I'm a 44 year old male, 5' 8" and 185 pounds who began treatment
for high blood pressure about 2.5-3 years ago. My pressure at one
time was about 185/120 and is now typically about 130-140/88-95.
As a regular blood donor I have a fairly good history of my pressure
and it now seems to be in the range that it always was (i.e. 130-140/99-95).
Originally treatment was procardia at 30mg, then 60, then 90. I've
wanted to decrease my medication level and have worked with my doctor
to decrease the daily dose to 30mg.
For one brief period the dose was switched to the generic medication
"Adalat". AT that point I noticed some small red areas appear on my
lower extermeties. At first I thought that it was a skin rash but then
when the changes appeared bilaterally I decided it was related to
The areas have become continually more discolored and are now very
different than the surrounding skin. The largest areas are about 6"
long by about 3" wide extending from my ankle to about 7" above the
ankle on the inner side of my leg. From a distance it appears that
I've been either burned or have a severe rash etc..
This has been a bit disconcerting during the summer season, folks
frequently ask me if I was burned etc.. I asked my doctor about this
and he feels that it's not a problem. He did switch my medication
back to Procardia but there has been no real change etc.
Is this side effect common? Is there anything that I could do to
change this discoloration back to my normal skin color?
Dear Jon, thank you for your question. I've done some research and found that rash and dermatitis are uncommon side effects with nifedipine (adalat) and occur in less than 2% of patients who take this medication. However, it sounds like the skin discoloration you describe may be something different. My suggestions would be to see a dermatologist and to speak with your physician about switching to an entirely different class of anti-hypertensive medication to see if the skin discoloration goes away.
I hope you find this information useful and please feel free to write back with more questions. Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only. Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.
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