niCARdipine (generic name)

Cardene (brand name)

It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells
(nye KAR de peen)
Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

What is this medicine?

NICARDIPINE (nye KAR de peen) is a calcium-channel blocker. It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells. This relaxes your blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of work the heart has to do. This medicine is used for the short-term treatment of high blood pressure when the patient is not able to take oral therapy.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart problems, low blood pressure, slow or irregular heartbeat
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • pheochromocytoma
  • previous heart attack
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to nicardipine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take Nicardipine with any of the following:
  • cisapride
  • pimozide

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • cimetidine
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • fentanyl
  • local anesthetics or general anesthetics
  • medicine for high blood pressure or heart problems

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medicine.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest pain
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • swelling of the legs and ankles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • facial flushing
  • headache
  • weak or tired

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: July 10, 2009
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools

What is a reference number?

When you register on this site, you are assigned a reference number. This number contains your profile information and helps UnitedHealthcare identify you when you come back to the site.

If you searched for a plan on this site in a previous session, you might already have a reference number. This number will contain any information you saved about plans and prescription drugs. To use that reference number, click on the "Change or view saved information" link below.

You can retrieve information from previous visits to this site, such as saved drug lists and Plan Selector information.