Nicardipine (Cardene) – Side Effects, Interactions, Uses, Dosage, Warnings

Nicardipine is a calcium channel blocker that 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 not listed in this medication guide.


What is Nicardipine (Cardene) used for?

  • Angina Pectoris Prophylaxis
  • Hypertension
  • Pre-eclampsia/Eclampsia
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertensive Congestive Heart Failure
  • Hypertensive Heart (w/ CHF) and Renal Disease
  • Hypertensive Heart (w/o CHF) and Renal Disease
  • Hypertensive Renal Disease
  • Hypertensive Retinopathy
  • Renovascular Hypertension
  • Hypertensive Encephalopathy
  • Hypertensive Heart Disease


What is the most important information I should know about Nicardipine (Cardene)?

You should not use nicardipine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • severe narrowing of the aortic valve in your heart (aortic stenosis).

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • other conditions of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, congestive heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • liver disease; or
  • kidney disease.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

It is not known whether nicardipine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while using nicardipine.

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Side Effects

What are the side effects of Nicardipine (Cardene)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest; or
  • severe or ongoing chest pain.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;
  • swelling in your feet;
  • weakness;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling); or
  • nausea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Can I take Nicardipine (Cardene) if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Risk cannot be ruled out
Based on FDA pregnancy categories

It is not known whether nicardipine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while using nicardipine.


What drugs and food should I avoid while taking Nicardipine (Cardene)?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Drinking alcohol with this medicine can cause side effects.

Dosage Guidelines & Tips

How to take Nicardipine (Cardene)?

Use Nicardipine (Cardene) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Nicardipine injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.

You may have more severe or more frequent episodes of angina when you first start taking nicardipine, or whenever your doses are changed.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

You may be given other heart or blood pressure medications during treatment with nicardipine. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

Do not stop using any of your medications suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What should I do if I missed a dose of Nicardipine (Cardene)?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Overdose Signs

What happens if I overdose on Nicardipine (Cardene)?

Overdose symptoms may include severe dizziness, confusion, and slurred speech.

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on: Nicardipine (Cardene),  call your doctor or the Poison Control center

(800) 222-1222

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Nicardipine (Cardene), call 911



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