Zanidip is a medicine that belongs to a group called Calcium Channel Blockers (dihydropyridine derivatives), used to treat high blood pressure.
How does Zanidip work?
When treating high blood pressure, Zanidip works by slowing the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, which makes it easier for the heart to pump while also widening blood vessels.
What are the benefits of taking Zanidip?
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) can be linked to a number of factors, such as a family history, a diet high in salt or being overweight or inactive.
In addition to some lifestyle changes (such as smoking and/or drinking less and exercising more), it’s often advised to take medication, such as Zanidip, to manage the condition in order to prevent more serious ailments such as stroke, heart attack or blood clots.
How do I use Zanidip?
Zanidip is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet.
Take the tablets by swallowing whole with a drink of water, before or after food (but not after a meal that’s high in fat). You should take it at the same time of day, and you should not take Zanidip with grapefruit juice.
Zanidip contains the active ingredient lercanidipine hydrochloride, in strengths of either 10mg or 20mg per tablet.
The normal dose is one 10mg tablet a day, however your doctor may decide to increase this to 20mg if they feel you need it. If you have kidney or liver problems, you should consult your doctor so they can let you know of the appropriate dose.
If you forget to take your Zanidip tablet then you should skip the forgotten dose and move straight onto the next one. Don’t worry but don’t double up on your dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take more Zanidip than you should, then go to your nearest emergency department immediately. An overdose can have symptoms such as extreme dizziness, problems with breathing or feeling weak so lying down with your arms and legs up is advised.
Side effects & precautions
Before taking Zanidip, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not take Zanidip if any of the following apply to you:
- If you are allergic to lercanidipine hydrochloride or to any other ingredients of this medicine
- If you have had allergic reactions to drugs closely related to Zanidip tablets
- If you are suffering from untreated heart failure, obstruction to flow of blood from the heart, unstable angina or have had a heart attack in the last month
- If you have severe liver or kidney problems
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Your prescription of Zanidip may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
- if you have certain other heart conditions which have not been treated by insertion of a pacemaker or have pre-existing angina
- if you have problems with your liver or kidneys or you are on dialysis
- if you think you are (or might become) pregnant
Like many medications with active ingredients, Zanidip can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
- Any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription
- cimetidine (more than 800 mg)
- digoxin (a medicine to treat a heart problem)
- midazolam (a medicine that helps you sleep)
- rifampicin (a medicine to treat tubercolosis)
- astemizole or terfenadine (medicines for allergies)
- amiodarone or quinidine (medicines to treat a fast heart beat)
- phenytoin or carbamazepine (medicines for epilepsy)
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Zanidip will be the best course of action for you.
Like with all sufferers of high blood pressure, you should pair your medication with some lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive smoking or drinking.
You should stay away from grapefruit and grapefruit juice while on Zanidip, as it’s been proven to interact with the medication and can lower your blood pressure too much.
The most common side effects of using Zanidip include:
- faster heart beats,
- palpitations (heart pounding or racing),
- sudden reddening of the face, neck or upper chest,
- ankle swelling
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor if you notice any serious side effects, such as fainting, severe chest pains or allergic reaction.