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This medication is used to treat hypertension or high blood pressure, and can also be used for other problems as seen by a physician. It is a vasoselective calcium antagonist, which means that it blocks the influx of calcium ions in cell membranes. It takes a few hours to work, but has a longer duration than some other medications that are used for the same indications.
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A daily dose of 10 or 20 mg of this drug is seen to effectively reduce the blood pressure. A physician will prescribe a dosage and schedule based on overall patient health, side effects and allergic reactions as well as response to therapy. The dosage of this drug can be adjusted based on the response over a specific time period as based on the overall health of the recipient.
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Those patients that have suffered or do suffer from heart failure or heart valve disorders, liver disease and low blood pressure or chest pains, have had a heart attack before or has a slow heartbeat should not take lercanidipine. Pregnant women, those who wish to become pregnant, or breast-feeding women should avoid this medication, as it can be transferred through breast milk to the child.
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Grapefruit juice, herbal supplements like ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng and ephedra or melatonin all interact with this medication. Local anesthetics, fluconazole and most fungal infection medications also interact with this drug. HIV medications, high blood pressure medications as well as seizure medications should be avoided as well. NSAIDs and barbiturates, bosentan and cimeidine, erythromycin and diltiazen as well as diuretics and zileuton are all medications that will interact with lercanidipine.
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Side Effects of Lercanidipine
According to Krames Online, side effects include fainting spells and dizziness, irregular heartbeat with chest pains or palpitations and swelling of legs or ankles. More serious side effects that should be reported immediately include drowsiness and fatigue, facial flushing, headache and nausea or vomiting as well as stomach pain as these can indicate other problems with the medication.
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As with all hypertension medications, women who wish to become pregnant or are pregnant or breast-feeding, this medication should only be used as needed. It is known to be transferred to infants through breast milk as well as the placenta during pregnancy. Patients who have previously had heart attacks or heart conditions could exacerbate the condition with this medication, so all prior medical history should be discussed with a physician prior to the use of this drug.