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Keeping blood pressure under control is important but getting ahold of your medication when you need it isn't always easy.

If you're already taking Lercanidipine then you can request more of your medication through DrEd. Complete a short online assessment and request your medication. Your online doctor will check your request and make sure it's ok for you to receive more medication. If it is, we will post your medication to you with free delivery.


3 month course £19.99
6 month course £24.99

Prices include delivery and prescription.

What will Lercanidipine do for me?

If you have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), Lercanidipine can help lower your blood pressure back to healthy levels.

Lercanidipine:

  • Belongs to a class of drugs called dihydropyridine, calcium-channel blockers

  • Works by decreasing the contraction of the heart and widening its arteries - this makes it easier for the heart to pump blood around your body at a lower pressure

  • Alone can bring the blood pressure within range, in around 63% of adults newly-diagnosed with high blood pressure

Blood pressure – is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is given as two figures. The upper figure is the systolic pressure, which is the pressure when your heart pushes blood out. The lower figure is the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

High blood pressure – is diagnosed if you have consistent readings that are 140 and/or 90mmHg or above. The ideal blood pressure range is considered to be between 90/60mmHg – 120/80mmHg. A reading between 120/80mmHg and 140/90mmHg could mean that you are at risk of developing high blood pressure in the future if you don’t take steps to keep it under control.

The dangers of high blood pressure - if your high blood pressure is not controlled it increases your risk of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as:

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Kidney damage

  • Dementia

  • Other heart problems

Increased diastolic pressure is more commonly seen in adults less than 50 years of age. As a person ages, the systolic blood pressure becomes more of a problem as the arteries become progressively harder.

High blood pressure is responsible for more than half of all heart attacks and strokes. Someone with high blood pressure that is well controlled reduces his or her risk of heart disease and stroke to almost that of a person with normal blood pressure.

It is important to control high blood pressure as the risk of health problems continues to increase the more the blood pressure increases. Each 2mmHg rise in systolic blood pressure is associated with a 7% increased risk of death from heart disease caused by a lack of oxygen and blood supply and also a 10% increased risk of death from stroke.

Is Lercanidipine right for me?

Lercanidipine is the right treatment for you if your doctor has prescribed it. It is only available on prescription so you need a doctor to check the treatment is right for you before you can purchase it.

How do I know if I need it? – the only way to find out you have high blood pressure is to get it checked. High blood pressure rarely has any symptoms and many people do not know they have it until they get it checked or if they have a related condition, such as a heart attack or stroke. You may therefore not feel your medication working but it is important to continue taking it as prescribed by your doctor.

Healthy adults aged over 40 should have their blood pressure checked at least once every five years. If you have an increased risk of high blood pressure then you should get it checked at least once each year.

An NHS health check that includes a blood pressure test is offered to adults in England aged 40 – 74 for free. You can also ask for a blood pressure check at one of the following,

  • Your GP surgery

  • Some pharmacies

  • Some workplaces

  • At a health event

Am I more likely to have high blood pressure? – in many cases it is not clear what causes high blood pressure, but there are several factors that can increase your risk. These include:

  • Age – the risk of developing high blood pressure increases with age

  • Family history of high blood pressure

  • Being of African or Caribbean origin

  • Diet – too much fat, salt or caffeine

  • A lack of exercise

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Drinking large amounts of alcohol regularly

  • Smoking

  • Long-term sleep deprivation

Some underlying medical conditions can cause high blood pressure. You might be at extra risk if you have:

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney disease or long-term kidney infections

  • Hormone problems such as an under or overactive thyroid

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea – a condition in which the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing

  • Lupus – a condition in which the immune system attacks parts of the body such as skin, joints and organs

  • Scleroderma – a condition that causes thickened skin, and sometimes problems with organs and blood vessels

Medicines can also increase your blood pressure. These include:

  • The combined contraceptive pill

  • Steroids

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen

  • Some cough and cold remedies

Could I take Lercanidipine? – Lercanidipine is appropriate for adults aged over 18 years who have mild to moderate essential hypertension. Essential hypertension is high blood pressure that doesn’t have an identifiable cause.

Lercanidipine is not suitable in the following situations:

  • Untreated congestive heart failure

  • Unstable angina

  • If you have had a heart attack in the last one month

  • Left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (for example aortic stenosis)

  • Severe kidney or liver impairment

  • If you are taking cyclosporin

  • If you drink grapefruit juice

  • If you take other medicines that are strong inhibitors of the CYP3A4 enzyme such as amiodarone, ketoconazole, and erythromycin

  • Women of child bearing potential unless effective contraception is used

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Lapp lactase insufficiency

  • Galactosaemia or glucose/galactose malabsorption syndrome

  • An allergy to Lercanidipine, any other dihydropyridine calcium-channel blocker or any of the ingredients in Lercanidipine

How can I get Lercanidipine?

If a doctor agrees, you can buy Lercanidipine as a generic medication. It is also the name of the active ingredient it contains and there is a branded version called Zanidip.

If you’re already taking Lercanidpine you can reorder it online from our online doctor service – our certified online doctors provide fast and convenient assessments will check you order for you. Our service is for patients whose blood pressure has already been stabilized using Lercanididpine. To order your tablets, you need to fill in a brief medical questionnaire. Our doctor will review your information and if your order is approved, we will then post your medication. Delivery is usually free.

If you’re not already taking Lercanidipine – for your first prescription you would need to see your doctor. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure and check your medical history before diagnosing you with high blood pressure.

Your doctor will only prescribe blood pressure medication if you already have high blood pressure. If you are worried you might be at risk of getting high blood pressure, then get into the habit of getting your blood pressure checked regularly and make some lifestyle changes, if needed, to reduce your risk in the future.

You can also consider buying a blood pressure machine where you can measure your blood pressure in the comfort of your own home. Ensure the machine is properly tested and validated by the British Hypertension Society (BHS) before you buy it.

There are different types of blood pressure medicines that work in different ways to lower your blood pressure.

If you’re already taking another medication for high blood pressure – it may be possible to switch your medication based on the decision of your doctor if you find it isn’t suitable. This could be because it is not lowering your blood pressure enough or you are experiencing side effects. Speak to your doctor if you are concerned.

Should I stop taking Lercanidipine if I get side effects?

The health benefits of high blood pressure treatment are important so it's best to see your doctor before you stop your medication, even if you think you are having problems with side effects.

If side effects occur they are not usually troublesome and do not require you to stop treatment. Studies have shown that only about 1.8% of adults taking Lercanidipine experience side effects. Studies have also shown that less than 1% of adults experience common side effects. These side effects should usually disappear within the first couple of weeks of starting treatment.

Some common side effects include:

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Sudden reddening of the face, neck or chest (flushing)

  • Swelling of your ankles

To help manage your side effects - drinking plenty of fluids and getting adequate rest will help alleviate many of the common side effects, especially headache. If you feel dizzy then stop what you are doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. If you experience flushing, then try cutting down on coffee, tea or alcohol. You could also keep a small fan or water spray with you and sip cold or iced drinks. If you experience swollen ankles then raise your legs when you are sitting down.

If you experience any troublesome side effects (ones that are difficult to put up with), then it may not be the right choice for you. Speak to your doctor about any troublesome or persistent side effects and they can check if you might need to switch medications.

Other uncommon side effects include:

  • Nausea

  • Indigestion

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal pain

  • Excessive weakness or sleepiness

  • Muscle pain

  • Rash

Rare or very rare side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Excessive passing of urine
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Gingival hypertrophy – an enlarged growth of your gums

Always seek urgent medical attention if you experience any chest pain, fainting or an increase in angina related symptoms including palpitations and a fast heart rate.

You should stop taking Lercanidipine right away and seek urgent medical attention if you have an allergic reaction (swelling of the face, eyelids and lips, itchiness, redness and difficulty breathing).

How do I know I’m on the right dosage of Lercanidipine?

You might not feel any different on you medication but that doesn’t necessarily mean your Lercanidipine isn’t working, or that you’re on the wrong dose, so it is important to continue taking it.

How is my dose decided?

  • Your doctor will have prescribed your dosage based on your medical history and your current blood pressure readings

  • 10mg or 20mg tablets are available. You would normally start on a 10mg tablet once a day and increase to 20mg once a day if your blood pressure is still too high

  • Your doctor will make the decision to increase your dose when they re-check your blood pressure. It usually takes 2 weeks for the effect of Lercanidipine to be seen

  • You should take no more than 20mg a day

How do I get the most out of my Lercanidipine?

You need to take Lercandipine as prescribed by your doctor. Below are some general tips:

  • How to take it – you should take your take your tablet by mouth at least 15 minutes before meals with water. Taking your medicine at the same time each day will help with better control of your blood pressure and reduce the risk of any common side effects.

  • Foods to avoid – Lercanidipine should not be taken with grapefruit juice as it interferes with the metabolism of Lercanidipine. Grapefruit juice increases the concentration of Lercanidipine in your body making you more susceptible to side effects such as blood pressure that is too low.

  • Driving – Lercanidipine is unlikely to interfere with your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. You need to avoid these activities if you are experiencing any dizziness, excessive tiredness or weakness. Speak to your doctor if you are affected.

  • Missing doses – if you forget to take your tablet then simply miss that dose and take it as soon as you remember. Do not take a double dose.

  • Overdose – if you take more than the prescribed dose or in the event of an overdose, seek medical advice immediately and if possible take your tablets with you. Do not drive to the hospital. Taking an overdose may cause your blood pressure to drop too low and your heart to beat irregularly or faster. It can also lead to unconsciousness.

Medication helps control your symptoms but lifestyle changes can do this too, and they can help you to control your blood pressure long-term. These include:

  • Exercise – getting regular exercise lowers your blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Aim for 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intense aerobic activity such as fast walking each week

  • Weight loss – being overweight forces your heart to work harder to pump blood around your body, which can increase your blood pressure. If you do need to lose weight, then even losing a few pounds will benefit your blood pressure

  • Healthy diet – eating a low-fat diet that includes plenty of fibre, fruit and vegetables helps to lower blood pressure. Aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day

  • Cut down on salt – Reducing your salt intake has a great impact on reducing your blood pressure. Aim to eat no more than 6g of salt a day, which is around one teaspoon

  • Cut down on caffeine – consider cutting down if you drink large quantities of caffeine rich drinks such as energy drinks, coffee or tea. Aim to drink less than four cups of coffee a day

  • Limit your alcohol intake – regularly drinking alcohol above the recommended limit can increase your blood pressure over time. It is advised not to drink regularly more than 14 units a week

  • Quit smoking – smoking like high blood pressure causes your arteries to narrow and increases your risk of stroke, heart and lung disease.

  • Sleep – aim for at least six hours of sleep each night

  • Try relaxation therapies – to reduce stress and encourage good sleep

Supplements – although some people might believe it’s the case, calcium, magnesium and potassium supplements don’t seem to work to lower blood pressure and are not recommended.

Sources

Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary, 70 ed. London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press; 2016.

Recordati Pharmaceuticals Limited. Summary of product characteristics. Lercanidipine HCl 10mg film-coated tablets. Accessed from www.medicines.org.uk on 12/11/2017.

Recordati Pharmaceuticals Limited. Patient Information Leaflet. Lercanidipine HCl 10mg film-coated tablets, Lercanidipine 20mg film-coated tablets. Accessed from www.medicines.org.uk on 12/11/2017.

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. Hypertension in adults: diagnosis and management. CG127 Accessed from www.nice.org.uk on 12/11/2017.

High blood pressure (hypertension). Accessed from www.nhs.uk on 12/11/2017.

Burnier M, Gasser UE, (2007) Efficacy and tolerability of lercanidipine in patients with hypertension: results of a Phase IV study in general practice. Exper Opin Pharmacother, 8(14): 2215-23.

Blood pressure facts and figures. Accessed from www.bloodpressureuk.org on 13/11/2017.

Public Health England, Health Matters: combating high blood pressure, January 2017, Accessed from www.publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk on 14/11/2017.

If you have a question about this service, please email info@dred.com with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

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