Felodipine

Sounds like 'feh-LOW-dih-peen'

Easy-to-read medicine information about felodipine – what it is, how to take felodipine safely and possible side effects.


Type of medicine Also called
  • Antihypertensive (to lower blood pressure)
  • Used to prevent chest pain (angina)
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called calcium-channel blockers  
  • Plendil ER®
  • Felo ER®

What is felodipine?

Felodipine is a medicine used to treat high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). It may help to increase your ability to exercise and decrease how often you get chest pain. Felodipine works by relaxing your blood vessels so blood can flow more easily, and in this way lowers your blood pressure. Felodipine belongs to a group of medicines called calcium-channel blockers.In New Zealand felodipine is available in different strengths of tablets (2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg). 

Dose

  • The usual dose of felodipine is 2.5 milligrams or 5 milligrams once daily.
  • Depending on your response, your doctor may increase your dose to 10 mg once daily.
  • Always take your felodipine exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much felodipine to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.  

How to take felodipine

  • Take felodipine once a day, at the same time each day. It is best taken in the morning.
  • Swallow the whole tablet with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew the tablet. This will release all the medication at once and increase the risk of getting side effects. 
  • You can take felodipine with or without food.
  • Limit or avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking felodipine. It may increase your chance of side effects such as feeling dizzy.
  • If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember that day. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
  • Do not stop taking felodipine, even if you feel better. Speak to your doctor or nurse before stopping.
  • Felodipine tablets are available in different strengths. If your tablets look different to your last supply speak with your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Precautions – before taking felodipine

  • Do you have problems with your liver?
  • Do you have heart problems such as heart failure or have you had a heart attack recently?
  • Are you pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding?
  • Are you taking any other medicines? This includes any medicines you buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start felodipine. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines felodipine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Headache
  • Feeling flushed (red in the face)
  • Tiredness


  • These are quite common when you first start taking felodipine and usually go away after a few days
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Feeling faint when you stand up
  • Be careful when getting up from either lying down or sitting to avoid falls. These effects put you at risk of falls and injuries, especially if you are elderly
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Swelling of the hand, ankles, feet or legs
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Worsening chest pain
  • Changes in your heartbeat (fast or irregular heartbeat)
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine on 0800 611 116 
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as  skin rashes, itching, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or have problems breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine on 0800 611 116

Interactions

Felodipine may interact with some other medications and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting felodipine or before starting any new medicines, including those you may buy over the counter.

Learn more

The following links have more information on felodipine.

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet: Plendil ER

New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: Felodipine

References

  1. Felodipine New Zealand Formulary
  2. Medical management of stable angina pectoris BPAC, 2011
  3. An update on managing patients with atrial fibrillation BPAC, 2017
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 15 Nov 2018