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What does it do?

Nicorandil relaxes blood vessels and is used to treat long-term chest pain (angina).

Before you start

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver problems or other heart problems, diverticulitis, or if you have had a stroke, ‘mini-stroke’, a recent head injury or bleeding in the brain.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.

How should you take it?

Take nicorandil regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Taking sildenafil (Viagra®) or similar medicines and nicorandil together may cause severe side effects such as a heart attack. DO NOT use these medicines together.

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Change in heartbeat

Skin ulcers

Red or black bowel motions

Indigestion, abdominal pain

Tell your doctor

Mouth ulcers

Tell your doctor if symptoms persist


Common when treatment begins - if side effects continue or are severe, tell your doctor.

Dizziness, tiredness or weakness


Stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Nicorandil can impair your ability to do tasks such as driving or using machines. Alcohol makes this worse. Discuss your risk with your health professional. (search NZTA - Are you safe to drive?)
  • Taking alcohol and nicorandil at the same time may increase side-effects.
  • Do not stop taking nicorandil without talking to your doctor first.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed