Medically reviewed on June 18, 2018
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 may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take nicardipine if you have severe narrowing of the aortic valve in your heart (aortic stenosis).
Before taking this medicine
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:
liver disease; or
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 nicardipine 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?
nicardipine 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:
swelling in your feet;
flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); or
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)
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.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.02.
More about nicardipine
- Nicardipine Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Pricing & Coupons
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- Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents
- Nicardipine Capsules
- Nicardipine Injection
- Nicardipine Sustained-Release Capsules
- Nicardipine (Advanced Reading)
- Nicardipine Intravenous (Advanced Reading)