Felodipine

  • Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are on felodipine.
  • When you first start taking felodipine you may experience headache, flushing and palpitations. These usually go away a few days after starting treatment.
Type of medicine Calcium-channel blocker
Used for Hypertension
Angina
Also called Cabren®, Cardioplen® XL, Felogen® XL, Felotens® XL, Folpik® XL, Neofel® XL, Parmid® XL, Pinefeld® XL, Plendil®, Vascalpha®
Available as Modified-release tablets (this means felodipine is released slowly over the day to give a more even effect)

Felodipine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and prevent angina (chest pain). It works by relaxing blood vessels which allows blood to circulate more freely around your body. This lowers blood pressure, improves the efficiency of your heart and helps prevent the chest pain associated with angina.

Before taking felodipine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have liver problems.
  • If you have angina and have chest pain when you are resting as well as during any exercise.
  • If you have had a heart attack less than one month ago or have any other heart problems.
  • If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
  • Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
  • Take felodipine exactly as your doctor has told you. Take your doses in the morning unless your doctor has told you otherwise.
  • You may take your doses before, during or after food.
  • Swallow felodipine tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not break, crush or chew the tablets
  • Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are on felodipine. This is because a chemical in grapefruit juice increases the amount of felodipine in your bloodstream. This makes side-effects more likely.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be monitored.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking felodipine.
  • If you buy any medicines, always check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
  • Suddenly stopping treatment with felodipine may cause problems. Your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this
Headaches, flushing, palpitations These may occur when you first start treatment, but usually go away after a few days. If the headache continues, ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller or discuss the problem with your doctor
Swollen ankles Take plenty of rest and raise your legs onto a low stool when you are sitting
Tiredness, dizziness Do not drive or use tools or machines while you feel dizzy or tired

Important: If your chest pain gets worse, contact your doctor at once.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
  • Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else has taken an overdose of this medicine go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
  • This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
  • Never keep out of date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
  • If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Last Checked:
20/02/2012
Document ID:
3482 (v28)
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