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:
- nisoldipine (Sular)
- nicardipine (Cardene)
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
What brand names are available for felodipine?
Plendil is the brand name available for this drug in the US.
What is felodipine used for?
- Felodipine is used to treat high blood pressure to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It may be used alone or in combination with other drugs.
- It also is used to treat patients with angina although it is not FDA approved for this use.
What are the side effects of felodipine?
The most common side effects reported by patients include:
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood
Other important side effects include:
- Overgrowth of gums
- Skin eruptions
- Upper respiratory tract reactions
What is the dosage for felodipine?
- 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
- Since felodipine comes as a sustained-release tablet, it should
be swallowed whole. It should not be chewed or crushed.
Salt and sodium are the same.
Which drugs, supplements, or foods interact with felodipine?
can block the breakdown of felodipine, resulting in higher blood concentrations
of felodipine and drops in blood pressure.
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.