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Side Effects of Procardia

Updated on July 16, 2011

I would like to open with the information that I am not a doctor or pharmaceutical scientist. I am a patient who happened to be placed on procardia (nifedipine) as an anti-contraction medication to prevent preterm labor. The side effects I'm going to list are from my personal experience with procardia, and not a list of side effects.

I have been prescribed procardia for a short period of time - less then 10 days. The dosage was one 30 mg tablet every 8 hours (3 times per day). I was also prescribed an antibiotic for a few days during this period, which may or may not have effected the side effects I experienced.

It is my hope that by hubbing about my personal experience with this pharmaceutical, that others looking for some real life experience with procardia, can find relief in know they are not alone. I know I felt very alone while taking it, even though I knew in my mind that was not so. Either way, it was very calming to read about the side effects experienced by REAL people and not just the ones listed by the drug makers.


About 20 minutes after taking my regular dosage of procardia, I would feel the onset of lethargy. It was like feeling very tired to the point of being sluggish in all my responses. It made me feel very lazy and made it difficult to concentrate on even the simplest tasks. The only things I could relate it to, is like taking a mild sedative or like being in the later stages of being drunk without the "feel good" parts.


It was very strange to feel so sedated and yet so unable to rest or sleep. The sedation effect would hit and would lay down in response, but then I wasn't able to sleep or relax. Then I would sit up or try to do something simple, but would then get very tired again. The cycle would go like this for at least 3 or 4 hours after taking my regular dose.

Also, the restlessness often disturbed what sleep I did get. I would sleep for 4 to 5 hours and then feel like I couldn't go back to sleep. Then the feeling of exhaustion would come back after a few hours of being awake and I would be able to sleep for a while longer.

Mood Swings

My first adverse reaction to the procardia was intense agitation and uncontrollable crying. After a day or so of being on the procardia, the intense crying faded away and the agitation smoothed out to a more normal level. Though my moods swung rather unusually for my normal temperament. I would frequently go between anger, nervousness/anxiety, excitement, confusion and apathy.


Taking procardia brought down my hydration level quite a bit, and resulted in an increased need to intake water and natural fruit juices. The dehydration caused some muscle cramping in my legs, which was usually prevented/solved by drinking at least a gallon of water. I found it was better to drink the water right before taking my next dose of procardia, then continuing drinking water or organic juice throughout the next eight hours.

Disruption of Bowel Movement Frequency

A little background on me - I have IBS, which for me means that I have a BM's at least once a day, if not more. Because of procardia relaxes smooth muscles and because the intestines are smooth muscles, procardia can offset your regular frequency of BM's. This was upsetting for me during the first four days of taking procardia, as during those first four days I did not have a single BM. During the fifth day, they returned without any constipation or complications, which was very relieving (pun intended).

Interestingly enough, although the procardia at first altered my frequency, after my regular movements returned, I experienced less cramping and stomach upset when it was time to eliminate. So other than the first four days, I suppose you could almost say this was a pro-side effect (at least in my case it was).

Did you experience any of these side effects while taking Procardia (Nifedipine)?

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      Brian 6 years ago

      Is this equivalent to laxative? I think it is not good to use laxative to treat the constipation problem. Be it naturally to take fruit and fiber, it taste better and easy to digest.