What is/are Nicardipine?
Nicardipine hydrochloride (Cardene) is a medication used to treat high blood pressure and angina. It belongs to the class of calcium channel blockers. Nicardipine is a dihydropyridine calcium-channel blocking agent used for the treatment of vascular disorders such as chronic stable angina, hypertension, and Raynaud's phenomenon. It is available in oral and intravenous formulations. Its mechanism of action and clinical effects closely resemble those of nifedipine and the other dihydropyridines (amlodipine, felodipine), except that nicardipine is more selective for cerebral and coronary blood vessels. Furthermore, nicardipine does not intrinsically decrease myocardial contractility and may be useful in the management of congestive heart failure. Nicardipine also has a longer half-life than nifedipine. Nicardipine was approved by the FDA in December 1988. The patent for both Cardene and Cardene SR expired in October 1995.
It has been used in percutaneous coronary intervention. Nicardipine is also an option for lowering of blood pressure in stroke patients who require blood pressure lowering prior to administration of Alteplase when blood pressure is >185/110. Also may be used during rtPA therapy when blood pressure is >230/120.
Nicardipine must be used with caution in patients with renal failure because of possible kidney shutdown. Nicardipine inhibits the transmembrane influx of calcium ions into cardiac muscle and smooth muscle without changing serum calcium concentrations. The contractile processes of cardiac muscle and vascular smooth muscle are dependent upon the movement of extracellular calcium ions into these cells through specific ion channels. The effects of nicardipine are more selective to vascular smooth muscle than cardiac muscle. In animal models, nicardipine produced relaxation of coronary vascular smooth muscle at drug levels which cause little or no negative inotropic effect.
- An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);
- Unusually fast or slow heartbeats;
- Fainting or severe dizziness;
- Abnormal behavior or psychosis;
- Chest pain or worsening angina;
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- Swelling of the legs or ankles.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take nicardipine and talk to your doctor if you experience
- Unusual headache, fatigue, or tiredness;
- Vivid or abnormal dreams;
- Increased urination;
- Dry mouth;
- Nausea or constipation; or
- Nervousness or tremor.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Nicardipine, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.