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Cardene Side Effects

Generic name: nicardipine

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 12, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about nicardipine. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Cardene.

Applies to nicardipine: oral capsule. Other dosage forms:

Serious side effects of Cardene

Along with its needed effects, nicardipine (the active ingredient contained in Cardene) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking nicardipine:

More common

Less common

  • Shakiness
  • swelling


  • Blurred vision
  • cold hands and feet
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • cough or hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
  • extra heartbeat
  • fever or chills
  • hives
  • increase in frequency of urination
  • itching
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • skin rash
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • wheezing

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking nicardipine:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Sleepiness
  • slurred speech

Other side effects of Cardene

Some side effects of nicardipine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Feeling of warmth
  • headache
  • lack or loss of strength
  • redness of the face, neck, arms and occasionally, upper chest

Less common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • difficulty in moving
  • dry mouth
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • joint pain
  • muscle aching or cramping
  • muscle pains or stiffness
  • rash
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • swollen joints


  • Changes in vision
  • constipation
  • continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in ears
  • decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • discouragement
  • fear or nervousness
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling sad or empty
  • hearing loss
  • inability to have or keep an erection
  • increase in body movements
  • irritability
  • lack of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
  • nervousness
  • pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
  • runny nose
  • sensation of spinning
  • sneezing
  • sore throat
  • stuffy nose
  • trouble concentrating
  • trouble sleeping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to nicardipine: compounding powder, intravenous solution, oral capsule, oral capsule extended release.


The most common adverse reactions were consequences of vasodilation.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypotension, tachycardia, flushing, angina increased, palpitations, vasodilatation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sustained tachycardia, abnormal ECG, postural hypotension, myocardial infarct

Frequency not reported: Angina pectoris, atrioventricular block, ST segment depression, inverted T wave, deep vein thrombophlebitis, sinus node dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, exertional hypotension, pericarditis, heart block, ventricular tachycardia, peripheral vascular disorder, ventricular extrasystoles[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 21%)

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, somnolence, paresthesia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Syncope, tremor

Frequency not reported: Confusion, hypertonia, tinnitus, cerebral ischemia, vertigo, hyperkinesia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea/vomiting, nausea, dyspepsia, dry mouth

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Constipation, vomiting, diarrhea

Frequency not reported: Sore throat[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, other edema

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Malaise, pain, chest pain, face edema

Frequency not reported: Fever, ear disorder, atypical chest pain, hot flashes[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sweating increased[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Pedal edema

Frequency not reported: Hypophosphatemia, peripheral edema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia

Frequency not reported: Neck pain, arthralgia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nervousness, insomnia, abnormal dreams

Frequency not reported: Depression, anxiety[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nocturia, urinary frequency increased

Frequency not reported: Urinary frequency, impotence[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dyspnea

Frequency not reported: Respiratory disorder, decreased oxygen saturation, rhinitis, sinusitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Vision blurred

Frequency not reported: Conjunctivitis, vision abnormal[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Infection, allergic reaction[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Thrombocytopenia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Abnormal liver chemistries[Ref]


1. Product Information. Cardene (nicardipine). Syntex Laboratories Inc. 2002.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.