Nifedipine For Raynauds

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Little Lizzie Says:

I'm 41, I have suffered in winter for many years from bad circulation, or so I thought! Until I visited the doctor, I regularly suffer from chill blains, my fingers and toes turn white with cold, and then as they warm up, turn Blue The bright red then all pins and needles which is quite painful.
I recently visited the doctor for something else and happened to mention about my fingers and toes wheni got cold, that's when she informed that I was suffering from Raynauds Phenomenon, where the blood vessels in my extremities close up blocking blood supply to the the ends of my fingers and toes. She told me about Nifedipine, which opens up the blood vessels allowing free flowing blood, I thought great, I'll give it a go! She did warn me of the side effects, head aches, nausea, dizziness.... (As a migraine sufferer, it wasn't an easy decision)
I picked up my script, read thru the sheet, and took my first tablet, 5mg, an hour and half later, I regretted taking it, massive head ache, sickness, dizziness, not paracetamol or ibuprofen could shift it. It carried on, I went to bed, took more pain killers, woke the next morning still with it but not as bad. I have decided I would rather suffer from cold, white, numb hands and feet than suffer that head ache again. I would urge any one to think really hard before taking Nifedipine. I'm not against it, it may work wonders for some, but for me it is a no go. I shall be leaving a message for my doctor letting him know my out come from just one tablet!

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Little Lizzie! How are you doing? Sorry about the Raynaud's. I also suffer from it, so I know how miserable it can be, though since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I have far fewer attacks of it, the worst was when I was taking Carvedilol for my blood pressure, it really made it quite awful and I often had my extremities go numb and turn those pretty colors on 60 and 70 degree days!!

As to possible treatments, ARBs or ACE inhibitors have actually been shown to reduce the severity and frequency of attacks better than Nifedipine. Thus, you may want to ask your doctor about trying something else, there are several in these categories that you can try. It's really just a matter of trial and error to see which one works for you, without making your miserable.

Some other tricks I've learned over the years are to always keep some of those disposable hand warmer packs around during the really cold months, the ones that you activate by squeezing. An electric blanket, or mattress warmer can help at night and I've also used ThermaCare heat wraps, since they tend to stay warm for a very long time. They aren't safe to use while sleeping, but you can easily tuck them under a shirt or jacket for added warmth and stick your hands there, when needed.

Is there anything else I can help with?

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little lizzie Says:

Hi Verwon, thanks for your reply, I'm in the UK, at the moment the weather is quite mild for the time of year, between 3 and 10 degrees. Apart from the cold weather, things that trigger my white numb fingers are getting food out of the freezer or fridge, just tonight all my fingers on both hands turned whilst peeling potatoes, i had to 'defrost' them in warm water before i could carry on!
ARB's and ACE, I'm afraid I don't know what that stands for, but I will mention it to my doc next time I go. Night Time is fine, I have slippers I warm up in the microwave, they're great, I have the hand warmers and if I get super cold I have my hot water bottle which I also use tucked into my jacket whilst working
outside. If I do think of anything I'll find you on here, nice to talk to someone in the same boat! Thank you x

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