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
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 Minipress (Prazosin)
43%
+3% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
28%
Same vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
15%
+33% vs. Procardia (Nifedipine)
Side effects
NifedipinePrazosin
  • 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 Prazosin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about 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
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Alpha blocker
Prescription only
Available as
NifedipinePrazosin
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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 category
    NifedipinePrazosin
    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
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.
    • Take with food or at bedtime to avoid side effects.
    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.
    • Helps people with PTSD get better sleep with fewer, less-intense nightmares.
    • Can cause drowsiness, headache, dizziness, and nausea.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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 PrazosinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert