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Pronounced: PLEN-dill
Generic name: Felodipine

Why is this drug prescribed: Plendil is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. It is effective alone or in combination with other high blood pressure medications. A type of medication called a calcium channel blocker, Plendil eases the workload of the heart by slowing down its muscle contractions and the passage of nerve impulses through it. This improves blood flow through the heart and throughout the body, reduces blood pressure, and helps prevent angina pain (chest pain, often accompanied by a feeling of choking, usually caused by lack of oxygen in the heart due to clogged arteries).

Most important fact about this drug: If you have high blood pressure, you must take Plendil regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be several weeks before you get the full benefit of Plendil; you must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Plendil does not cure high blood pressure; it merely keeps it under control.

How should you take this medication: Plendil can be taken with a light meal or without food. The tablets should be swallowed whole, not crushed or chewed. Try not to miss any doses. If Plendil is not taken regularly, your blood pressure may increase. --If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Plendil. More common side effects may include: Flushing, headache, swelling of the legs and feet Less common or rare side effects may include: Anemia, angina pectoris (chest pain), ankle pain, anxiety disorders, arm pain, arthritis, back pain, blurred vision, breast enlargement, bronchitis, bruising, constipation, cough, diarrhea, dizziness, decreased sex drive, depression, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, enlarged gums, excessive nighttime urination, excessive perspiration, facial swelling, fainting, fatigue, flu, foot pain, frequent urination, gas, muscle pain, heart attack, hip pain, hives, impotence, inflammation of the nose, irregular heartbeat, irritability, itching, joint pain, knee pain, leg pain, low blood pressure, nausea, neck pain, nervousness, nosebleeds, painful or difficult urination, rapid heartbeat, rash, respiratory infections, ringing in the ears, shortness of breath, shoulder pain, sinus inflammation, sleepiness, sneezing, sore throat, stomach and intestinal pain, tingling sensation, tremor, urgent urination, vomiting, warm sensation, weakness

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Plendil or other calcium channel blockers, such as Calan and Procardia, you should not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about this medication: Plendil can cause your blood pressure to become too low. If you feel light-headed or faint, or if you feel your heart racing or you experience chest pain, contact your doctor immediately. If you have congestive heart failure, Plendil should be used with caution, especially if you are also taking one of the "beta-blocker" family of drugs, such as Inderal or Tenormin. Your legs and feet may swell when you start taking Plendil, usually within the first 2 to 3 weeks of treatment. If you have liver disease or are over age 65, your doctor should monitor your blood pressure carefully while adjusting your dosage of Plendil. Your gums may become swollen and sore while you are taking Plendil. Good dental hygiene will help control this problem.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Plendil is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Plendil with the following: Beta-blocking blood pressure medicines such as Lopressor, Inderal, and Tenormin Cimetidine (Tagamet) Digoxin (Lanoxin) Epilepsy medications such as Tegretol and Dilantin Erythromycin (PCE, ERYC, others) Itraconazole (Sporanox) Ketoconazole (Nizoral) Phenobarbital Theophylline (Theo-Dur) Taking Plendil with grapefruit juice can more than double the blood level of the drug.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Although the effects of Plendil during pregnancy have not been adequately studied in humans, birth defects have occurred in animal studies. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Plendil may appear in breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Your doctor will adjust the dosage according to your response to the drug. The usual starting dose is 5 milligrams once a day; your doctor will adjust the dose at intervals of not less than 2 weeks. The usual dosage range is 2.5 to 10 milligrams once daily. CHILDREN: The safety and effectiveness of Plendil in children have not been established. OLDER ADULTS: If you are over 65 years of age, your doctor will start treatment with a dosage of 2.5 milligrams once a day and will monitor your blood pressure closely during dosage adjustment. People with liver problems usually require lower doses of Plendil and are carefully monitored while the dose is adjusted.

Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical treatment immediately. Symptoms of Plendil overdose may include: Severely low blood pressure, slow heartbeat

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