Compare Nifedipine vs. Prazosin

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

Procardia
(Nifedipine)

Minipress
(Prazosin)

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 makes it easier to urinate. Prazosin is used mostly to make urination easier for men with an enlarged prostate, but it can cause dizziness.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Procardia (Nifedipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Minipress (Prazosin)
46%
+4% better vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
29%
-2% worse vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
15%
+31% better vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
Have you used Minipress (Prazosin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NifedipinePrazosin
  • 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 »
  • Dizziness 10%
  • Headache 8%
  • Drowsiness 8%
  • Lack of energy 7%
  • Weakness 7%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 5%
  • Nausea 5%
More Prazosin side effects »
How it works
NifedipinePrazosin
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.Prazosin is a selective alpha blocker. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. It also relaxes the urethra and prostate, which makes it easier to urinate.
Type of medication
NifedipinePrazosin
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
NifedipinePrazosin
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for
NifedipinePrazosin
Risk factors for serious side effects
NifedipinePrazosin
  • 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 »
    • Age 65 years or older
    Detailed Minipress (Prazosin) 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.

    Food
    NifedipinePrazosin
    No food related info.
    • Take with food or at bedtime to avoid side effects.
    Kidneys and liver
    NifedipinePrazosin
    • 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.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Sleep
    NifedipinePrazosin
    No sleep related info.
    • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
    Upsides and benefits
    NifedipinePrazosin
    • 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.
    • Can be added to other blood pressure-lowering medicines if you need additional blood pressure control.
    • Makes urination easier in men with an enlarged prostate.
    • Helps people with PTSD get better sleep with fewer, less-intense nightmares.
    Downsides and risks
    NifedipinePrazosin
    • 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.
    • Not the best medicine to lower blood pressure by itself.
    • Likely to cause orthostatic hypotension. This means dizziness when you change positions (like standing up) because your blood pressure doesn't adjust quickly enough.
    • Not preferred for people 65 years or older.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    NifedipinePrazosin
    • 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.
    • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
    • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
    • Take with food or at bedtime to avoid side effects.
    • If side effects don't go away, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
    • Recheck your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine.
    Learn more
    More about NifedipineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Procardia (Nifedipine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about PrazosinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Minipress (Prazosin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it