Procardia XL is a medication that is licensed for the treatment of high blood pressure and certain types of chest pain (angina). The prescription medication, which is a type of calcium channel blocker, works by relaxing the blood vessels to make it easier for the heart to pump blood. Procardia XL is an extended-release medication that is usually taken once a day. Potential side effects may include headaches, nausea, and fatigue.
Brand-name Procardia XL is made by Pfizer, Inc. Generic Procardia XL is made by a few different manufacturers and is sold under various names.
How Does It Work?
Procardia XL is part of a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It helps to slow down the rate at which calcium moves into the heart and into the walls of the blood vessels. This, in turn, helps to relax the blood vessels, which allows better blood flow and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
There are two basic types of calcium channel blockers, dihydropyridine and non-dihydropyridine. The most important difference between the two types is that non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers can slow down the heart rate, while dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers do not. Procardia XL is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, which means that it does not usually decrease the heart rate.
While regular (immediate-release) Procardia often increases the heart rate, Procardia XL usually has no effect on the heart rate.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Procardia XL [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2010 February.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed March 26, 2007.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed March 26, 2007.
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