January 25, 1996
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended January 25th, that
the FDA take steps to discourage doctors from prescribing short acting nifedipine.
Recently published studies reviewed here by Furberg and Psaty have suggested that
the drug may increase the risk of death from heart disease. Dr. Robert Temple, a top
official of the FDA reported that the agency was already working on changing the
drug's labeling. The FDA emphasized that the recommendation is relevant only for
the short acting version of nifedipine (Procardia and Adalat) and does not include the
extended release version of the medication (Procardia XL or Adalat CC) or any other
calcium channel blockers, which appear safe. Patients are discouraged from
discontinuing their medication without consulting their physicians. The panel recommendations
are covered in more detail in
JAMA, vol. 275, no.6.
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