nicardipine, Cardene, Cardene SR

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is the dosage for nicardipine?

The recommended dose of nicardipine for treatment of hypertension is 20-40 mg three times daily with conventional capsules or 30-60 mg twice daily with sustained release capsules. Intravenous infusion rates can range between 0.5 and 15 mg/hr. Chest pain is treated with 20-40 mg of conventional capsules three times daily.

Which drugs or supplements interact with nicardipine?

Rifampin, phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin, Dilantin-125), oxcarbazepine (suspension oral Trileptal; oral Trileptal) and carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol) may reduce blood levels of nicardipine by increasing its metabolism (destruction) in the liver. Therapy should be monitored and drug doses should be adjusted accordingly when nicardipine is used with these drugs.

Itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconzole, or clarithromycin (Biaxin) may increase blood levels of nicardipine by reducing its breakdown in the liver and lead to toxicity from nicardipine.

Co-administration of nicardipine and cyclosporine results in increased cyclosporine blood levels. Cyclosporine blood levels should be monitored and its dosage reduced when taking nicardipine.

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