Generic Name: nicardipine (nye-KAR-di-peen)
Brand Name: Cardene IV
Nicardipine is used for:
Short-term treatment of high blood pressure in patients who cannot take the oral form of nicardipine. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Nicardipine is a calcium channel blocker. It works by relaxing blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure.
Do NOT use nicardipine if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in nicardipine
- you are breast-feeding
- you have advanced narrowing of your aorta (stenosis)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using nicardipine:
Some medical conditions may interact with nicardipine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have angina (chest pain), congestive heart failure (CHF) or other heart problems, adrenal gland problems (eg, pheochromocytoma), liver or kidney problems, low blood pressure, or lung congestion associated with heart attack, or you have had a stroke
- you have CHF and you are taking a beta-blocker, or you are having beta-blocker withdrawal
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with nicardipine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Cimetidine because it may increase the risk of nicardipine's side effects
- Cyclosporine or digoxin because the risk of their side effects may be increased by nicardipine
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if nicardipine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use nicardipine:
Use nicardipine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Nicardipine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using nicardipine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use nicardipine. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
- Do not use nicardipine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you use nicardipine unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
- If you miss a dose of nicardipine, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use nicardipine.
Important safety information:
- Nicardipine may cause dizziness or fainting. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use nicardipine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms
- Maximum lowering of blood pressure occurs approximately 1 to 2 hours after taking the medicine. Blood pressure should be taken 1 to 2 hours after the medicine has been taken.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take nicardipine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Additional monitoring of your dose or condition may be necessary if you are using intravenous (IV) calcium.
- Lab tests, including blood pressure, electrocardiogram (ECG) readings, and monitoring of heart rate, may be performed while you use nicardipine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments
- Nicardipine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using nicardipine while you are pregnant. Nicardipine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking nicardipine.
If you stop taking nicardipine suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include increased chest pain (angina) and more frequent chest pain.
Possible side effects of nicardipine:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Dizziness; headache; nausea; upset stomach; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); calf pain, swelling, or redness; confusion; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; increased chest pain; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; pounding in the chest; shortness of breath or wheezing; swelling of the feet, ankles, or hands; unusual bruising or bleeding.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; drowsiness; fast or slowed heart rate; flushing; slurred speech; weakness.Proper storage of nicardipine:
Nicardipine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using nicardipine at home, store nicardipine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep nicardipine out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about nicardipine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Nicardipine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take nicardipine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about nicardipine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to nicardipine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using nicardipine.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More nicardipine resources
- nicardipine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- nicardipine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- Cardene Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Cardene IV Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- Cardene SR Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Nicardipine Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Nicardipine Monograph (AHFS DI)