What is this medicine?
NICARDIPINE (nye KAR de peen) is a calcium channel blocker. It relaxes your blood vessels and decreases the amount of work the heart has to do. It is used to treat high blood pressure and/or prevent chest pain (also called angina).
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food. Avoid taking this medicine with fatty foods. They can interfere with the effect of this medicine. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often then directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
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
signs and symptoms of a dangerous change in heartbeat or heart rhythm like chest pain; dizziness; fast, irregular heartbeat; palpitations; feeling faint or lightheaded; falls; breathing problems
signs and symptoms of heart failure like breathing problems, fast, irregular heartbeat, sudden weight gain; swelling of the ankles, feet, hands; unusually weak or tired
signs and symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness; feeling faint or lightheaded, falls; unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What may interact with this medicine?
This medicine may interact with the following medications:
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
bleeding in the brain
history of stroke
an unusual or allergic reaction to nicardipine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your health care professional for regular checks on your progress. Check your blood pressure as directed. Ask your health care professional what your blood pressure should be and when you should contact him or her.
Do not treat yourself for coughs, colds, or pain while you are using this drug without asking your health care professional for advice. Some drugs may increase your blood pressure.
You may get dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this drug 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. Avoid alcoholic drinks; they can make you more dizzy.