What is nicardipine?
Nicardipine is in a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. Nicardipine 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 other than those listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about nicardipine?
Do not stop taking nicardipine without first talking to your doctor, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking the medication, your condition could become worse.
Do not crush, chew, or break the extended-release (SR) capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release the medication slowly in the body.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nicardipine?
Before taking nicardipine, tell your doctor if you have
liver disease; or
another disease of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, aortic stenosis, heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease.
You may not be able to take nicardipine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Nicardipine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether nicardipine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
Nicardipine passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Do not take nicardipine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from nicardipine. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.