lower the heart rate, and diuretics, which increase water and salt excretion.
Alongside treatment, there are some lifestyle changes you should make to help reduce blood pressure and improve your overall well being. A major cause of high blood pressure is a high salt intake, so keep an eye on the salt content of any pre-prepared food you eat and try to limit your intake to below the recommended maximum of 6 g per day. Cut back on saturated fats and fatty cuts of meat, and try to include plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats in your diet. If you haven’t already done so, quit smoking, and try to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink to below 14 units per week. Exercising regularly will help to keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition and can also contribute to reducing stress, another known cause of high blood pressure. Try to reduce the impact of stress in your life by taking daily walks, spending time with friends and family and finding time to relax where possible.
Adalat begins to work immediately, but it may take a couple of weeks to take full effect. If you are taking Adalat for high blood pressure, you are unlikely to have symptoms and therefore will probably not notice the effects of Adalat. Your doctor may wish to check in with you regularly to monitor your blood pressure.
Treatment with Adalat is usually long-term, and patients often take it for the rest of their life. If you experience side effects from taking Adalat, or if Adalat does not sufficiently control your blood pressure, other medications may be recommended.
If you are scheduled to undergo surgery, you should tell the surgeon beforehand that you are taking Adalat. You may be advised to come off of Adalat before surgery to prevent your blood pressure from becoming too low.
In up to 1 in every 100 male patients, Adalat may cause problems with achieving or maintaining an erection.
Adalat may impair sperm function, where IVF therapy is being used.
Adalat itself will not affect your contraception. However, some types of hormonal contraception, such as the combined oral contraceptive pill, are not recommended for use in women with high blood pressure. Speak to your doctor for advice on which contraceptives are safest for you.
You can drink alcohol with Adalat, but it may increase the blood pressure-lowering effects of the drug, making you feel dizzy or tired. It is best to avoid drinking alcohol in excess when taking this medication.