Nifedipine (Tensipine MR10) tab long-acting 10 mg: No new patients

From 1 July 2023, we restricted access to nifedipine long acting 10 mg tablets (Brand: Tensipine MR10, Pharmacode: 2603217) to existing patients only.

No new patients

We restricted funded access to Tinsepine MR10 to existing patients only from 1 July 2023. This does not affect other nifedipine presentations. The 20 mg, 30 mg and 60 mg long-acting presentations remain available without restriction.

Why is Tensipine MR10 being restricted?

Due to ongoing supply issues and the inability to secure a long-term supply, we have decided to delist Tensipine MR10 from the Pharmaceutical Schedule.

To reduce the risk, we want to support people to move away from using Tensipine MR10. Our first step is to stop new people starting on Tensipine MR10.

People currently taking Tinsepine MR10 will need to move to a different medicine.   

Prescribers: What you need to do

When prescribing a calicium-channel blocker, do not start any new patients on Tensipine MR10. 

Prescribers should start transitioning patients currently on Tensipine MR10 to alternative treatments.

NZ Formulary guidance on calcium-channel blockers(external link)

Calcium-channel blockers in the Schedule(external link)

This only affects the 10 mg long-acting nifedipine (Tensipine MR10). All other strengths remain available.

We have received clinical advice that the 20 mg nifedipine MR must not be halved to get the Tensipine MR10 effect. This causes acute hypotension (equivalent to having 10mg immediate-acting nifedipine).

People who take Tensipine MR10: What you need to do

Already taking Tensipine MR10?

If you were taking Tensipine MR10 on 30 June, you can continue to use Tensipine until December 2023. You will need to talk to person who prescribed the Tensipine MR10 about moving to a different medicine.

You will need to change to a different medicine by January 2024.

Tensipine MR10 remains a safe and effective medicine. We are making this change to reduce the risk of supply issues affecting people. 

Got a new prescription for Tensipine MR10?

If you were not taking Tensipine MR10 on 30 June 2023, you will need to be prescribed a different treatment. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this change causes. 

This only affects the 10 mg long-acting nifedipine (Tensipine MR10). All other strengths remain available. 

Funded options are available 

There are plenty of other similar treatments available that are fully funded. Healthify NZ gives more information about what calcium-channel blockers do and what you can expect.

Calcium-channel blockers | Healthify NZ(external link)


Never cut in half a 20 mg nifedipine long-acting tablet to try to get the Tensipine MR10 effect. It causes hazardous hypotension (low blood pressure). 

Pharmacists: What you need to know

We applied a Schedule endorsement “for existing Tensipine MR10 patients only” from 1 July 2023.

Pharmacists can annotate the prescription as endorsed where there exists a record that the person had a recent prescription for Tensipine MR10. 

The endorsement affects only the 10mg MR nifedipine (Tensipine MR10). All other presentations remain available. 

We know that changing the Schedule in this way may create additional work for you. This is currently the main lever we have to change prescribing behaviour. We appreciate you and the work you do. 

A reminder, don’t halve 20 mg nifedipine MR tabs to try to get the Tensipine MR10 effect. This causes acute hypotension. Please remind prescribers, where needed.

Who to contact

If you have questions about this decision, email

If you take nifedipine 10 mg (Tensipine MR10), your doctor or the person who prescribed the medicine is the best person to talk to. Pharmac cannot offer advice on what might be right for you in your clinical circumstances.