nicardipine, Cardene, Cardene SR

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: nicardipine

BRAND NAME: Cardene, Cardene SR

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Nicardipine belongs to a class of blood pressure reducing medications called calcium channel blockers (CCBs). Other medications in this class include diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), felodipine (Plendil), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin), clevidipine (Cleviprex), and nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia). These medications block the movement of calcium into the smooth muscle cells surrounding the arteries of the body. Since calcium promotes contraction of muscle, blocking calcium entry into the muscle cells relaxes the arterial muscles and causes the arteries to become larger. This lowers blood pressure, which reduces the work that the heart must do to pump blood to the body. Reducing the work of the heart lessens the heart muscle's demand for oxygen and thereby helps prevent angina (heart pain) in patients with coronary artery disease. Unlike verapamil or diltiazem, nicardipine has little effect on heart muscle or on electrical conduction within the heart. The FDA approved nicardipine in December 1988.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/28/2015

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.

Back to Medications Index

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors