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.

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PRESCRIBED FOR: Oral nicardipine is used alone or in combination with other drugs for the treatment of high blood pressure. Conventional capsules (not sustained release) also are used for the treatment of angina (chest pain). Nicardipine injections are used for short-term treatment of blood pressure when oral medications are not possible or desirable.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects include:

Fainting, over growth of the gums, and rash also may occur. It may increase heart rate due to a drop in blood pressure. Nicardipine sometimes causes an increase in the frequency and duration of angina. The reason for this side effect is not clearly understood. Excessively low blood pressure can occur in rare instances, especially during initiation of treatment or following adjustments of dosage.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 20 and 30 mg; Sustained release capsules:30 and 60 mg; Injection 0.1, 0.2 and 2.5 mg

STORAGE: Nicardipine should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F), and protected from light.

DOSING: 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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/28/2015

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