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Zanidip

Zanidip

Zanidip is a blood pressure-lowering medicine. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Zanidip tablets contain the active ingredient lercanidipine hydrochloride, which is a type of medicine called a calcium channel blocker. It acts specifically on the muscle cells in the walls of arteries, causing them to relax. This allows the arteries in the body to widen. Zanidip tablets take approx. six weeks to take effect. 

Zanidip is a type of medicine called a calcium channel blocker. Calcium channel blockers have a widening effect on the arteries, which lowers blood pressure and in turn helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

What is Zanidip? 

Zanidip is a blood pressure-lowering medicine. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Zanidip tablets contain the active ingredient lercanidipine hydrochloride, which is a type of medicine called a calcium channel blocker. It acts specifically on the muscle cells in the walls of arteries, causing them to relax. This allows the arteries in the body to widen. Zanidip tablets take approx. six weeks to take effect. 

When is Zanidip used? 

Zanidip is prescribed to treat the following conditions: 

  • High blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure, or hypertension, rarely has noticeable symptoms. But if untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart failure or strokes. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels. This can weaken the heart muscle or damage (or rupture) the arteries. Calcium is needed by muscle cells so that they can contract. Zanidip blocks calcium channels in these muscle cells. This allows the arteries in the body to widen and relax. The relaxing and widening of the arteries decreases resistance, which reduces blood pressure. Zanidip is usually used when other blood pressure lowering medicines, such as a diuretics, beta blockers or ACE inhibitors have not been effective.  

How is Zanidip used? 

Always use this medication as directed by your doctor. The general guidelines for use are as follows: 

  • Zanidip tablets should be swallowed whole without chewing. 
  • Take the tablets on an empty stomach, at least 15 minutes before a meal. 
  • The daily dose should be taken at the same time each day, preferably before breakfast. This way, you avoid missing any doses. 
  • If you have forgotten to take a tablet, you should take it as soon as you remember if it’s still more than eight hours until your next scheduled dose. If it’s less than eight hours until your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take the next scheduled dose as normal. 
  • Dizziness and weariness may occasionally occur during treatment with Zanidip, especially during the first days of treatment. If this happens to you, do not drive a car until you feel better. Dizziness usually goes away within a few days once the body gets used to the medication. 
  • Be cautious with drinking alcohol during treatment with Zanidip. Drinking alcohol also widens the blood vessels, which can make you feel dizzy.  
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are taking Zanidip, as it can make side effects worse. If you do want to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice, make sure to limit your intake to twice a week, with each intake spaced at least three days apart. 

See the package leaflet for more information on the use of this medicine. 

What doses are available? 

Zanidip is available in tablet form in two strengths: 10 and 20 mg. The dosage should be determined by a doctor and monitored properly. The general guidelines for use are as follows: 

  • Adults: the usual starting dose is 10 mg once a day. If this dose isn’t working well enough, a doctor may increase your dose to 20 mg once a day. Increasing the dose to 20 mg may not be appropriate (or caution is warranted) in elderly patients with a liver or kidney condition.  

This medicine is not suitable for use in children and adolescents under 18 years of age. Safety and effectiveness have not been established in this age group.  

For more information on dosage, see the package leaflet. 

What are the side effects of Zanidip? 

Zanidip can cause side effects. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine: 

  • Headache. 
  • Faster than normal heartbeat (tachycardia), palpitations. 
  • Swollen ankles or lower legs. 
  • Facial redness or flushing. 
  • Dizziness. 
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms. 
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness. 
  • Swelling of the gums. 
  • Muscle ache. 
  • Skin rash. 

For a complete list of side effects, see the package leaflet. Consult a doctor if you experience severe or persistent side effects. 

When not to use Zanidip? 

Zanidip tablets are not suitable for everyone and should not be used if: 

  • You are allergic to other calcium channel blockers, lercanidipine hydrochloride or any other the ingredients in this medicine (e.g. lactose). 
  • You have severe kidney or liver problems. 
  • You have a heart condition.  

Consult a doctor if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. This medicine should not be used during pregnancy as it may be harmful to the unborn baby. This medicine may pass into breast milk. It should not be used during breastfeeding as the effect on a nursing infant is not known.  

For more information about contraindications and warnings, see the package leaflet. 

Can Zanidip be used in combination with other medicines? 

Some medicines interact with one another. The interaction may increase the side effects or decrease the effectiveness of the medicines. Zanidip known to interact with the following medications: 

  • Other blood pressure-lowering medications. Combining Zanidip with these medicines may cause your blood pressure to become too low. 
  • Medication for enlarged prostate (e.g. alfuzosin, doxazosin and terazosin). 
  • Cimetidine (stomach acid reducer).  
  • Certain medications to slow down heart rate. 
  • Certain medications to treat epilepsy. 
  • Certain antibiotics (e.g. caritromycin, erytromycin). 
  • Certain antidepressants (e.g. fluoxetine, fluvoxamine). 
  • Certain antifungal medicines. 
  • Midazolam (sleeping medication). 
  • Simvastatin (cholesterol-lowering medication). 
  • Certain HIV inhibitors. 

If you are taking any of the medicines listed above, it is important to tell your doctor before you start treatment with Zanidip to make sure that the combination is safe. For more information on interactions, see the package leaflet. 

Where can I buy Zanidip? 

Zanidip is only available at pharmacies or online pharmacies. 

Can I buy Zanidip without a prescription? 

Zanidip is a prescription-only medicine. This means you need a prescription from a registered doctor to obtain it. 

Sources 

Datapharm. (2018, November). Zanidip 10 mg tablets – Patient Information Leaflet (PIL). EMC (Electronic Medicines Compendium). Consulted on 27 June 2020 on https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/191/pil 

Royal Dutch Pharmaceutical Society. (2016 November). Lercanidipine – Apotheek.nl. Consulted on 27 June 2020 on https://www.apotheek.nl/medicijnen/lercanidipine 

Dutch College of General Practitioners. (2019, 6 May). Taking medicine for high cholesterol | Thuisarts. Consulted on 27 June 2020 on https://thuisarts.nl/hoge-bloeddruk/ik-word-behandeld-voor-hoge-bloeddruk 

Dutch National Health Care Institute. (n.d.). Lercanidipine – Farmacotherapeutisch Kompas. Consulted on 27 June 2020 on https://www.farmacotherapeutischkompas.nl/bladeren/preparaatteksten/l/lercanidipine