Questions about Atrial Fibrillation? Get answers from our expert.

nicardipine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: nicardipine (nye KAR di peen)
Brand Name: Cardene, Cardene SR, Cardene IV

What is nicardipine?

Nicardipine is a calcium channel blocker. Nicardipine relaxes (widens) your blood vessels, which makes it easier for the heart to pump and reduces its workload.

Nicardipine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina (chest pain).

Nicardipine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about nicardipine?

You should not take this medicine if you have severe narrowing of the aortic valve in your heart (aortic stenosis).

Slideshow: Seasoned Pro: Be Mindful of These Winter Health Hazards

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nicardipine?

You should not use nicardipine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe narrowing of the aortic valve in your heart (aortic stenosis).

To make sure nicardipine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • other conditions of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, aortic stenosis, heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

It is not known whether nicardipine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

Nicardipine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take nicardipine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.

You may have more severe or more frequent episodes of angina when you first start taking nicardipine, or whenever your doses are changed.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

You may be given other heart or blood pressure medications during treatment with nicardipine.

Do not stop using any of your medications suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

Store nicardipine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe dizziness, confusion, and slurred speech.

What should I avoid while taking nicardipine?

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of nicardipine.

Nicardipine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest; or

  • severe or ongoing chest pain.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;

  • swelling in your feet;

  • weakness;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); or

  • nausea, upset stomach.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Nicardipine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hypertension:

Oral:
Immediate release:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally 3 times a day
Maintenance dose: 20 to 40 mg orally 3 times a day

Sustained release:
Initial dose: 30 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance dose: 30 to 60 mg orally twice a day

IV infusion:
As substitute for oral therapy:
The following IV infusion rates are required to produce an average plasma level corresponding to a given oral dose at steady state:
20 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 0.5 mg/hour via IV infusion
30 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 1.2 mg/hour via IV infusion
40 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 2.2 mg/hour via IV infusion

For initiation of therapy in patient not receiving oral nicardipine:
Initial dose: 5 mg/hour by IV infusion
The infusion rate may be increased by 2.5 mg/hour every 5 to 15 minutes (rapid and gradual titration, respectively) up to a maximum of 15 mg/hour, until desired blood pressure reduction is achieved. The infusion rate should be decreased to 3 mg/hour following achievement of the blood pressure goal using rapid titration.

Maintenance dose: The rate of infusion should be adjusted as needed to maintain desired response.

If oral nicardipine is to be used after IV nicardipine, the first dose should be administered 1 hour prior to discontinuation of the IV infusion.

Usual Adult Dose for Angina Pectoris Prophylaxis:

Oral:
Immediate release:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally 3 times a day
Maintenance dose: 20 to 40 mg orally 3 times a day

Sustained release:
Initial dose: 30 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance dose: 30 to 60 mg orally twice a day

IV infusion:
The following IV infusion rates are required to produce an average plasma level corresponding to a given oral dose at steady state:
20 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 0.5 mg/hr IV infusion
30 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 1.2 mg/hr IV infusion
40 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 2.2 mg/hr IV infusion

Initiation of therapy: 5 mg/hour by IV infusion
May increase by 2.5 mg/hour every 5 to 15 minutes up to a maximum of 15 mg/hour

Usual Adult Dose for Congestive Heart Failure:

Oral:
Immediate release:
Initial dose: 20 mg orally 3 times a day
Maintenance dose: 20 to 40 mg orally 3 times a day

Sustained release:
Initial dose: 30 mg orally twice a day
Maintenance dose: 30 to 60 mg orally twice a day

IV infusion:
The following IV infusion rates are required to produce an average plasma level corresponding to a given oral dose at steady state:
20 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 0.5 mg/hr IV infusion
30 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 1.2 mg/hr IV infusion
40 mg orally every 8 hours is equivalent to 2.2 mg/hr IV infusion

Initiation of therapy: 5 mg/hour by IV infusion
May increase by 2.5 mg/hour every 5 to 15 minutes up to a maximum of 15 mg/hour

What other drugs will affect nicardipine?

Other drugs may interact with nicardipine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about nicardipine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01. Revision Date: 2015-01-09, 12:09:09 PM.

Hide
(web1)