Take lacidipine once a day, preferably in the morning. You can take the tablet either before or after food.
Do not drink grapefruit juice whilst you are on lacidipine. It can interact with the medicine and alter its effect.Side-effects such as headache, dizziness, flushing and ankle swelling can occur in some people. These effects are usually mild and often soon pass.
|Type of medicine||A calcium-channel blocker|
|Used for||High blood pressure|
Lacidipine is prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Although people with high blood pressure often do not feel unwell, if left untreated, high blood pressure can harm the heart and damage blood vessels, and could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Lacidipine is known as a calcium-channel blocker because it works by affecting the way calcium passes into certain muscle cells in your blood vessels. The muscle cells need calcium to contract. Lacidipine reduces the amount of calcium that goes into these muscle cells. This causes the muscle cells to relax, which widens your blood vessels and lowers your blood pressure.
Before taking lacidipine
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking lacidipine it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you have any problems with the way your liver works.
- If you have a heart condition, or angina chest pain, or if you have recently had a heart attack.
- If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to take lacidipine
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about lacidipine, and will also provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you could experience from taking it.
- Take lacidipine exactly as your doctor tells you to. The usual starting dose is 2 mg daily (one tablet), taken preferably in the morning. If it becomes necessary, your doctor will increase your dose after a few weeks to 4 mg daily, and it may be increased further to 6 mg daily. Lacidipine is available in two strengths of tablet - 2 mg and 4 mg. Your doctor will tell you what dose is right for you, and this information will also be printed on the label of the pack of tablets.
- Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. You can take lacidipine either with or without food.
- Try to take your doses at the same time of day, each day. Having a routine will help you to remember to take your doses regularly.
- If you forget to take a dose at your usual time, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- Do not drink grapefruit juice while you are on lacidipine. This is because a substance in grapefruit juice increases the amount of lacidipine in your bloodstream and this increases the risk of side-effects.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice. Your doctor may recommend that you do not drink alcohol while you are on lacidipine as the chance of side-effects (such as feeling dizzy and light-headed) is increased.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable for you to take alongside your prescribed medicines. This is because a number of medicines can interfere with lacidipine and so may not be recommended for you.
- If you are due to have an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking lacidipine tablets. Lacidipine and some anaesthetics can interact, meaning that unwanted effects can be more likely.
- Treatment with lacidipine is usually long-term. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor. If it becomes necessary for you to stop treatment, your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually over a few days, as stopping taking lacidipine suddenly can cause problems.
Can lacidipine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with lacidipine. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common lacidipine side-effects (these affect less than 1 in 10 people)||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Headache||This usually soon passes, but you can ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller in the meantime|
|Swollen ankles, feeling flushed, being aware of your heartbeat, a fast heartbeat, itchy skin rash, increased amount of urine||Speak with your doctor about these if any become troublesome or continue beyond a few days|
|Feeling weak or dizzy||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines until you feel better|
|Feeling sick, tummy (abdominal) discomfort||Stick to simple foods - avoid fatty or spicy meals|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the tablets, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store lacidipine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Motens® 2 mg and 4 mg Tablets; Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated July 2013.
- British National Formulary; 71st Edition (Mar-Sep 2016) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall