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Having a visit does not guarantee a medication will be ordered or refilled. It is clinicians’ professional decision. It is prohibited by law to prescribe or refill controlled substances via virtual visits. Your provider may recommend follow-up care, including additional services that may not be included in visit price.

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Nifedipine (Generic Procardia)

What Is Nifedipine?

Nifedipine is a prescription-only drug that’s known as a calcium channel blocker medication. Nifedipine can be used for multiple purposes, but the main usage and reason for prescription is for high blood pressure

How Does Nifedipine Work?

Nifedipine belongs to a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers. It works by reducing or preventing the movement of calcium within your heart and blood vessels. Calcium channel blocking can result in lower blood pressure while increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to your heart while lowering the strain.

After taking your medication, you might see results within the same day, however, some patients might not see results for a couple of weeks. Whether or not you feel a difference before or after taking the medication, you should continue to use it as instructed when prescribed.

What Is Nifedipine Used For?

Nifedipine will generally be prescribed to patients who are experiencing high blood pressure, as well as experiencing anginal chest pain. This usage of this drug can also help to prevent symptoms of heart disease and heart attacks.

You should know that Nifedipine is not used as a cure for these conditions, but rather to control them and make them easier to treat while alleviating symptoms. Feeling better as a result of using Nifedipine does not mean that you have been cured, and you should not stop taking it as a result.

What Are the Side Effects of Nifedipine?

You should expect and be aware of the multiple side effects that you may experience when taking Nifedipine. While some are not serious, you might experience the following:

  • Feeling flushed
  • Experiencing dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

Aside from the common side effects, there are also a number of serious side effects. If you experience any of the following, you should make sure to stop taking your medication until you have spoken with your doctor about your symptoms:

  • Eye whites turning yellow
  • Skin turns yellow

If you experience chest pain that does not leave after a few minutes after taking Nifedipine, you should call emergency services immediately to seek medical attention.

Consuming grapefruit might increase the concentration of the drug in the blood, which can enhance side effects.

How to Take Nifedipine?

Nifedipine is to be taken orally and will come in the form of a capsule. Your healthcare provider will give you instructions on how often you should take this drug, as it may vary depending on the dosage. Generally, it should be taken around the same time each day, as to get the best effects without overdosing.

You should avoid taking this medication more or less than your healthcare provider has instructed, and if you are unclear you should contact them to learn more.

Patients should avoid taking this drug by choice, and should only stop the use of this medication if their doctor instructs them to do so.

You will want to make sure that you are taking your Nifedipine capsules on an empty stomach, around an hour before you eat, or two hours after you’ve eaten.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nifedipine

What to Avoid While Taking Nifedipine?

While taking Nifedipine you should avoid the following:

  • Alcohol – Alcohol can increase the blood pressure-lowering effects of nifedipine which might increase the risk for side effects such as dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Grapefruit and Grapefruit Juice – Grapefruit can increase the amount of nifedipine in your bloodstream, which can lead to enhanced side effects.
  • High sodium products – A high-sodium diet can counteract the blood pressure-lowering effects of Nifedipine.

The list of things to avoid while taking Nifedipine above is not exhaustive.

You should avoid certain medications and supplements while taking Nifedipine as they can interact with the drug and increase the risk of side effects. Examples would include, but are not limited to:

  • Other blood pressure medication
  • Some antifungal medications
  • Antiseizure drugs
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Potassium supplements

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about potential interactions and side effects before taking any medications.

Additionally, when starting the medication avoid activities that require alertness and coordination, as you may feel lightheaded after taking the drug until you know exactly how it affects you. Examples of activities that should be avoided are driving, operating machinery, or any activity that requires a high level of focus and discernment.

Is Nifedipine Safe?

When taken as prescribed, Nifedipine is generally a safe drug. However, it might not be safe for everyone and should only be taken when deemed appropriate by your healthcare provider.

What Is the Most Common Side Effect of Nifedipine?

The most common side effect of Nifedipine is flushing. This can sometimes be accompanied by a sensation of warmth or heat, and it primarily affects the face and neck. Other common side effects include:

  • Feeling flushed
  • Experiencing dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

How Long Does It Take for Nifedipine to Work?

The effects of Nifedipine can vary from one individual to another, and the speed at which it works can also depend on the dosage, formulation (immediate-release versus extended-release), and the condition being treated.

Overall Nifedipine starts working from day one but it may take a few weeks to fully take effect.

It’s also worth noting that even if you don’t “feel” different, the medication might still be working to lower your blood pressure or address angina. It’s essential to regularly monitor blood pressure and follow up with a healthcare provider to ensure the medication is working as intended and to make any necessary dosage adjustments.

What Is the Typical Dosage for Nifedipine?

The exact dosage for Nifedipine can vary and will depend on your individual condition and medical history as well as the formulation of Nifedipine. Nifedipine comes in two forms: extended-release and immediate-release.

Immediate-release tablets are typically taken 1 to 3 times per day while extended-release tablets can be taken once or twice a day.

Generally for immediate-release tablets (for adults), the initial dose is 10mg three times a day. And for the extended-release capsules, the initial dose is 30-60 mg once daily.

The dosages may be increased depending on your response and tolerance to the treatment.

Make sure to take your doses at consistent times and never stop taking the medication on your own. You should consult with your healthcare provider to determine when it is safe for you to discontinue Nifedipine use.

Can You Get Nifedipine Over-The-Counter (OTC)?

No, nifedipine is not available over-the-counter. It is a prescription-only medication and should only be taken as prescribed by your healthcare provider.


For more detailed information about nifedipine, you can refer to the following sources:


The content on this page has been medically reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC 

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Yes, you can get a new prescription or refill an existing one online through DrHouse. You just need to start a consultation with one of our licensed providers and they will be able to assess your needs and provide you with a prescription if necessary.

    Please note that the final decision always rests with the doctor based on their professional judgment and your health needs.

  • There are certain medications that cannot be prescribed online by DrHouse physicians due to safety reasons. These include controlled substances, such as opioids and other narcotics, as well as drugs with a high potential for abuse or dependence. DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.

  • With DrHouse getting a new prescription or a refill for your current Rx is a straightforward and quick process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:

    • Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
    • Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
    • Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
    • Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
    • A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to determine if an online prescription is appropriate for you.
    • If a physician approves, they will electronically send a new prescription or refill request to the pharmacy of your choice.
    • Pick up your medication from the pharmacy.

    DrHouse makes it easy for you to get an online prescription from the comfort of your own home. No more waiting in line at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, and no need to take time off work to see a doctor. Our telehealth platform allows you to access quality medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.

    For more information about how our telehealth platform works visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.

  • During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.

    The consultation will consist of a video call where a physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that a physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your prescription.

    You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.

    Once a physician has assessed your needs, they will determine if and what type of prescription is appropriate for you. If a new prescription or refill is approved, a doctor will send it electronically to your chosen pharmacy.

  • With our on-demand telehealth service, you have the opportunity to see the first available doctor in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. However, the exact consult time will depend on the complexity of your case and the thoroughness required by the healthcare provider to make an informed decision.

  • Absolutely, it is safe to get an online prescription from DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.

    All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.

    We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing of medications.

    Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.

  • DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.

    The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.

    To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page

  • Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.

  • Our physicians are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription without labs for any previously prescribed medication if it’s medically appropriate and is not classified as a controlled substance.

    DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.

    DrHouse physicians use their medical judgment to determine whether to prescribe and the duration.

    In certain cases, the prescription may be limited to 30 days or less. There also may be a 12-month cap for some prescriptions without labs. For medications requiring annual monitoring (such as blood work or imaging), the maximum prescription limit is 90 days within a year without labs.

    DrHouse physicians can refer patients to labs for longer prescription periods or refills.