Vascalpha tablets contain the active substance felodipine which belongs to a group of medicines called dihydropyridine-type calcium channel blockers. These work by relaxing the smooth muscle in the blood vessel walls and opening the blood vessels. This then lowers the blood pressure.
Vascalpha tablets are used:
- to treat patients with high blood pressure (essential hypertension).
- to treat certain types of chest pain that occur during exercise (stable angina pectoris) or at rest (Prinzmetal angina)
High blood pressure often causes no symptoms, but if it is not treated it can damage blood vessels in the long-term. In some cases this can lead to heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke or blindness. That is why it is important not to stop taking this medicine without talking to your doctor.
Always take Vascalpha tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. If you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
High blood pressure:
Initially 5mg once daily. If needed, the doctor may increase the dose to 10mg daily or may prescribe an additional medicine to lower blood pressure.
Taking the tablets
- Swallow these tablets whole at the same time of the day (e.g. in the morning) with a glass of water. Do not crush or chew them.
- Do not take with grapefruit juice, as this may make Vascalpha tablets work too strongly.
- Take the tablets on an empty stomach or with a light meal. The tablets should not be taken with a high fat meal.
- Take this medicine for as long as your doctor tells you to. It may be dangerous to stop without your doctor’s advice.
If you take more Vascalpha tablets than you should
Do not take more tablets than your doctor tells you to. If you ever take too many go to the nearest hospital casualty department or tell your doctor immediately. Take the container and any remaining tablets with you to show to the doctor. An overdose may lead to light-headedness, fainting and dizziness caused by very low blood pressure and in rare cases slowed heartbeat (bradycardia).
If you forget to take Vascalpha tablets
If you forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember. Then go on as before. Do not take two doses at the same timeto make up for a forgotten dose. If you are worried, ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.
If you stop taking Vascalpha tablets
Do not stop treatment early because felodipine can be associated with withdrawal symptoms. If you stop taking the tablets too quickly you may develop high blood pressure again. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking the tablets and follow the advice.
- the active substance (the ingredient that makes the tablets work) is felodipine. One prolonged release tablet contains either 5mg or 10mg of felodipine.
- the other ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, povidone K25, propylene glycol, propyl gallate (Ph.Eur.), magnesium stearate (Ph.Eur.), colloidal anhydrous silica, talcum, iron oxide red (E172), iron oxide yellow (E172), titanium dioxide (E171).
Like all medicines, Vascalpha tablets may cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.
Stop taking Vascalpha tablets and contact your doctor if you have an allergic reaction such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, mouth and throat, which may cause shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects.
Very common (occurs in more than 1 in 10 users): headache, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears), or flushing – these effects are more likely to occur at the start of treatment or after dose increases and may settle with continued use. Swelling of extremities (in particular the ankles).
Common (occurs in less than 1 in 10 users): chest pain or worsening of chest pain (angina pectoris) more likely after beginning of treatment,
Do not take Vascalpha tablets if you
- are allergic (hypersensitive) to felodipine, other similar compounds (dihydropyridine-type calcium channel blockers) or any of the other ingredients in the tablets (see section 6)
- have a very low pulse and blood pressure (cardiogenic shock)
- have severe narrowing (stenosis) of the aorta or of theheart valves (mitral or aortic valve)
- suffer from an enlarged heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
- get chest pain caused by coronary heart disease also at rest or with minimal effort (so called unstable angina pectoris)
- have suffered a heart attack within the last two months
- have untreated heart failure, causing swelling of the extremities, weakness, and shortness of breath
- have severely reduced liver function
- are or may be pregnant (see “Pregnancy” below).
Take special care with Vascalpha tablets if you
- have severely reduced kidney function
- have reduced liver function
- suffer with stable heart failure
- suffer with fast heart beat (tachycardia)
- suffer with narrowing (stenosis) of the aorta or of the heart valves (mitral or aortic valve)
- have conduction disturbances in the heart (2nd or 3rd degree atrioventricular block)
- have poor oral hygiene, as it can increase the risk of inflammation of the gums during Vascalpha treatment.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription, herbal medicines, or natural products. Especially:
- other medicines that lower blood pressure such as hydrochlorothiazide, beta blockers (to treat high blood pressure), nitrates (to control coronary heart disease and chest pain), tricyclic antidepressants (to treat depression) or phenothiazines (to treat psychoses)
- amiodarone, diltiazem or verapamil (to treat heart problems)
- digoxin (to treat heart failure)
- fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, miconazole, or voriconazole (to treat fungal or yeast infections)
- erythromycin, clarithromycin, or telithromycin (antibiotics)
- rifampicin or rifabutin (to treat tuberculosis)
- fluoxetine or fluovoxamine (to treat depression)
- tacrolimus or ciclosporin (to suppress immune system e.g. after organ transplantation)
- phenobarbital, phenytoin, or carbamazepine (to treat epilepsy)
- cimetidine (to treat heartburn and stomach ulcers)
- nevirapine, ritonavir, sakinavir (to treat HIV infection)
- herbal medicines containing St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum).
Taking Vascalpha tablets with food and drink
See section 3 “Taking the tablets”.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Felodipine must not be taken during the whole pregnancy. If you think you are pregnant, plan to get pregnant or become pregnant while using Vascalpha tablets stop using the medicine immediately and consult the doctor as soon as possible.
Felodipine is excreted in breast milk, therefore the use of Vascalpha tablets is not recommended while breastfeeding. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine.
Driving and using machines
Vascalpha tablets can cause dizziness or tiredness. These effects are more likely to occur at the start of treatment, after dose increases, or after taking alcohol at the same time. If you are affected, do not drive or operate machinery.
If a doctor has told you that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicine, as it contains lactose.
All our orders are sent out using Royal Mail. Tracking is available on all orders.
We always aim to dispatch all orders within 24 hours of them being received, if we are unable to meet this
high standard for whatever reason we will always contact you to advise you of the delay.
We offer free UK standard delivery on orders over £40.
The following delivery options are available:
- Standard Delivery - 2/3 day delivery - £2.95
- Express Delivery - 1/2 day delivery - £4.45
- Special Delivery (Guaranteed before 1pm) - £8.95
- Saturday Guaranteed before 1pm - £10.45
The cut-off for same day dispatch of orders is 4pm. Orders processed after this time will be dispatched the following working day. Orders are dispatched Monday - Friday. Orders will not be processed on weekends or bank holidays.
We ensure all deliveries are in plain packaging for discreet delivery of your medicines and pharmacy goods.
Deliveries containing pharmacy-only or prescription medicines may require a signature on receipt.
Delivery is free for all NHS prescriptions.
Please note: Royal Mail do not deliver on Sundays or Bank Holidays - this should be taken into account when ordering.
We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.