Lercanidipine is a calcium channel blocker medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
Lercanidipine is only available on prescription. It comes as tablets.
Who can take lercanidipine
Most adults aged 18 and over can take lercanidipine.
Lercanidipine is not suitable for some people.
To make sure it's safe for you, tell your doctor before starting lercanidipine if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to lercanidipine or any other medicine
- are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or you're breastfeeding
- have liver or kidney disease
- have heart disease or have had a recent heart attack
Dosage and strength
Lercanidipine comes as 10mg and 20mg tablets.
The usual starting dose of lercanidipine is 10mg once a day.
If your dose is not working well enough and your blood pressure stays too high, you may need to increase your dose to 20mg once a day. Your doctor will tell you if you need to do this.
How to take it
You'll usually take lercanidipine once a day. You can take it at any time of day, but try to make sure it's around the same time every day. Most people take lercanidipine in the morning.
It's best to take lercanidipine at least 15 minutes before a meal.
Swallow lercanidipine tablets with a drink of water.
Some brands have a score line to help you break the tablet to make it easier to swallow. Check the information leaflet for your brand to see if you can do this.
How long to take it for
Usually, treatment with lercanidipine is long term, even for the rest of your life.
Take lercanidipine even if you feel well, as you'll still be getting the benefits of the medicine.
If you forget to take a dose of lercanidipine, take it as soon as you remember, but make sure you take it at least 15 minutes before your next meal.
If you do not remember until the next day, leave out the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time.
Do not take 2 doses to make up for a forgotten one.
If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.
If you take too much
Taking more than your prescribed dose of lercanidipine can make you feel dizzy and sleepy.
The amount of lercanidipine that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person.
- you take more than your prescribed dose of lercanidipine
If you need to go to A&E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.
Take the lercanidipine packet or leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.
Talk to your doctor if you want to stop taking lercanidipine.
Stopping lercanidipine may cause your blood pressure to rise, and this may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
If you're bothered by side effects, your doctor may be able to prescribe you a different medicine to lower your blood pressure.
Common side effects
These common side effects of lercanidipine happen in more than 1 in 100 people. They're usually mild and do not last long. There are things you can do to help cope with them:
These side effects should go away after the first week of taking lercanidipine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if this advice does not help or the side effects last longer than this or get worse.
Serious side effects of lercanidipine are rare and happen in less than 1 in 1,000 people.
- you get chest pain that does not stop after a few minutes or is new or worse if you already have angina
Chest pain is a possible sign of a heart attack and needs to be checked out as soon as possible.
In rare cases, it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to lercanidipine.
These are not all the side effects of lercanidipine. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicines packet
Lercanidipine and pregnancy
Lercanidipine can be taken during pregnancy, although it is not commonly used.
If you are taking lercanidipine to treat high blood pressure you will usually be switched to a different medicine. This can be done by your doctor or specialist.
If your doctor or midwife says your baby is healthy you can take lercanidipine while you're breastfeeding.
If you are breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed, talk to your doctor or pharmacist as other medicines might be better for you.
It's not known how much lercanidipine gets into breast milk, but it's likely to be a small amount which is unlikely to harm your baby.
If you notice that your baby is not feeding as well as usual, or seems unusually sleepy, seems much paler than usual or if you have any other concerns about your baby, then talk to your health visitor, midwife, pharmacist or doctor as soon as possible.
Lercanidipine and fertility
There's no evidence to suggest that taking lercanidipine reduces fertility in either men or women.
If you're trying for a baby or are having problems conceiving while on lercanidipine, speak to your doctor.
Cautions with other medicines
If you take other medicines that lower blood pressure at the same time as lercanidipine, the combination can sometimes lower your blood pressure too much.
This may make you feel dizzy or faint. If this keeps happening to you, tell your doctor as your doses may need to be changed.
Some medicines can affect the way lercanidipine works. Lercanidipine can also affect the way some other medicines work.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking lercanidipine if you're taking:
- aminophylline or theophylline (medicines to ease breathing)
- itraconazole, ketoconazole or voriconazole, antifungal medicines
- erythromycin or clarithromycin, antibiotics
- heart medicines such as digoxin, amiodarone, sotalol or metoprolol
- antiviral medicines to treat HIV
- rifampicin, a medicine to treat tuberculosis
- carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital (phenobarbitone) or primidone, medicines for epilepsy
- ciclosporin, a medicine to reduce immune reactions
There's very little information about taking herbal remedies and supplements with lercanidipine. They're not tested in the same way as pharmacy and prescription medicines.
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