Lercanidipine

Take lercanidipine once daily at least 30 minutes before food.

Do not drink grapefruit juice whilst you are on these tablets.

When you first start lercanidipine you may get headache, feel flushed, or feel dizzy. These effects are usually mild and only last for a few days.

Type of medicine Calcium-channel blocker
Used for High blood pressure
Also called Zanidip®
Available as Tablets

Lercanidipine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). People with high blood pressure often do not feel unwell but, if left untreated, high blood pressure can harm your heart and damage blood vessels, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Lercanidipine works by relaxing (widening) your blood vessels which lowers your blood pressure and allows blood to circulate more freely around your body.

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking lercanidipine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have kidney or liver problems.
  • If you have any heart problems or angina, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
  • If you have porphyria (this is a rare inherited blood disorder).
  • If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • Before you start taking these tablets, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about lercanidipine and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
  • Take lercanidipine exactly as your doctor has told you to. The usual dose is one (10 mg) tablet daily, although if necessary this may be increased to one (20 mg) tablet daily. Your dose and the strength of your tablets will be on the label of the pack to remind you. It is likely that you will be advised to take your dose in the morning before breakfast.
  • Take the tablets with a drink of water, 30-60 minutes before eating a meal. This is because fatty food can increase the amount of lercanidipine your body absorbs, which may then lead to side-effects.
  • Try to take lercanidipine at the same time each day. This will help you to remember to take your doses.
  • Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are on lercanidipine. This is because a chemical in grapefruit juice increases the amount of lercanidipine in your bloodstream and this makes side-effects more likely.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it 30 minutes before your next meal. 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 doctor can check on your progress.
  • If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice. Your doctor may recommend that you do not drink alcohol while you are on this medicine. It will increase the chance that you experience side-effects such as feeling dizzy and light-headed.
  • If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take. This is because some medicines may interfere with lercanidipine and may not be recommended for you.
  • If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking lercanidipine.
  • Treatment with lercanidipine is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise. If it is necessary for you to stop taking lercanidipine, your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually over a few days, as stopping taking it suddenly may cause problems.

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.

Possible lercanidipine side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 100 people who take this medicine What can I do if I experience this?
Headache Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling dizzy Getting up and moving more slowly should help. Do not drive or use tools or machines while you feel dizzy
Swollen ankles, feeling hot and flushed, being aware of your heartbeat Speak with your doctor about these if any become troublesome or continue beyond a few days

Important: if you get any chest pain after taking lercanidipine, contact your doctor for advice as soon as possible.

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them 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 might have 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.

Do not 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

  • Manufacturer's PIL, Zanidip® 10 mg and 20 mg tablets; Recordati Pharmaceuticals Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2008.
  • British National Formulary; 64th Edition (Sep 2012) 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:
Prof Cathy Jackson
Last Checked:
02/01/2013
Document ID:
3695 (v24)
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