Compare Diltiazem vs. Nifedipine

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

Cardizem
(diltiazem)

Procardia
(nifedipine)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Diltiazem 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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.71Diltiazem
Reviews for Diltiazem
52%
of people (All ages) say Diltiazem is worth it
49%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
105 reviews
Have you used Cardizem (diltiazem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Nifedipine
42%
+10% better vs. Diltiazem
31%
+18% better vs. Diltiazem
46%
+30% better vs. Diltiazem
Have you used Procardia (nifedipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 5%
  • Headache 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • First degree av block 2%
  • Abnormally slow heartbeat 2%
More Diltiazem side effects »
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, giddiness 12%
  • Flushing 17%
  • Headache 3%
  • Weakness 2%
  • Nausea, heartburn 3%
  • Muscle cramps, tremor 5%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Nervousness, mood changes 3%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 2%
  • Dyspnea, cough, wheezing 3%
More Nifedipine side effects »
How it works
DiltiazemNifedipine
Diltiazem 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
DiltiazemNifedipine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
DiltiazemNifedipine
Risk factors for serious side effects
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Taking digoxin or beta-blockers at the same time
  • History of liver disease
Detailed Cardizem (diltiazem) 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
Detailed Procardia (nifedipine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

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.

Interactions
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • There have been reports of liver damage within the first eight weeks of Cardizem (Diltiazem), particularly if you have a history of liver disease. Your doctor may monitor your liver.
  • Reports of liver damage have occurred while on this medication, especially if you have had cirrhosis. Your doctor will monitor your liver on a regular basis. Tell your doctor if you or your caregivers/family notice your skin or the whites of your eyes are becoming yellower, pain in your abdomen, or sudden confusion.
Upsides and benefits
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • 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
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • 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 Diltiazem than men.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Diltiazem suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Some brands of Diltiazem have to be taken with food, so listen carefully for instructions from your doctor or pharmacist.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Can cause dizziness or fatigue in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause ankle or foot swelling.
  • Can cause gum overgrowth. Ask your dentist to check for this side effect.
  • Can cause dizziness or headaches in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Can cause face flushing and ankle or foot swelling.
  • Avoid grapefruit while taking this medicine.
  • Your doctor might do routine blood tests to check your liver function.
Learn more
More about DiltiazemSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cardizem (diltiazem)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NifedipineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Procardia (nifedipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it