Compare Nifedipine vs. Diovan

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

Procardia
(Nifedipine)

Diovan
(Valsartan)

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. Diovan (Valsartan) is a good blood pressure-lowering medicine that protects kidney function like an ACE inhibitor, but with fewer side effects.
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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 Diovan (Valsartan)
65%
+25% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
54%
+26% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
15%
+33% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
Side effects
NifedipineDiovan
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 8%
  • Low blood pressure 5%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • High blood potassium 1%
  • Dizziness, postural 1%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Positional low blood pressuren, postural 1%
  • Cough 1%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Joint pain 1%
More Diovan side effects »
How it works
NifedipineDiovan
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.Diovan (Valsartan) is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). It blocks a chemical that tightens blood vessels. This makes blood vessels relax, which lowers blood pressure and allows more blood and oxygen to get to your heart and other organs.
Type of medication
NifedipineDiovan
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Angiotensin receptor blocker
Prescription only
Available as
NifedipineDiovan
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
NifedipineDiovan
Risk factors for serious side effects
NifedipineDiovan
  • 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 »
    • Women of childbearing age
    • African descent
    • Current kidney problems
    • Medicine that increase potassium
    • Use of salt substitute
    Detailed Diovan (Valsartan) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    NifedipineDiovan
    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
    DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
    • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
    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
    NifedipineDiovan
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
    • Similar to ACE inhibitors (like Lisinopril), with fewer side effects like cough and swelling.
    • Protects kidney function, which is especially useful for people with diabetes or mild-to-moderate kidney disease.
    • Recommended for anyone with heart failure since it lowers the risk of death and further damage to your heart.
    • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
    • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
    Downsides and risks
    NifedipineDiovan
    • 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.
    • Requires a yearly blood test to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
    • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    NifedipineDiovan
    • 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.
    • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
    • Tell your doctor about any dizziness, fatigue, cough, or throat irritation that doesn't go away.
    • Requires routine blood tests to check kidney function.
    • Don't take it if you're pregnant.
    • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
    Learn more
    More about NifedipineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about DiovanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert