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Side Effects


In multiple dose U.S. studies in hypertension, 1228 patients received DynaCirc® (isradipine) alone or in combination with other agents, principally a thiazide diuretic, 934 of them in controlled comparisons with placebo or active agents. An additional 652 patients (which includes 374 normal volunteers) received DynaCirc® (isradipine) in U.S. studies of conditions other than hypertension, and 1321 patients received DynaCirc® (isradipine) in non-U.S. studies. About 500 patients received DynaCirc® (isradipine) in long-term hypertension studies, 410 of them for at least 6 months. The adverse reaction rates given below are principally based on controlled hypertension studies, but rarer serious events are derived from all exposures to DynaCirc® (isradipine), including foreign marketing experience.

Most adverse reactions were mild and related to the vasodilatory effects of DynaCirc (isradipine) ® (dizziness, edema, palpitations, flushing, tachycardia), and many were transient. About 5% of isradipine patients left studies prematurely because of adverse reactions (vs. 3% of placebo patients and 6% of active control patients), principally due to headache, edema, dizziness, palpitations, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

The following table shows the most common adverse reactions, volunteered or elicited, considered by the investigator to be at least possibly drug related. The results for the DynaCirc® (isradipine) treated patients are presented for all doses pooled together (reported by 1% or greater of patients receiving any dose of isradipine), and also for the two treatment regimens most applicable to the treatment of hypertension with DynaCirc® (isradipine): (1) initial and maintenance dose of 2.5 mg b.i.d., and (2) initial dose of 2.5 mg b.i.d. followed by maintenance dose of 5.0 mg b.i.d.

DynaCirc® (isradipine)

N= All Doses 934 2.5 mg b.i.d. 199 5 mg b.i.d.* 150 10 mg b.i.d. 59 Placebo 297 Active Controls 414
Adverse Experience % % % % % %
Headache 13.7 12.6 10.7 22.0 14.1 9.4
Dizziness 7.3 8.0 5.3 3.4 4.4 8.2
Edema 7.2 3.5 8.7 8.5 3.0 2.9
Palpitations 4.0 1.0 4.7 5.1 1.4 1.5
Fatigue 3.9 2.5 2.0 8.5 0.3 6.3
Flushing 2.6 3.0 2.0 5.1 0.0 1.2
Chest Pain 2.4 2.5 2.7 1.7 2.4 2.9
Nausea 1.8 1.0 2.7 5.1 1.7 3.1
Dyspnea 1.8 0.5 2.7 3.4 1.0 2.2
Abdominal Discomfort 1.7 0.0 3.3 1.7 1.7 3.9
Tachycardia 1.5 1.0 1.3 3.4 0.3 0.5
Rash 1.5 1.5 2.0 1.7 0.3 0.7
Pollakiuria 1.5 2.0 1.3 3.4 0.0 < 1.0
Weakness 1.2 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 1.2
Vomiting 1.1 1.0 1.3 0.0 0.3 0.2
Diarrhea 1.1 0.0 2.7 3.4 2.0 1.9
* Initial dose of 2.5 mg b.i.d. followed by maintenance dose of 5.0 mg b.i.d.
Initial dose of 2.5 mg b.i.d. followed by sequential titration to 5.0 mg b.i.d., 7.5 mg b.i.d., and maintenance dose of 10.0 mg b.i.d.
Propranolol, prazosin, hydrochlorothiazide, enalapril, captopril.

Except for headache, which is not clearly drug-related (see previous table), the more frequent adverse reactions listed show little change, or increase slightly, in frequency over time, as shown in the following table:

Incidence Rates for DynaCirc (isradipine) (All Doses) by Week (%)

Week 1 2 3 4 5 6
N 94 906 649 847 432 494
Adverse Reaction            
Headache 6.5 6.1 5.2 5.2 5.8 4.5
Dizziness 1.6 1.9 1.7 2.2 2.3 2.0
Edema 1.2 2.5 3.2 3.2 5.3 5.5
Palpitations 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.9 2.1 1.4
Fatigue 0.4 1.0 1.4 1.2 1.2 1.6
Flushing 1.2 1.3 2.0 1.4 2.1 1.4
Week 7 8 9 10 11 12
N 153 377 261 362 107 105
Adverse Reaction            
Headache 2.0 2.7 1.9 2.8 2.8 3.8
Dizziness 2.0 1.9 2.3 3.9 4.7 3.8
Edema 5.9 5.0 4.6 4.7 3.8 3.8
Palpitations 1.3 0.8 0.8 1.7 1.9 2.9
Fatigue 2.0 2.7 1.5 1.4 0.9 1.9
Flushing 3.3 1.3 1.1 0.8 0.0 0.0

Edema, palpitations, fatigue, and flushing appear to be dose-related, especially at the higher doses of 15-20 mg/day. In open-label, long-term studies of up to two years in duration, the adverse events reported were generally the same as those reported in the short-term controlled trials. The overall frequencies of these adverse events were slightly higher in the long-term than in the controlled studies, but as in the controlled trials most adverse reactions were mild and transient.

The following adverse experiences were reported in 0.5%-1.0% of the isradipine-treated patients in hypertension studies, or are rare. More serious events from this and other data sources, including postmarketing exposure, are shown in italics. The relationship of these adverse events to isradipine administration is uncertain.

Skin: pruritus, urticaria

Musculoskeletal: cramps of legs/feet

Respiratory: cough

Cardiovascular: shortness of breath, hypotension, atrial fibrillation, ventricular fibrillation, myocardial infarction, heart failure

Gastrointestinal: abdominal discomfort, constipation, diarrhea

Urogenital: nocturia

Nervous System: drowsiness, insomnia, lethargy, nervousness, impotence, decreased libido, depression, syncope, paresthesia (which includes numbness and tingling), transient ischemicattack, stroke

Autonomic: hyperhidrosis, visual disturbance, dry mouth, numbness

Miscellaneous: throat discomfort, leukopenia, elevated liver function tests

Read the Dynacirc (isradipine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


Nitroglycerin: DynaCirc® (isradipine) has been safely coadministered with nitroglycerin.

Hydrochlorothiazide: A study in normal healthy volunteers has shown that concomitant administration of DynaCirc® (isradipine) and hydrochlorothiazide does not result in altered pharmacokinetics of either drug. In a study in hypertensive patients, addition of isradipine to existing hydrochlorothiazide therapy did not result in any unexpected adverse effects, and isradipine had an additional antihypertensive effect.

Propranolol: In a single dose study in normal volunteers, co-administration of propranolol had a small effect on the rate but no effect on the extent of isradipine bioavailability. Significant increases in AUC (27%) and Cmax (58%) and decreases in tmax (23%) of propranolol were noted in this study. However, concomitant administrationof 5 mg b.i.d. isradipine and 40 mg b.i.d. propranolol to healthy volunteers under steady-state conditions had no relevant effect on either drug's bioavailability. AUC and Cmax differences were < 20% between isradipine given singly and in combination with propranolol, and between propranolol given singly and in combination with isradipine.

Cimetidine: In a study in healthy volunteers, a one-week course of cimetidine at 400 mg b.i.d. with a single 5 mg dose of isradipine on the sixth day showed an increase in isradipine mean peak plasma concentrations (36%) and significant increase in area under the curve (50%). If isradipine therapy is initiated in a patient currently receiving cimetidine, careful monitoring for adverse reactions is advised and downward dose adjustment may be required.

Rifampicin: In a study in healthy volunteers, a six-day course of rifampicin at 600 mg/day followed by a single 5 mg dose of isradipine resulted in a reduction in isradipine levels to below detectable limits. If rifampicin therapy is required, isradipine concentrations and therapeutic effects are likely to be markedly reduced or abolished as a consequence of increased metabolism and higher clearance of isradipine.

Warfarin: In a study in healthy volunteers, no clinically relevant pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction between isradipine and racemic warfarin was seen when two single oral doses of warfarin (0.7 mg/kg body weight) were administered during 11 days of multiple-dose treatment with 5 mg b.i.d. isradipine. Neither racemic warfarin nor isradipine binding to plasma proteins in vitro was altered by the addition of the other drug.

Digoxin: The concomitant administration of DynaCirc® (isradipine) and digoxin in a single–dose pharmacokinetic study did not affect renal, nonrenal and total body clearance of digoxin.

Fentanyl Anesthesia: Severe hypotension has been reported during fentanyl anesthesia with concomitant use of a beta blocker and a calcium channel blocker. Even though such interactions have not been seen in clinical studies with DynaCirc® (isradipine), an increased volume of circulating fluids might be required if such an interaction were to occur.

Read the Dynacirc Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/22/2009

Side Effects

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