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Cardene Injection Dosage

Generic name: NICARDIPINE HYDROCHLORIDE 0.2mg in 1mL
Dosage form: injection, solution

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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 18, 2020.

2.1 Recommended Dosing

Cardene I.V. is intended for intravenous use. Titrate dose to achieve the desired blood pressure reduction. Individualize dosage depending on the blood pressure to be obtained and the response of the patient.

Dosage as a Substitute for Oral Nicardipine Therapy

The intravenous infusion rate required to produce an average plasma concentration equivalent to a given oral dose at steady state is shown in the following table:

Oral Cardene Dose Equivalent I.V. Infusion Rate
20 mg q8h 0.5 mg/hr = 2.5 mL/hr
30 mg q8h 1.2 mg/hr = 6 mL/hr
40 mg q8h 2.2 mg/hr = 11 mL/hr

Dosage for Initiation of Therapy in a Patient Not Receiving Oral Nicardipine

Initiate therapy at 25 mL/hr (5 mg/hr). If desired blood pressure reduction is not achieved at this dose, the infusion rate may be increased by 12.5 mL/hr (2.5 mg/hr) every 5 minutes (for rapid titration) to 15 minutes (for gradual titration) up to a maximum of 75 mL/hr (15 mg/hr), until desired blood pressure reduction is achieved.

Following achievement of the blood pressure goal utilizing rapid titration, decrease the infusion rate to 15 mL/hr (3 mg/hr).

Drug Discontinuation and Transition to an Oral Antihypertensive Agent

Discontinuation of infusion is followed by a 50% offset of action in about 30 minutes.

If treatment includes transfer to an oral antihypertensive agent other than oral nicardipine, initiate therapy upon discontinuation of Cardene I.V. Premixed Injection.

If oral nicardipine is to be used, administer the first dose 1 hour prior to discontinuation of the infusion.

Special Populations

Titrate Cardene I.V. Premixed Injection slowly in patients with heart failure or impaired hepatic or renal function [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.4 and 5.5.)]

2.2 Monitoring

The time course of blood pressure decrease is dependent on the initial rate of infusion and the frequency of dosage adjustment. With constant infusion, blood pressure begins to fall within minutes. It reaches about 50% of its ultimate decrease in about 45 minutes.

Monitor blood pressure and heart rate continually during infusion and avoid too rapid or excessive blood pressure drop during treatment. If there is concern of impending hypotension or tachycardia, the infusion should be discontinued. Then, when blood pressure has stabilized, infusion of Cardene I.V. Premixed Injection may be restarted at low doses such as 15‑25 mL/hr (3 - 5 mg/hr) and adjusted to maintain desired blood pressure.

2.3 Instructions for Administration

Administer Cardene I.V. by a central line or through a large peripheral vein. Change the infusion site every 12 hours if administered via peripheral vein [see Intravenous Infusion Site (5.6 )].

Cardene I.V. Premixed Injection is available as a single-use, ready-to-use, iso-osmotic solution for intravenous administration. No further dilution is required.

Inspect Cardene I.V. Premixed Injection visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit. Check the container for minute leaks prior to use by squeezing the bag firmly; ensure that the seal is intact. If leaks are found, discard solution as sterility may be impaired. Cardene I.V. Premixed Injection is normally a clear, colorless to yellow solution.

Do not combine Cardene I.V. Premixed Injection with any product in the same intravenous line or premixed container. Do not add supplementary medication to the bag. Protect from light until ready to use.

Do not use plastic containers in series connections. Such use could result in air embolism due to residual air being drawn from the primary container before the administration of the fluid from the secondary container is complete.

Preparation for administration

1. Suspend container from eyelet support.

2. Remove protector from outlet port at bottom of container.

3. Attach administration set. Refer to complete directions accompanying set.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.