Medically reviewed on August 29, 2017
What is nimodipine?
Nimodipine is a calcium channel blocker. Nimodipine relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.
Nimodipine is used to prevent brain damage caused by reduced blood flow to the brain resulting from aneurysm (AN-yor-iz-m), a dilated or ruptured blood vessel in the brain.
Nimodipine may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.
Some medicines can interact with nimodipine and should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with nimodipine.
Nimodipine can lower your blood pressure. Call your doctor at once if you feel like you might pass out.
The liquid from a nimodipine capsule should never be injected through a needle into the body, or dangerously low blood pressure may result. Nimodipine gel capsules are to be taken by mouth only.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use nimodipine if you are allergic to it.
Some medicines can interact with nimodipine and should not be used at the same time. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use any of the following drugs:
To make sure nimodipine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether nimodipine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether nimodipine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using nimodipine.
How should I take nimodipine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take nimodipine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water. Swallow the capsule whole.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
If the person taking nimodipine cannot swallow the capsule, the medicine from inside the capsule can be given through an in-place nasogastric tube (through the nose and into the stomach). Use a needle to make a hole in each end of the capsule, and squeeze the medicine out into an oral syringe or other syringe to which a needle cannot be attached. Empty the syringe into the nasogastric tube and wash it down with 30 milliliters of normal saline.
The medicine placed into a syringe should never be injected through a needle into the body, or dangerously low blood pressure may result. Nimodipine gel capsules are to be taken by mouth only.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your liver function may also need to be tested.
You should not stop using nimodipine suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not freeze. Keep each capsule in the original package until you are ready to take one.
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.
What should I avoid while taking nimodipine?
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of nimodipine.
Nimodipine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these 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;
easy bruising or bleeding;
fast or slow heart rate; or
swelling in your ankles or feet.
Common side effects may include:
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)
Nimodipine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage:
60 mg orally, nasogastric, or gastric tube every 4 hours
-Duration of therapy: 21 days
-Treatment should begin within 96 hours of the onset of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).
-IV and other parenteral routes should be avoided.
Use: Improvement of neurological outcome by reducing the incidence and severity of ischemic deficits in patients with SAH from ruptured intracranial berry aneurysms regardless of their post ictus neurological conditions (e.g., Hunt and Hess Grades I to V)
What other drugs will affect nimodipine?
Many drugs can interact with nimodipine. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with nimodipine, especially:
This list is not complete and many other drugs can interact with nimodipine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
- Your pharmacist has additional information about nimodipine written for health professionals that you may read.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02.
More about nimodipine
- Nimodipine Side Effects
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- Dosage Information
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- Drug class: calcium channel blocking agents