Compare Nifedipine vs. Calan

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

Procardia
(Nifedipine)

Calan
(Verapamil)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
3.6Nifedipine
Reviews for Procardia (Nifedipine)
40%
of people say Procardia (Nifedipine) is worth it
28%
say it works well
48%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Calan (Verapamil)
33%
7% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
31%
+3% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
21%
+27% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
Side effects
NifedipineCalan
  • 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 »

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

More about Calan side effects »
How it works
NifedipineCalan
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.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.
Type of medication
NifedipineCalan
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Available as
NifedipineCalan
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Delayed release capsule
Used for (click to learn more)
NifedipineCalan
Risk factors for serious side effects
NifedipineCalan
  • 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 »
    • 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 »
      Pregnancy category
      NifedipineCalan
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
      • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      • 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.
      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
      NifedipineCalan
      • 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
      NifedipineCalan
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      NifedipineCalan
      • 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.
      • 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.
      Learn more
      More about NifedipineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about CalanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert