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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.757575757575758Diltiazem
Reviews for Cardizem (Diltiazem)
53%
of people say Cardizem (Diltiazem) is worth it
48%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Procardia (Nifedipine)
40%
13% vs. Cardizem (Diltiazem)
28%
20% vs. Cardizem (Diltiazem)
48%
32% vs. Cardizem (Diltiazem)
Side effects
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Abnormally slow heartbeat 2%
More Diltiazem 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
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
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Available as
DiltiazemNifedipine
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
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
      • History of tight aortic stenosis
      • Taking beta-blockers
      • Obstructive coronary artery disease
      Detailed Procardia (Nifedipine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      DiltiazemNifedipine
      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.
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      • Some brands of Diltiazem have to be taken with food, so listen carefully for instructions from your doctor or pharmacist.
      No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.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
      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
      • 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.
      • 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
      DiltiazemNifedipine
      • Can cause dizziness or fatigue in the first few days.
      • 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.
      • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
      • 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.
      • Your doctor might do routine blood tests to check your liver function.
      • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
      Learn more
      More about DiltiazemSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about NifedipineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert