Nifedipine alternatives: I've been... - Scleroderma & Ray...

Scleroderma & Raynaud's UK (SRUK)

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Nifedipine alternatives

mikejdrake profile image
mikejdrake

I've been taking Nifedipine for 20 or more years and my current prescription is for 20mg MR (modified release) e.g. slowly, rather than a quick hit which is sometimes better. As I'm anti medicines, one prescription can sometimes last a year, as I only take them when its really cold. Although this year that will be unlikely with all the cold weather we have had.

I'm an active outdoor person and over the years I've built up a plethora of different clothing to keep me warm for different situations.

What I'm really interested in, is looking at natural solutions, such as taking ginger to improve circulation, does anybody have any alternative suggestions please? I've never found easy to source, unless its stem ginger in syrup or candied ginger in sugar, so neither are particularly healthy, I recently found dried ginger, but its quite expensive.

17 Replies

You could try ginger paste in jars, which I use in cooking, q teaspoon equals quite a lot of ginger and then you can put it in smoothies etc.

mikejdrake profile image
mikejdrake in reply to MissusTee

Thanks, I have never seen Ginger paste, I do have Ginger powder, which seems similar in that it is quite potent, I use just half a teaspoon when I make a hot drink with it.

MissusTee profile image
MissusTee in reply to mikejdrake

Yes, it’s minced ginger in a paste, very handy and quite potent.

Go to Tesco or Sainsbury's usually in frozen veg isle, you will get wee bags of chopped frozen ginger for £1.50Great for yogurt, smoothies or porridge

So easy and economical, Tesco is we black bag, Sainsbury's is a wee box. To give you a laugh I by mistake bought garlic,🤦🤪you can imagine my shock drinking my smoothie, absolute🤢😫 didn't make that mistake again

mikejdrake profile image
mikejdrake in reply to Deby177

Thanks Deby, I go into Sainsburys all the time and I've never come across frozen ginger before, I'll try and make sure I don't make a similar mistake, lol.

Deby177 profile image
Deby177 in reply to mikejdrake

Like I say it's beside frozen veg, usually we boxes of chilli flakes, garlic, ginger and other frozen herbs

Ginger frozen

Have you tried Ginkgo Biloba, it’s a herbal remedy used in traditional Chinese medicine for circulation? Or you could try using chilblain creams or warming emollients that contain ingredients that help open the small blood vessels when applied to the skin such as deep heat, tiger balm etc

Like you I don't like taking medicines so would be good to hear how you get on. Good luck!

IF YOU ARE IN PAIN WILD LETTUCE EXTRACT, EBAY OR MT ROSE HERBS, RAYNAUD'S ASK THE DOCTOR ABOUT PRAZOSIN 1 MG THERE IS ALSO AMLODIPINE, CELLCEPT, OTHERS THAT HAVE COME OUT. MAKE NOISE ASK FOR HELP AND SUPPORT. ALSO ASK FOR HELP IN HOUSE LIKE IHSS, SOCIAL WORKER TO HELP YOU ALSO HOPE THIS HELP HUGS FOR A BETTER DAY LOVE JULIEANNA

It doesn't hurt, I just get cold, especially my hands and feet.

Other than that, I healthy and fit.

I should have added, thanks for the info on alternative drugs and the herbal ones.

Hi Mike -

I used to take the Nifedipine MR too as the non MR affected my heart badly - but it's been discontinued I thought? It worked so very well for me as my raynauds was severe (you can see my actual hand on the front of the SRUK website!) - so I've tried Lacidipine which didn't work, and now am trialling (after much contemplation for 4mths!) Fluoxetine which is... Prozac :(. Not sure if this is working but only week two.

I'm not into meds either and have fought against taking them all my life (now58) until my heart just complained so much I had to start taking stuff.. and then my lupus stuff got insanely bad so I really embraced the meds. I can't do without now.. and believe me I was brought up to look at diet and hydration, exercise and not dwelling at all on health to remedy anything.. so wheatgerm, fresh nuts, grapefruit were my breakfast from 4yrs old as identified by my father who was into naturopathy. Not great for a kid that small... but, along with no sugar, large complex salads and just veg/fish etc plus high quality vits did actually make a huge difference to my skin which was appalling then.. I was like a little crustacea. But... I've never found anything to help with raynauds... I've eaten crystallised ginger cut up on my breakfast, and fresh ginger in stir fries etc for decades, and take top of the range high level vits/minerals ie Solgar etc every day.. and tried tumeric, gingko biloba, vit e (although no good if you have heart stuff I found!), high level CBD and all sorts but nothing helps like nifedipine MR did.. if your raynauds isn't too bad then maybe see how it goes with everything mentioned here.. I did post an article on the lupus site the other month about ginger helping dumb down lupus or something.. but if you have a pretty full on condition I'd be concerned about dropping meds. I'd love to have Nifedipine MR again as life has become problematic again and even had nasty chilblains again in the cold snap, just as I did when a child.

I'll keep on with my healthy diet, tons of hydration all day and exercise, dressing with top gloves, layers plus keeping as warm as possible with heating etc.. but I need my meds too.. so please be careful and maybe discuss with your clinicians if you're thinking of stopping?

All the best, and enjoy the ginger...it's great for your gut too apparently.. and it's delicious eh! Take care, D

mikejdrake profile image
mikejdrake in reply to DJK99

Thanks for reply, listening to some people experiences with Raynauds, it sound like I have mild symptoms.

Nifedepine MR is definitely available and I can manage with taking the tablet as and when, it also takes about an hour before it kicks in when I do take, so I have to plan ahead.

DJK99 profile image
DJK99 in reply to mikejdrake

Oh - I don’t get it then 🤨. Or rather we don’t in Sussex! I shall ask the pharmacy yet again. Thanks!

amd21 profile image
amd21 in reply to DJK99

Hi DJ in NHS due to high variability of effect between formulations nifedipine is prescribed by specific product name eg adalat la 30 or coracten xl 30. There has been a problem with some brands/products being pulled from the market as the margin on them is so low as it is out of patent. i was doing well on adalat la but it was very intermittent in supply so I switched to amlodipine which works well enough. I'd rather have a regular less effective rx than a great rx but missing 3-4 months a year!

If you have a chat with your pharmacist they should be able to tell you which brands, dose & forms they have access to.

DJK99 profile image
DJK99 in reply to amd21

Tbanks everso for info. Spoke to pharmacy but just said nifedipine MR is available. Didn’t go into huge detail. Lacidipine doesn’t work, nor fluoxetine albeit only 2.5wks. Thankfully we’re heading into spring/summer so won’t be getting chilblains again for a while! Take care, D

Hi DJ for info floextine takes between 28-56 days to achieve full effect.

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