What is nifedipine?
Nifedipine is a calcium antagonist medication that belongs to the dihydropyrine group. It has a peripheral and hypotensive vasodilator effect, as well as a low negative inotropic effect.
Because of these effects, This medicine is indicated for the treatment of angina pectoris and for the treatment of high blood pressure. In turn, quick-release capsules are also used for the treatment of Raynaud's syndrome.
It is a medicine that It can be administered both orally and sublingually. When patients have a problem to perform a correct swallowing, the second route of administration will be chosen, for example in hypertensive crises.
But nevertheless, administration by sublingual route can be dangerous, so it is not highly recommended. The reason for this is that the induced hypotensive response can be intense and difficult to control.
In addition, it is important to note that the co-administration of nifedipine with grapefruit juice, as well as with other substances that inhibit liver metabolism, is dangerous. This is because the concentration of the drug can increase considerably and produce a toxic picture.
What is Raynaud's syndrome?
Is about a rare disease that affects the blood vessels of the fingers of the hand and foot. It develops with a narrowing of the vessels when the person feels cold or stress.
When this happens, The blood cannot circulate as it is due to these parts of the body due to the strong vasoconstriction. As a result, the affected parts become whitish and bluish.
Once you recover from vasoconstriction, the skin becomes red and the patient may feel a palpitation sensation and tingling When this situation worsens, skin sores and even tissue death can develop.
On the other hand, The causes of Raynaud's attacks are still unknown. In addition, it is important to differentiate between primary and secondary Raynaud. As for the primary, it is the most frequent form and is not a cause of an associated disease.
As for secondary Raynaud, it is caused by an undiagnosed problem. And, despite being less frequent, it is usually more serious than the primary one. Among the diseases that can trigger this syndrome, we can mention:
- Connective tissue diseases.
- Diseases of the arteries.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Injuries to the hands and feet.
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Mechanism of action: how does nifedipine exert its effect?
Nifedipine, as we have said, belongs to the group of calcium antagonist drugs. This therapeutic group reduces calcium entry into myocardial cells and blood vessels, as a consequence of the blocking of voltage dependent calcium channels.
In addition, nifedipine belongs, in particular, to the dihydropyridine group. It acts, above all, on peripheral circulation, relaxing vascular smooth muscles and producing vasodilation of the arteries on two levels:
On the other hand, it is also able to decrease, even slightly, the contractibility and cardiac conductivity.
Read also: Myocardial infarction
Contraindications and adverse reactions of nifedipine
When administering this medication, a series of situations in which its use is contraindicated must be taken into account for the complications that can lead to. Specifically, nifedipine should not be taken when the patient is allergic to this drug.
In turn, pregnant or breastfeeding women cannot take the drug either, as it could affect the baby. Finally, and based on the data that are available with other medications in this family, It should not be co-administered with rifampicin.
On the other hand, like all medicines that are on the market, nifedipine can trigger a series of adverse effects What must be considered. Among them, we can mention the following:
The nifedipine It is a medication used primarily to treat hypertension, Raynaud's syndrome and angina pectoris. Because it has very powerful effects, special care must be taken with its administration.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions. that you have regarding this drug and always follow the instructions that you indicate.