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Questions & Answers
Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
Although in most angina patients the hypotensive effect of nifedipine is modest and well tolerated, occasional patients have had excessive and poorly tolerated hypotension. These responses have usually occurred during initial titration or at the time of subsequent upward dosage adjustment, and may be more likely in patients on concomitant beta blockers.
Severe hypotension and/or increased fluid volume requirements have been reported in patients receiving nifedipine together with a beta-blocking agent who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery using high dose fentanyl anesthesia. The interaction with high dose fentanyl appears to be due to the combination of nifedipine and a beta blocker, but the possibility that it may occur with nifedipine alone, with low doses of fentanyl, in other surgical procedures, or with other narcotic analgesics cannot be ruled out. In nifedipine-treated patients where surgery using high dose fentanyl anesthesia is contemplated, the physician should be aware of these potential problems and, if the patient’s condition permits, sufficient time (at least 36 hours) should be allowed for nifedipine to be washed out of the body prior to surgery.
The following information should be taken into account in those patients who are being treated for hypertension as well as angina:
Rarely, patients, particularly those who have severe obstructive coronary artery disease, have developed well documented increased frequency, duration and/or severity of angina or acute myocardial infarction on starting nifedipine or at the time of dosage increase. The mechanism of this effect is not established.
It is important to taper beta blockers if possible, rather than stopping them abruptly before beginning nifedipine. Patients recently withdrawn from beta blockers may develop a withdrawal syndrome with increased angina, probably related to increased sensitivity to catecholamines. Initiation of nifedipine treatment will not prevent this occurrence and on occasion has been reported to increase it.
Rarely, patients, usually receiving a beta blocker, have developed heart failure after beginning nifedipine. Patients with tight aortic stenosis may be at greater risk for such an event, as the unloading effect of nifedipine would be expected to be of less benefit, owing to the fixed impedance to flow across the aortic valve in these patients.
There have been rare reports of obstructive symptoms in patients with known strictures in association with the ingestion of nifedipine extended-release tablets. Bezoars can occur in very rare cases and may require surgical intervention.
Cases of serious gastrointestinal obstruction have been identified in patients with no known gastrointestinal disease, including the need for hospitalization and surgical intervention.
Risk factors for a gastrointestinal obstruction identified from post-marketing reports of nifedipine extended-release tablets include alteration in gastrointestinal anatomy (e.g., severe gastrointestinal narrowing, colon cancer, small bowel obstruction, bowel resection, gastric bypass, vertical banded gastroplasty, colostomy, diverticulitis, diverticulosis, and inflammatory bowel disease), hypomotility disorders (e.g., constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, ileus, obesity, hypothyroidism, and diabetes) and concomitant medications (e.g., H2-histamine blockers, opiates, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, laxatives, anticholinergic agents, levothyroxine, and neuromuscular blocking agents).
Cases of tablet adherence to the gastrointestinal wall with ulceration have been reported, some requiring hospitalization and intervention.
There is currently no legal information available for this drug.
FDA Safety Alerts
There are currently no FDA safety alerts available for this drug.
There is currently no manufacturer warning information available for this drug.
FDA Labeling Changes
There are currently no FDA labeling changes available for this drug.
Nifedipine extended-release tablets, USP are indicated for the management of vasospastic angina confirmed by any of the following criteria: 1) classical pattern of angina at rest accompanied by ST segment elevation, 2) angina or coronary artery spasm provoked by ergonovine, or 3) angiographically demonstrated coronary artery spasm. In those patients who have had angiography, the presence of significant fixed obstructive disease is not incompatible with the diagnosis of vasospastic angina, provided that the above criteria are satisfied. Nifedipine extended-release tablets may also be used where the clinical presentation suggests a possible vasospastic component, but where vasospasm has not been confirmed, e.g., where pain has a variable threshold on exertion, or in unstable angina where electrocardiographic findings are compatible with intermittent vasospasm, or when angina is refractory to nitrates and/or adequate doses of beta blockers.
Nifedipine extended-release tablets are indicated for the management of chronic stable angina (effort-associated angina) without evidence of vasospasm in patients who remain symptomatic despite adequate doses of beta blockers and/or organic nitrates or who cannot tolerate those agents.
In chronic stable angina (effort-associated angina), nifedipine has been effective in controlled trials of up to 8 weeks duration in reducing angina frequency and increasing exercise tolerance, but confirmation of sustained effectiveness and evaluation of long-term safety in these patients is incomplete.
Controlled studies in small numbers of patients suggest concomitant use of nifedipine and beta-blocking agents may be beneficial in patients with chronic stable angina, but available information is not sufficient to predict with confidence the effects of concurrent treatment, especially in patients with compromised left ventricular function or cardiac conduction abnormalities. When introducing such concomitant therapy, care must be taken to monitor blood pressure closely, since severe hypotension can occur from the combined effects of the drugs (see WARNINGS).
Nifedipine extended-release tablets are indicated for the treatment of hypertension, to lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions. These benefits have been seen in controlled trials of antihypertensive drugs from a wide variety of pharmacologic classes including nifedipine extended-release tablets.
Control of high blood pressure should be part of comprehensive cardiovascular risk management, including, as appropriate, lipid control, diabetes management, antithrombotic therapy, smoking cessation, exercise, and limited sodium intake. Many patients will require more than one drug to achieve blood pressure goals. For specific advice on goals and management, see published guidelines, such as those of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program’s Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC).
Numerous antihypertensive drugs, from a variety of pharmacologic classes and with different mechanisms of action, have been shown in randomized controlled trials to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and it can be concluded that it is blood pressure reduction, and not some other pharmacologic property of the drugs, that is largely responsible for those benefits. The largest and most consistent cardiovascular outcome benefit has been a reduction in the risk of stroke, but reductions in myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality also have been seen regularly.
Elevated systolic or diastolic pressure causes increased cardiovascular risk, and the absolute risk increase per mmHg is greater at higher blood pressures, so that even modest reductions of severe hypertension can provide substantial benefit. Relative risk reduction from blood pressure reduction is similar across populations with varying absolute risk, so the absolute benefit is greater in patients who are at higher risk independent of their hypertension (for example, patients with diabetes or hyperlipidemia), and such patients would be expected to benefit from more aggressive treatment to a lower blood pressure goal.
Some antihypertensive drugs have smaller blood pressure effects (as monotherapy) in black patients, and many antihypertensive drugs have additional approved indications and effects (e.g., on angina, heart failure, or diabetic kidney disease). These considerations may guide selection of therapy.
Nifedipine extended-release tablets may be used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents.
There is currently no drug history available for this drug.
Nifedipine is a drug belonging to a class of pharmacological agents known as the calcium channel blockers. Nifedipine is dimethyl 1,4-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-4-(o-nitrophenyl)-3,5-pyridinedicarboxylate, C17H18N2O6, and has the structural formula:
Nifedipine, USP is a yellow powder, practically insoluble in water but soluble in ethanol. It has a molecular weight of 346.33. Nifedipine extended-release tablets, USP are formulated as a once-a-day controlled-release tablet for oral administration designed to deliver 30 mg, 60 mg or 90 mg of nifedipine.
Inert ingredients in the formulations are: black iron oxide, cellulose acetate, ferric oxide, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, polyethylene oxide, polyvinyl alcohol, propylene glycol, red iron oxide, sodium chloride, talc, titanium dioxide and yellow iron oxide.
Meets USP Dissolution Test 8.
Nifedipine extended-release tablets are similar in appearance to a conventional tablet. It consists, however, of a semipermeable membrane surrounding an osmotically active drug core. The core itself is divided into two layers: an “active” layer containing the drug, and a “push” layer containing pharmacologically inert (but osmotically active) components. As water from the gastrointestinal tract enters the tablet, pressure increases in the osmotic layer and “pushes” against the drug layer, releasing drug through the precision laser-drilled tablet orifice in the active layer.
Nifedipine extended-release tablets are designed to provide nifedipine at an approximately constant rate over 24 hours. This controlled rate of drug delivery into the gastrointestinal lumen is independent of pH or gastrointestinal motility. Nifedipine extended-release tablets depend for its action on the existence of an osmotic gradient between the contents of the bi-layer core and fluid in the gastrointestinal tract. Drug delivery is essentially constant as long as the osmotic gradient remains constant, and then gradually falls to zero. Upon swallowing, the biologically inert components of the tablet remain intact during gastrointestinal transit and are eliminated in the feces as an insoluble shell.