What is Cardioplen?
Cardioplen is a medicine that belongs to a group called calcium antagonists, used to treat high blood pressure and a chest pain known as angina.
How does Cardioplen work?
When treating high blood pressure, Cardioplen works by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing blood to pass through them more easily. In the treatment of angina, this medication works by improving blood supply to the heart so it can receive more oxygen and relieve pain.
What are the benefits of taking Cardioplen?
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) or angina can be linked to a number of factors, such as a family history, a diet high in salt or being overweight or inactive.
In addition to some lifestyle changes (such as smoking and/or drinking less and exercising more), it’s often advised to take medication, such as Cardioplen, to manage the conditions in order to prevent more serious ailments such as stroke, heart attack or blood clots.
How do I use Cardioplen?
Cardioplen is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet.
Take the tablets by swallowing whole with a drink of water, before food or after a light meal (not high in fat or carbohydrates). You should take it at the same time of day, and you should not take Cardioplen with grapefruit juice.
Cardioplen contains the active ingredient Felodipine, in strengths of either 2.5mg, 5mg or 10mg per tablet.
The normal dose is one 5mg tablet a day, however your doctor may decide to increase this to 10mg if they feel you need it. If you have liver problems or are elderly, then your doctor may start you off on a slightly lower dose.
If you forget to take your Cardioplen tablet then you should skip the forgotten dose and move straight onto the next one. Don’t worry but don’t double up on your dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take more Cardioplen than you should, then go to your nearest emergency department immediately. An overdose can have symptoms such as extreme dizziness, problems with breathing or feeling weak so lying down with your arms and legs up is advised.
Side effects & precautions
Before taking Cardioplen, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not take Cardioplen if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant
- if you are allergic to Cardioplen or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
- if you suffer from uncompensated heart failure
- if you have acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- if you have chest pain, or angina that is lasting for more than 15 minutes or is more severe than usual
- if you have disease of a heart valve or heart muscle
Your prescription of Cardioplen may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
- have liver problems
- have low blood pressure
Like many medications with active ingredients, Cardioplen can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
- cimetidine (medicine to treat gastric ulcers)
- erythromycin (medicine to treat infections)
- itraconazole (medicine to treat fungi)
- ketoconazole (medicine to treat fungi)
- medicines to treat HIV infection
- phenytoin (medicine to treat epilepsy)
- carbamazepine (medicine to treat epilepsy)
- rifampicin (medicine to treat infections)
- barbiturates (medicine to treat anxiety, sleeping problems and epilepsy)
- tacrolimus (medicine used in organ transplantations)
- St John’s wort (herbal product)
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Cardioplen will be the best course of action for you.
Like with all sufferers of high blood pressure or angina, you should pair your medication with some lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive smoking or drinking.
You should stay away from grapefruit and grapefruit juice while on Cardioplen, as it’s been proven to interact with the medication and can lower your blood pressure too much. Cardioplen can also cause swollen gums so ensure to practice good oral hygiene to prevent this.
The most common side effects of using Cardioplen include:
- Ankle swelling
- Abnormally rapid heart rate
- Too low blood pressure
- Abdominal pain
- Rash or itching
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor if you notice any serious side effects, such as lumps on the skin, difficulty swallowing or swelling of the face.