1 What Adalat capsules are
Adalat capsules contain nifedipine, which belongs to a group of medicines called calcium
Adalat capsules are used to treat high blood pressure, angina (chest pain) or a condition called
Raynaud's phenomenon which causes discolouration (often whitening) of the fingers and toes.
For high blood pressure: Adalat capsules work by relaxing and expanding the blood vessels.
This makes the blood flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Lower blood pressure reduces
the strain on your heart.
For angina: Adalat capsules work by relaxing and expanding the arteries supplying the heart.
This allows more blood and oxygen to reach the heart and decreases the strain on it. Your angina
attacks will be less severe and less frequent if there is less strain on the heart.
Adalat capsules can increase the risk of serious heart problems in patients with high blood
pressure or angina. Because of this, Adalat capsules are only used in these patients if no other
treatments are appropriate.
For Raynaud's phenomenon: Adalat capsules work by relaxing and expanding the blood vessels
in the fingers and toes. This helps ensure a good blood supply.
2 Before you take Adalat capsules
Do not take Adalat capsules:
' If you have had a heart attack within the last month.
' If you get a sudden angina attack. Adalat capsules will not help relieve symptoms of angina quickly.
' If you have unstable angina
' If you are allergic to the active ingredient (nifedipine), to any other similar medicines (known as dihydropyridines) or to any of the
other ingredients. The ingredients of Adalat capsules are listed in section 6.
' If you are pregnant.
' If you are breastfeeding. If you need to take Adalat capsules, you should stop breastfeeding before you start to take this medicine.
' If you are taking rifampicin, an antibiotic.
' If you have been told that you have a narrowing of the aortic heart valve (stenosis).
' If you have ever had a collapse caused by a heart problem (cardiogenic shock), during
which you became breathless, pale and had a cold sweat and dry mouth.
' If your blood pressure continues to rise despite treatment (malignant hypertension).
'. Tell your doctor and do not take Adalat capsules if any of these apply to you.
Your doctor will take special care:
' If you have low blood pressure. Your blood pressure may be decreased further by this
' If you have a heart condition where your heart cannot cope with increased strain (poor
' If you are a diabetic. The treatment for your diabetes may need to be adjusted. If you
have any questions about this, ask your doctor.
' If you are on kidney dialysis. If you have a very high blood pressure and a low blood
volume, you might experience a sudden drop in blood pressure when you take Adalat
' If your liver is not working properly. Your doctor may need to do some blood tests.
You may also be given a lower dose of Adalat capsules.
'. Talk to your doctor before you take Adalat capsules if any of these apply to you.
Tell your doctor:
' If your chest pain (angina) gets worse (comes on more often or more severely) over a
matter of hours or days. You may be advised not to take Adalat capsules.
' If you have chest pains after taking your first dose of Adalat capsules. Your doctor may
wish to change your treatment.
' If you notice increased breathlessness.
' If you notice swelling of the ankles.
'. Tell your doctor before you take the next dose if any of these apply to you.
Also tell your doctor:
' If you are giving a urine sample. Adalat capsules may interfere with the results of
certain urine tests.
' If you are a man who has been unable to father a child by in vitro fertilisation. Drugs
like Adalat capsules have been shown to impair sperm function.
Other medicines and Adalat capsules
Tell your doctor about any other medicines that you are taking, or took recently. This includes
any products you bought without a prescription.
Some medicines may affect the way Adalat capsules work. Tell your doctor if you are taking:
' Other medicines to treat high blood pressure.
' Rifampicin (an antibiotic)
' Cimetidine (to treat stomach ulcers).
' Digoxin, diltiazem, quinidine or beta-blockers (to treat heart conditions).
' Quinupristin/dalfopristin (a combination antibiotic).
' Phenytoin, carbamazepine or valproic acid (to treat epilepsy).
' Cisapride (to treat reduced movements of the gullet and stomach).
' Magnesium sulphate injections during pregnancy (may cause a severe fall in blood
' Erythromycin (an antibiotic).
' Ketoconazole, itraconazole or fluconazole (anti-fungal medicines).
' Indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir or amprenavir (to treat HIV).
' Fluoxetine or nefazodone (to treat depression).
' Tacrolimus (to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs).
' Phenobarbital (usually used to treat insomnia or anxiety).
Food and drink with Adalat capsules
You can take Adalat capsules either with or without food.
Do not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit while taking Adalat capsules.
Do not start taking Adalat capsules within 3 days of drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit.
Tell your doctor if you have had grapefruit or grapefruit juice in this time. Also, do not drink
grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit whilst taking Adalat capsules. Grapefruit juice is known to
increase the blood levels of the active ingredient, nifedipine. This effect can last for at least 3
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Do not take Adalat capsules if you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or are planning a family, tell your doctor
before taking Adalat capsules.
You may be able to use Adalat capsules after week 20 of your pregnancy, but only after special consideration and agreement by your doctor.
Do not take Adalat capsules if you are breastfeeding. If you need to take Adalat capsules, you should stop breastfeeding before you start
taking the tablets.
Driving and using machines
Adalat capsules may make you feel dizzy, faint, extremely tired or have visual disturbances. Do
not drive or operate machinery if you are affected in this way.
This may be more likely when you first start treatment, if you change tablets, or if you have
3 How to take Adalat capsules
Take the capsules as prescribed by your doctor.
Adalat capsules are not recommended for use in children.
' To start with, you may be given a lower strength (5 mg) capsule every 8 hours. This allows
your doctor to monitor how you are responding so that the best long-term dose can be identified.
' The dose can be increased to a maximum of 20 mg every 8 hours.
' Lower doses may be prescribed for elderly patients or for patients who have liver problems.
' Swallow the capsules whole with a little water.
' Continue to take the capsules for as long as your doctor has told you to.
Do not take them with grapefruit juice.
You can take Adalat capsules either with or without food.
If you take too many capsules
'. Get medical help immediately. If possible, take your capsules or the box with you to show
Taking too many capsules may cause your blood pressure to become too low and your heartbeats
to speed up or slow down. It may also lead to an increase in your blood sugar level or an increase
in the acidity of your blood, swelling in the lungs, low blood oxygen levels and disturbances in
consciousness, possibly leading to unconsciousness.
If you forget to take the capsules
Take your normal dose immediately and continue taking your capsules as prescribed, waiting 8
hours before taking your next dose.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.
4 Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Adalat capsules can have side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Serious side effects:
If you notice:
' severe, sudden generalised allergic reaction including very rarely life-threatening shock
(e.g. difficulty in breathing, drop of blood pressure, fast pulse) or swelling (including
potentially life-threatening swelling of the airway)
' other allergic reactions causing swelling under the skin (possibly severe and including
swelling of the larynx that may result in a life-threatening outcome)
' fast heart beat (tachycardia)
' shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
' mild to moderate allergic reactions
' itching (possibly severe), a rash or hives
'. Contact your doctor immediately and do not take the next dose as these may be the first
signs of allergic reaction which may become severe.
Less serious side effects:
Apart from the side effects listed above, these are the other side effects of Adalat capsules, starting
with the more common ones:
Common side effects
(These may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
' general feeling of being unwell
' swelling, particularly of the ankles and legs
Uncommon side effects
(These may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
' stomach pain (abdominal pain)
' unspecific pain
' low blood pressure when standing up (symptoms include fainting, dizziness, light
headedness, occasional palpitations, blurred vision and sometimes confusion)
' irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
' dry mouth
' indigestion or upset stomach
' wind (flatulence)
' feeling sick (nausea)
' muscle cramps
' joint swelling
' sleep disorders
' anxiety or nervousness
' reddening of the skin
' nose bleeds
' nasal congestion
' sensation of spinning or whirling motion (vertigo)
' increase in the need to pass water (urinate)
' painful or difficult urination
' inability to achieve or maintain an erection (impotence)
' blurred vision
' temporary increase in certain liver enzymes
Rare side effects
(These may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
' pins and needles
' inflammation of the gums, tender or swollen gums, bleeding gums
Other side effects
All of these symptoms usually go away when treatment with Adalat capsules is stopped.
If you get side effects
'. Tell your doctor if any side effect gets serious, or if you get any effects not listed in this
5 How to store Adalat capsules
Keep this medicine out of the reach and sight of children.
Store your medicine in its original container. Protect from strong light and only remove the capsule
from the blister strip when you are about to take it.
Do not store above 25ºC.
Do not use after the expiry date which is marked on both the outer carton and on each blister strip of
Do not dispose of medicines in household rubbish. Any unused Adalat capsules should be returned
to a pharmacist (chemist) who will dispose of them properly. This helps the environment
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