Nicardipine (Intravenous)

Overview

Nicardipine is a drug used in the treatment of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. High blood pressure adds stress and pressure to the workload of the arteries and heart. If this continues for a long period of time, your arteries and heart may not function properly. This can consequently damage the blood vessels of the heart, brain, and kidneys which can result in kidney failure, heart failure or a stroke. High blood pressure can also increase the risk of heart attacks. If your blood pressure is controlled, these problems are less likely to occur.

Nicardipine is also a calcium channel blocker that works by affecting the movement of calcium into the cells of the blood vessels and heart. As a result, this drug aids the blood vessels to relax and increases the supply of oxygen and blood to the heart, while reducing the workload of the heart. You cannot obtain this medication on your own, it is only available via prescription from a doctor. This medication is available in the dosage form of a solution.

Conditions Treated

  • High Blood Pressure

Type of medication

  • Solution

Side effects

Alongside treating high blood pressure, the use of this drug could produce some unwanted side effects. However, not all of these side effects may be present, but if they do occur, you may need to seek medical attention.

You should inform your doctor or healthcare professional right away if you suffer from any of the following side effects whilst taking

Nicardipine:

More common

  • Blurred vision

Less common

  • Chills

Rare

  • Troubled breathing

Seek emergency help right away if you suffer from any of the following symptoms of overdose whilst taking this drug.

Symptoms of overdose

  • Slurred speech

Some side effects that occur with nicardipine aren't typically serious enough to require medical attention. You usually find that these side effects begin to reduce or disappear completely when your body begins adjusting to the new medication. However, if you are finding the medication bothersome, you can contact your local pharmacist or healthcare professional for advice on ways to reduce or prevent these side effects altogether. Seek advice from a doctor or healthcare professional if any of the following side effects become bothersome or persistent.

Rare

  • Belching

You may suffer from other side effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual, then you should seek medical advice. Remember you can report all side effects to the FDA on 1-800-FDA-1088.

Dosage

Your final dose of any medication will depend on a number of specific factors dependent on individuality. Your doctor will take into account your weight, height, and age, any other medications you are currently taking alongside any other medical conditions you suffer from. The strength of the medication, how frequently you take it and what specific condition you are being treated for will also determine your final dose.

You will not need to worry about handling dosage requirements personally as this medication is given via a trained nurse or doctor in a vein via injection.

You do not need to worry about missing a dose of this medication as you will be scheduled in for specific appointments, which you should keep attending to ensure you receive the full benefit of this medication.

Interactions

The use of Nicardipine could interact with a variety of other drugs. These interactions could cause severe side effects or even reduce the effectiveness of either drug in treatment. To help ensure interactions don't occur, it's important to give your doctor or healthcare professional a complete and full list of all the current medications you are taking. This list should include the counter medications, prescription/nonprescription drugs, all herbal products and any vitamin supplements. You should also make your doctor aware of any other health conditions you suffer from as these too could increase your risk of interactions.

The use of this medication alongside any of the following drugs is not usually recommended. In some cases, it may still be required. If you are given both medications at once, your doctor will typically alter the dose or frequency in which you use either or both medications.

  • Tacrolimus

The use of this medication alongside any of the following medications could increase your risk of some specific side effects. However, in some cases, the use of both drugs may be the optimal treatment plan for you. If you are prescribed both medications at the same time, your doctor may alter the frequency in which you use either medication or the final dose.

  • Magnesium

Let your doctor know if you are currently taking any of the following drugs.

  • Isocarboxazid

Other medical conditions

If you suffer from other medical conditions, this may interfere with the effectiveness of this drug or even increase your risk of interactions. It's important to let your doctor know of any other medical conditions you suffer from including:

  • Blood pressur'the effects of this medication could be increased if you've recently suffered a stroke.

Warnings

Allergies

You should let your doctor or healthcare professional know if you have ever suffered from an allergic reaction to this medication or similar medications. You should also make them aware of other allergies you may suffer from including to preservatives, dyes, animals, and foods.

Pediatric population

Appropriate studies have not been conducted on the relationship of age to the effects of this drug in the pediatric population. Therefore efficacy and safety have not yet been established.

Geriatric population

Appropriate studies conducted to date have not indicated a geriatrics-specific problem that could limit the effectiveness of nicardipine in the elderly. However, older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication.

Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding

This drug is under FDA pregnancy category C. This means it is currently unknown whether nicardipine can harm an unborn baby. You should let your doctor know if you are currently pregnant or intend to becoming pregnant whilst receiving this medication.

This drug can pass into breast milk and therefore could potentially harm a nursing infant. Let your doctor know if you are breastfeeding.

Storage

This drug will be stored in a medical setting such as a hospital, so you will not need to worry about home storage. Typically it is kept refrigerated until use.

Summary

When used correctly, Nicardipine is successful in the treatment of high blood pressure. Your doctor will typically only give you a few doses of this medication until your condition begins to improve, and then you will be switched to a similar medication that works the same. This is typically an oral medication. Due to the vast number of interactions possible with this medication, it's vital that you let your doctor know about all the current medications you are taking. The safety and efficacy of this drug have not been established in children. You should let your doctor know if you are pregnant and you should avoid breastfeeding whilst using this medication as it can pass into breast milk. This drug is given through a needle that is placed into one of your veins by a doctor or trained nurse in a clinical setting. If you require any further information about the practical use of Nicardipine or have any other questions, you should contact your local doctor or healthcare professional for further advice.