Difference Between Amlodipine and Nifedipine (With Table)

Sometimes you have been told to take Amlodipine, but your doctor prescribes Nifedipine, and you might wonder what the difference and similarities are. Amlodipine is an oral medication used for high cholesterol levels that is available in two forms. Nifedipine is an antihypertensive drug used to treat high blood pressure that is available in both immediate-release forms and extended-release forms.

Amlodipine vs Nifedipine

The difference between Amlodipine and Nifedipine is that Amlodipine is an oral medication that decreases angiotensin II levels in the body by attacking it at its receptor level, whereas, Nifedipine, on the other hand, is an antihypertensive drug used to treat high blood pressure by blocking the effect of angiotensin II at its receptor level.

Amlodipine is one of the most commonly prescribed oral medications to lower blood pressure that is available in two forms. However, Amlodipine is only available in generic form. One warning about Amlodipine is it can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure if a person is suffering from sickle cell disease.

Nifedipine is available in both immediate-release form and extended-release form. However, it could make an increase in sugar levels rise further and increase the risk of serious side effects such as low blood sugar, well-known as hypoglycemia, and increased thirst.

Comparison Table Between Amlodipine and Nifedipine

Parameters of ComparisonAmlodipineNifedipine
DefinitionAmlodipine comprises an active ingredient called Amlodipine Besylate that lowers blood pressure levels. Nifedipine slow down the movement of calcium into cells in the body which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Receptor ReactionAmlodipine is an oral medication that decreases angiotensin II levels in the body by attacking it at its receptor level. Nifedipine is an antihypertensive drug used to treat high blood pressure by blocking the effect of angiotensin II at its receptor level.
TreatmentAmlodipine is used with exercise and diet to lose weight, lower blood pressure, and treat chest pain. Nifedipine is used in children after a heart transplant, and high blood pressure.
DosageAmlodipine is an oral medication where the formulation depends on the body weight. Nifedipine comes as a tablet to take by mouth with water where the formulation depends on the body weight.
Risk factorsLife-threatening drop in blood pressure for a person with sickle cell disease.The risk of stomach bleeding, and nerve problems.
Side-effectsThe most common side effect is headache, ankle swelling, dizziness, and weakness in the arms. Side effects such as low blood sugar, increased thirst, increased urination, and shaky hands.

What is Amlodipine?

Amlodipine is normally used with exercise and diet to lose weight. It lowers blood pressure by decreasing the amount of salt and water the body retains. Less water in the body means less blood volume, which in turn means lower blood pressure. Moreover, chest pain that may be caused by narrowing of the arteries outside of the heart can be cured.

Amlodipine is also available as a low-dose supplement to be taken on an empty stomach near bedtime for congestive heart failure. The dose differs from one manufacturer to another, so consult it is recommended to consult a physician or pharmacist for guidance.

Amlodipine is only available in generic form. The most common side effect is a headache. Other possible side effects include ankle swelling, dizziness, weakness in the arms or legs, insomnia, nausea or vomiting, sweating, increased thirst, and trouble sleeping. If a person is taking Amlodipine and experiences shortness of breath or pain with every second or third step due to low blood pressure, seek medical help immediately.

 What is Nifedipine?

Nifedipine medicine is usually taken once a day at bedtime for a short period or as directed by a doctor. Moreover, it is prescribed to not take this medicine for a long period. Nifedipine comes as a tablet to take by mouth with water, where the formulation depends on the body weight. However, it can also be taken as long-term if a person needs to keep their high blood pressure under control on an ongoing basis.

Nifedipine may interact with certain other medicines, such as diuretics, rifampin, warfarin, and penicillins such as amoxicillin. Moreover, it can raise the risk of stomach bleeding and may rarely cause a nerve problem that can cause numbness in one arm or leg, well-known as paresthesia.

Nifedipine is available in both immediate-release form and extended-release form. Moreover, a rise in sugar level further and increase the risk of serious side effects such as low blood sugar, increased thirst, increased urination, shaky hands, tiredness, confusion, hunger, and blurred vision.

Main Differences Between Amlodipine and Nifedipine

  1. Amlodipine comprises an active ingredient called Amlodipine Besylate that lowers blood pressure levels, whereas, Nifedipine slow down the movement of calcium into cells in the body which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
  2. Amlodipine is an oral medication that decreases angiotensin II levels in the body by attacking it at its receptor level, whereas, Nifedipine is an antihypertensive drug used to treat high blood pressure by blocking the effect of angiotensin II at its receptor level.
  3. Amlodipine is used with exercise and diet to lose weight, lower blood pressure and treat chest pain, whereas, Nifedipine is used in children after a heart transplant and high blood pressure.
  4. Amlodipine is an oral medication where the formulation depends on the body weight, whereas, Nifedipine comes as a tablet to take by mouth with water where the formulation depends on the body weight.
  5. Amlodipine with the risk of a life-threatening drop in blood pressure for a person with sickle cell disease, whereas Nifedipine comes with the risk of stomach bleeding and nerve problems.
  6. The most common side effect of Amlodipine is a headache, ankle swelling, dizziness, and weakness in the arms, whereas, Nifedipine increases thirst, low blood sugar, increased urination, and shaky hands.

Conclusion

Amlodipine and Nifedipine may seem exceptionally similar in various treatments and dosage methods. However, they are different in many other aspects. Amlodipine is available as a low-dose supplement to be taken on an empty stomach near bedtime for congestive heart failure and to lower blood pressure. Amlodipine has a half-life of 5 to 7 hours, so it is best prescribed to take a tablet at bedtime. Otherwise, the medication can build up in the body. As a result, it leads to insomnia and fatigue.

Nifedipine is used in children after a heart transplant to prevent the body from rejecting the new organ. In very rare cases, nifedipine may rarely cause a nerve problem, which can cause numbness in one arm or leg. Moreover, this medication can raise the risk of stomach bleeding when it is taken for a long period.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/jhypertension/Fulltext/1998/16010/Evaluation_of_changes_in_sympathetic_nerve.16.aspx
  2. https://journals.lww.com/bpmonitoring/fulltext/2001/02000/comparative_effects_of_amlodipine_and_nifedipine.8.aspx
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1440-1681.1998.tb02254.x
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