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Lercanidipine is a calcium channel blocker used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). It widens the blood vessels, which decreases the pressure on the heart. It is a daily tablet available in two strengths: 10mg and 20mg. Lercanidipine may take up to two weeks to reach its full effect, but it has a longer duration than other similar medicines. Lercanidipine is popular because, for some people, it is more easily tolerated than other blood pressure medicines.
Calcium channel blockers are used to treat mild to moderate cases of hypertension. Lercanidipine works by targeting muscle cells on the arterial walls throughout the body. These muscle cells require calcium to contract, and calcium channel blockers actively reduce their access to calcium. This means instead of contracting, the arterial muscles start to relax. This results in a mild widening of the arteries, which makes it easier for the heart to circulate blood.
It is estimated that one in four adults in The UK suffer from hypertension. However, many won’t even realise they have the condition. This is because high blood pressure doesn’t usually present with any noticeable symptoms. The only way to gain an informed diagnosis is to have your blood pressure checked by your GP. It is recommended that adults over the age of 40 have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. If hypertension is ignored, the ensuing complications can become serious. For example, uncontrolled hypertension can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Lercanidipine cannot completely cure high blood pressure or angina, but it will help to manage the condition. Lercanidipine generally takes up to two weeks to reach its full effect. Even if you feel perfectly healthy, it is important to continue taking your prescribed medicine until your doctor advises you otherwise.
Hypertension treatment should not be seen as the sole solution to high blood pressure. Instead, it should be used to supplement a heart-smart lifestyle. There are a number of choices you can make that will help reduce the stress on your heart, including:
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Always follow your prescription exactly. Generally, the initial dose of Lercanidipine is one 10mg tablet per day. Your doctor may change this dose depending on the severity of your condition and your body’s response to the medicine. Continue taking Lercanidipine until your doctor advises that you stop, even if you feel healthy.
Swallow the tablet whole with a sip of water. Take it on an empty stomach – Lercanidipine will be most effective if taken at least 30 minutes before your breakfast.
Avoid grapefruit juice, as it is known to interact with Lercanidipine. A substance in the grapefruit increases the concentration of the drug within the bloodstream, which may make you more susceptible to side effects.
If, for any reason, you forget to take a tablet, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is nearly time for your next tablet, skip the dose that you missed. Never double your dose to compensate for a dose that you have missed.
Not everyone will experience side effects when they take Lercanidipine, however, if you do they can include:
Dizziness, headache, heart palpitations, blushing of the face or neck, swelling of the ankle.
If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in any other way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Lercanidipine is unsuitable if you:
Certain medicines inhibit the isoenzyme CYP3A4. They increase the concentration of Lercanidipine in the bloodstream, and so should not be taken alongside one another. These medicines include:
Avoid grapefruit juice.
Talk to your GP if you have other heart conditions or any problems with your kidneys or liver.
Inform your GP or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:
Please read all packaging and the Patient Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine and inform your doctor of medicines you are taking or intend to take.
The active ingredient in Lercanidipine tablets is lercanidipine hydrochloride.
Lercanidipine tablets also contain the following inactive ingredients to make up the complete product:
Lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glyconate, povidone K30, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, talc, titanium dioxide (E171), macrogol 6000, ferric oxide (E172).
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