How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Felodipine belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. It may be used alone or with other medications to treat mild-to-moderate high blood pressure. It controls blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and reducing the workload of the heart.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each pale red to gray-red, round, biconvex, film-coated, extended release tablet, embossed "F5" on one side contains felodipine 5 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ferric oxide (yellow), ferric oxide (red), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulphate, and titanium dioxide.
Each pale red to gray-red, round, biconvex, film-coated, extended release tablet, embossed "F10" on one side contains felodipine 10 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: ferric oxide (yellow), ferric oxide (red), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulphate, and titanium dioxide.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of felodipine ranges from 2.5 mg to 10 mg once daily. The tablets should be swallowed whole and may be taken with or without food.
Avoid taking this medication with a meal that is high in carbohydrates or fat (e.g., sausages, bacon, hash browns, or sugared cereals). Grapefruit juice increases the amount of felodipine in your body and should also be avoided.
The extended-release tablets must not be divided, crushed, or chewed.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is less than 12 hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take felodipine if you:
- are allergic to felodipine or any ingredients of the medication
- are allergic to medications from the same class (e.g., amlodipine, nifedipine)
- are breast-feeding
- are or could become pregnant
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- abdominal pain
- dizziness or lightheadedness when rising from a sitting or lying position
- flushing and feeling of warmth
- frequent urination
- sexual problems
- skin rash
- tingling in the hands, arms, feet or legs
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- bleeding, tender, or swollen gums
- irregular or fast, pounding heartbeat
- signs of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools)
- swelling of ankles, feet, or lower legs
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a serious allergic reaction (e.g., abdominal cramps, difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, or swelling of the face and throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Congestive heart failure: The safety and efficacy of felodipine for people with heart failure have not been established. If you have congestive heart failure or are at risk of developing congestive heart failure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Dental hygiene: Because felodipine can cause swollen and tender gums, it is important to practice good dental hygiene by flossing, brushing, and visiting your dentist regularly. Talk to your doctor or dentist to learn more about how to take care of your mouth, gums, and teeth while taking this medication.
Grapefruit juice: Grapefruit juice can increase blood levels of felodipine. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit before or while you are taking felodipine.
Lactose intolerance: People with hereditary galactose intolerance should not take this medication.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Low blood pressure: Felodipine may cause a severe lowering of blood pressure when rising from a sitting or lying position, or a racing heart rate, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded or feel your pulse is racing, and this feeling does not go away after a few minutes, call your doctor. Because this medication can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, do not get up too quickly after you have been sitting or lying for prolonged periods. If you have heart disease (e.g., heart failure, heart attack) or are taking medications that lower blood pressure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. When felodipine is first prescribed or the dosage is increased, blood pressure should be closely monitored.
Pregnancy: Felodipine may cause harm to a developing baby if it is taken by the mother while pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking felodipine, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Felodipine should not be taken by women who are breast-feeding. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: Seniors may be more sensitive to the side effects of felodipine.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between felodipine and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.