Nifedipine is a calcium channel blocker and works to lower blood pressure by interfering with the normal role of calcium in the heart and blood vessels. By blocking calcium's entry into the heart muscle and blood vessels, nifedipine causes blood vessels to relax or dilate and contraction of the heart to slow. Thus, blood pressure is lowered and your heart does not have to pump as hard. It also increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart to control chest pain (angina). Nifedipine is used to treat high blood pressure. If taken regularly, nifedipine controls chest pain, but it does not stop chest pain once it starts. Your doctor may give you a different medication to take when you have chest pain. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Nifedipine also is used to treat migraine headaches, Raynaud's syndrome, congestive heart failure, and cardiomyopathy.
Nifedipine blocks the transport of calcium into the smooth muscle cells lining the coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. Since calcium is important in muscle contraction, blocking calcium transport relaxes artery muscles and dilates coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. By relaxing coronary arteries, nifedipine is useful in treating and preventing chest pain (angina) resulting from coronary artery spasm. Relaxing the muscles lining the arteries of the rest of the body lowers the blood pressure, which reduces the burden on the heart as it pumps blood to the body. Reducing heart burden lessens the heart muscle's demand for oxygen, and further helps to prevent angina in patients with coronary artery disease.
Chest pain (angina) occurs because of insufficient oxygen delivered to the heart muscles. Insufficient oxygen may be a result of coronary artery blockage or spasm, or because of physical exertion which increases heart oxygen demand in a patient with coronary artery narrowing. Nifedipine is used for the treatment and prevention of angina resulting from coronary artery spasm as well as from exertion. Nifedipine is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It is also used to open the blood vessels which spasm, causing Raynaud's phenomenon.
Nifedipine is an antianginal drug belonging to a class of pharmacological agents, the calcium channel blockers. Nifedipine is 3,5-pyridinedicarboxylic acid, 1,4-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-4-(2-nitrophenyl)-,dimethyl ester, C17H18N2O6. Nifedipine is a yellow crystalline substance, practically insoluble in water but soluble in ethanol. It has a molecular weight of 346.3.