Generic Name: nimodipine (nih MO dih peen)
Brand Name: Nymalize, Nimotop
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.
What is the most important information I should know about nimodipine?
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.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nimodipine?
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:
an antibiotic--clarithromycin, telithromycin;
antifungal medication--itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole;
heart medication--nicardipine, quinidine;
hepatitis C medications--boceprevir, telaprevir; or
HIV/AIDS medication--atazanavir, cobicistat, delavirdine, fosamprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir.
To make sure nimodipine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
cirrhosis or other liver disease;
heart disease; or
high or low blood pressure.
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 this medicine.
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?
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with nimodipine and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products 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:
nausea, diarrhea, 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)
Nimodipine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage:
60 mg orally every 4 hours
Therapy should be started within 96 hours of the event and continued for 21 days.
Usual Adult Dose for Ischemic Stroke:
(Not approved by FDA)
30 mg orally every 6 hours
Therapy should be started within 24 hours of the event and continued for 28 days.
Usual Adult Dose for Migraine Prophylaxis:
(Not approved by FDA)
30 mg orally every 6 hours
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:
St. John's wort;
seizure medication--carbamazepine, fosphenytoin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and others;
sildenafil (Viagra) and other erectile dysfunction medicines; or
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.
More about nimodipine
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- 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.
- 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: 3.02.
Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: August 29, 2013