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
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Have you used Procardia (Nifedipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Calan (Verapamil)
33%
7% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
31%
+3% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
21%
+27% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
Have you used Calan (Verapamil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
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

      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
      NifedipineCalan
      No interactions related info.
      • Interacts with grapefruit and the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
      Alcohol
      NifedipineCalan
      No alcohol related info.
      • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
      • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
      Kidneys and liver
      NifedipineCalan
      • 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.
      • Your doctor may check your liver regularly, as there have been reports of liver damage which can only be seen through blood tests. If you do have a history of liver disease, let your doctor know.
      • 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.
      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
      Have you used Procardia (Nifedipine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about CalanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Calan (Verapamil)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it