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Difference Between Amlodipine and Nifedipine

Amlodipine vs Nifedipine

Amlodipine and Nifedipine are both medications that help control blood pressure and prevent angina.  Amlodipine should be taken before chest pain occurs as it cannot actually give relief to a patient who is already suffering chest pain.  Amlodipine usually comes in tablet-form.  This means the patient takes the medicine orally once a day.  Nifedipine comes in two forms ‘” as a capsule and an extended-release tablet.   For extended release, the usual dosage is once a day, taken before any meal.  When it comes to the capsules, it is suggested that they be taken orally three to four times a day, as prescribed by the attending physician. The extended-release tablet should not be chewed before swallowing.

Both medications are not to be regarded as cures, but rather as ways to control blood pressure and angina by making the flow from the heart to the brain easier. Amlodipine is mostly only prescribed to control blood pressure.  Nifedipine is a medication that can be used in treating preterm labor and Raynaud’s Syndrome.  When it comes dietary restrictions before taking either of the medications, there are no specific instructions  for Amlodipine.  However, if the doctor has requested a low-sodium or low-salt diet, it would be wise for you to follow this suggestion to prevent complications.  With Nifedipine, on the other hand, the ingestion of grapefruit or grapefruit juice is prohibited for at least three days before commencing and while you are on Nifedipine.

These medications come with possible side effects. Amlopidine lists serious possible side effects such as increased chest pain, rapid and irregular heartbeat and fainting.  Nifedipine, meanwhile, can cause swelling of the face, lips, eyes, tongue, arms, feet and lower legs.  Other serious side effects are yellowing of the skin and eyes and difficulty in breathing and swallowing.  The most common brand name of Amlodipine is Norvasc, while Nifedipine may be sold as Adalat, Nifedical, Procardia and Afeditab.

Before taking any medication to control and help prevent hypertension, it is essential that you consult your doctor on what to take. Taking the wrong medicine can lead to a worsening of the condition.  It is also possible that you might be on another prescription that could interact badly with your new medication.  It is important that you tell your doctor about any other drugs you may be taking.


1. Amlodipine is a medication taken only once a day while Nifedipine can range from one dose a day to four times a day depending on the form of the medication.
2. Amlodipine comes only in the form of a tablet while Nifedipine may come in two forms, namely capsules and extended-release tablets.
3. Amlodipine can be taken without any dietary restrictions, while Nifedipine is a drug that should not be taken if grapefruit has been part of the diet.

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