Compare Calan vs. Nifedipine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Calan
(Verapamil)

Procardia
(Nifedipine)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Verapamil works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain, but you have to be okay with avoiding alcohol. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Nifedipine works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain, but you have to be okay with avoiding grapefruit. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
3.761904761904762Calan
Reviews for Calan (Verapamil)
33%
of people say Calan (Verapamil) is worth it
31%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Procardia (Nifedipine)
40%
+7% vs. Calan (Verapamil)
28%
3% vs. Calan (Verapamil)
48%
27% vs. Calan (Verapamil)
Side effects
CalanNifedipine

The Calan FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Calan side effects »
  • Leg or ankle swelling 19%
  • Flushing 17%
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, giddiness 12%
  • Muscle cramps, tremor 5%
  • Nervousness, mood changes 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Dyspnea, cough, wheezing 3%
  • Nausea, heartburn 3%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
More Nifedipine side effects »
How it works
CalanNifedipine
Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing your heart rate and relaxing your blood vessels. Your heart gets more oxygen and doesn't have to work as hard to pump, which can relieve chest pain.Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing your heart rate and relaxing your blood vessels. Your heart gets more oxygen and doesn't have to work as hard to pump, which can relieve chest pain.
Type of medication
CalanNifedipine
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Available as
CalanNifedipine
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
CalanNifedipine
Risk factors for serious side effects
CalanNifedipine
  • Severe left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction <30%)
  • Taking beta-blockers
    • History of liver disease
    • History of kidney disease
    • History of liver disease
    Detailed Calan (Verapamil) risks & warnings »
    • Taking anti-inflammatories, acid reducers in the stomach, anticholinergics, laxatives, levothyroxine
    • History of intestinal surgery
    • Taking beta-blockers
    • Severe coronary artery disease.
    • History of cirrhosis
      • History of tight aortic stenosis
      • Taking beta-blockers
      • Obstructive coronary artery disease
      Detailed Procardia (Nifedipine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      CalanNifedipine
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
      • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • Your doctor may monitor your heart to see if changes to its electrical system may occur, especially if you have had liver or kidney disease in the past.
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      CalanNifedipine
      • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
      • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
      • You can take it alone or with other medicines to help lower blood pressure.
      • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
      • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
      • Treats certain abnormal heart rhythms.
      • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
      • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
      • You can take it alone or with other medicines to help lower blood pressure.
      • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
      • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
      • Treats certain abnormal heart rhythms.
      Downsides and risks
      CalanNifedipine
      • Women are more likely to have side effects (especially swelling) from Verapamil than men.
      • You can't miss doses. Stopping Verapamil suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
      • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
      • Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling in your limbs. If this happens for you, it probably won't get better over time, so talk to your doctor about alternatives if it bothers you.
      • Women are more likely to have side effects (especially swelling) from Nifedipine than men.
      • You can't miss doses. Stopping Nifedipine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
      • Not a good medication for you if you love grapefruit. It can make Nifedipine have a stronger effect on your blood pressure.
      • Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling in your limbs. If this happens for you, it probably won't get better over time, so talk to your doctor about alternatives if it bothers you.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      CalanNifedipine
      • Interacts with grapefruit and the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
      • Can cause constipation and headache.
      • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
      • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
      • Your doctor might do routine blood tests to check your liver function.
      • Can cause dizziness or headaches in the first few days.
      • Can cause face flushing and ankle or foot swelling.
      • Avoid grapefruit while taking this medicine.
      • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
      • Your doctor might do routine blood tests to check your liver function.
      Learn more
      More about CalanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about NifedipineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert