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Cardene SR (Generic Nicardipine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Nicardipine is used to manage angina and treat high blood pressure (chest pain). Nicardipine belongs to the group of drugs known as calcium channel blockers. By allowing the blood arteries to relax, it decreases blood pressure and lessens the workload on the heart’s pumping action. By boosting the heart’s blood and oxygen supply, it reduces chest pain.

High blood pressure is a common illness that, if left untreated, can harm the kidneys, brain, heart, blood vessels, and other organs. Heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, a stroke, renal failure, eyesight loss, and other issues may result from damage to these organs. Making lifestyle modifications will help you control your blood pressure in addition to taking medication. These adjustments include quitting smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating a diet low in fat and salt, keeping a healthy weight, and exercising for at least 30 minutes most days.

How should this medicine be used?

Nicardipine is available in two oral dosage forms: ordinary capsules and extended-release (long-acting) capsules. Three times a day is the typical dosage for the normal capsule. Typically, two doses of the extended-release capsule are taken each day. Take nicardipine every day at roughly the same time(s) to help you remember to take it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Take nicardipine precisely as advised. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Do not break, chew, or crush the extended-release capsules; instead, swallow them whole.

Nicardipine reduces chest pain when taken frequently, but it does not stop it once it has begun. When you experience chest pain, your doctor might advise you to take a different drug.

Nicardipine does not treat angina or high blood pressure; it only manages them. Nicardipine should still be used even if you feel fine. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking nicardipine.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking nicardipine,

  • If you have an allergy to nicardipine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in nicardipine capsules, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Get a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your physician and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Incorporate any of the following: Cimetidine (Tagamet); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol); beta-blockers, digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics (‘water pills,’ and quinidine), phenytoin (Dilantin), ranitidine (Zantac), theophylline (Theochron, Theolair, Theo-24), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), and vitamins.
  • Inform your doctor if you have heart failure, liver disease, kidney disease, or any of these conditions.
  • Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking nicardipine.
  • Inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking nicardipine if you are having surgery, including dental surgery.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

You can take regular nicardipine pills with or without food. The extended-release capsules should be taken with food, but stay away from meals or snacks that are heavy in fat.

If you plan to consume grapefruits or grapefruit juice while taking this medication, consult your doctor.

Before using potassium-containing salt replacements, consult your doctor. If your doctor advises a low-salt or low-sodium diet, strictly follow the instructions.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Nicardipine could have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Headache
  • Uneasy stomach
  • Feeling unsteady or lightheaded
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Flushing
  • Numbness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Muscular pain
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Increased perspiration
  • Mouth ache

Call your doctor right away or seek emergency medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the arms, legs, tongue, lips, mouth, face, or body
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Fainting
  • Rash
  • Chest discomfort frequency or intensity increasing (angina)

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. You should have your blood pressure monitored frequently to see how nicardipine affects you.

After being swallowed, the extended-release capsule does not dissolve in the stomach. The medication is released gradually as it travels through your small intestine. The capsule shell showing up in the faeces is not unusual.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Cardene®
  • Cardene® SR
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