Compare Norvasc vs. Nifedipine

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

Norvasc
(amlodipine)

Procardia
(nifedipine)

Lowers blood pressure. Norvasc (Amlodipine) works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.09Norvasc
Reviews for Norvasc
58%
of people (All ages) say Norvasc is worth it
50%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
443 reviews
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Nifedipine
42%
+16% better vs. Norvasc
31%
+19% better vs. Norvasc
46%
+31% better vs. Norvasc
Have you used Procardia (nifedipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NorvascNifedipine
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 2%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 5%
  • Flushing 3%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
More Norvasc side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
NorvascNifedipine
Norvasc (Amlodipine) 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.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.
Type of medication
NorvascNifedipine
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
NorvascNifedipine
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for
NorvascNifedipine
Risk factors for serious side effects
NorvascNifedipine
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • History of blood vessel disease
  • History of heart failure
Detailed Norvasc (amlodipine) risks & warnings »
  • 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
Detailed Procardia (nifedipine) 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
NorvascNifedipine
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
NorvascNifedipine
  • Your body uses your liver to break down Norvasc (Amlodipine) and remove it from your blood. If you have liver disease you may not be able to remove Norvasc (Amlodipine) as quickly from your blood as someone with a healthy liver. You should increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine) slowly and watch closely for how it is working in your body. Increasing the dose slowly will lower your chances of having side effects.
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
  • 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.
Pain
NorvascNifedipine
  • Worsening heart pain or increased risk of heart attack is possible when you first start taking Norvasc (Amlodipine). This can also happen after you increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine). Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any heart pain, radiating jaw pain, crushing chest pain, or persistent racing heartbeat.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
NorvascNifedipine
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
  • Each dose lasts longer than other calcium channel blockers, which keeps blood pressure consistent without big ups and downs.
  • Particularly good at lowering systolic blood pressure (the top number), so it's a good option for older people who can commonly get high blood pressure only in the top number.
  • 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
NorvascNifedipine
  • 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 Amlodipine than men.
  • Some people might experience flushing with this medication.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Amlodipine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • If you have severe heart disease, using Amlodipine might increase your risk of chest pain or heart attack during the time right after starting the medication or raising the dosage.
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NorvascNifedipine
  • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause ankle or foot swelling.
  • Can cause gum overgrowth. Ask your dentist to check for this side effect.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about NorvascSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NifedipineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Procardia (nifedipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it