Nicardipine (oral/injection): side effects uses and dosage


Nicardipine (oral/injection) side effects

What is nicardipine and side effects?

Nicardipine is a calcium channel blocker that relaxes (widens) your blood vessels, which makes it easier for the heart to pump and reduces its workload.

Nicardipine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina (chest pain).

Nicardipine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


You should not use 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).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • other conditions of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, congestive heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • liver disease; or

  • kidney disease.

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.

You should not breast-feed while using nicardipine.

How should I take nicardipine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Nicardipine injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

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. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

Do not stop using any of your medications suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use. Detailed Nicardipine dosage information

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

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?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how nicardipine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

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.

Nicardipine may cause serious side effects. 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 of nicardipine may include:

  • headache, dizziness;

  • swelling in your feet;

  • weakness;

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); or

  • nausea.

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. Nicardipine side effects (more detail)

What other drugs will affect nicardipine?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may affect nicardipine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Important information about nicardipine

Generic name: nicardipine (oral/injection) [ nye-KAR-di-peen ]
Brand names: Cardene IV, Cardene SR, Cardene
Dosage forms: intravenous solution (0.1 mg/mL-NaCl 0.9%; 0.2 mg/mL-NaCl 0.83%; 0.2 mg/mL-NaCl 0.9%; 2.5 mg/mL; 20 mg/200 mL-D4.8%; 20 mg/200 mL-NaCl 0.86%; 40 mg/200 mL-NaCl 0.83%); oral capsule (20 mg; 30 mg); oral capsule, extended release (45 mg)
Drug class: Calcium channel blocking agents

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