What is Nicardipine?Nicardipine is used to treat angina (chest pain) brought on by exertion. It is also used to treat high blood pressure.
What is the most important information I should know about Nicardipine?If you have high blood pressure, you must take nicardipine regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may take several weeks before you get the full benefit of nicardipine. You must continue taking it even if you are feeling well. Nicardipine does not cure high blood pressure; it only keeps it under control.
Make sure to discuss diet and exercise with your doctor and follow his or her recommendations.
Be careful when standing up from a sitting or lying position as nicardipine may make you dizzy. Use alcohol cautiously with nicardipine because it may further lower your blood pressure and cause dizziness and drowsiness.
If you are >65 years old, you may experience more side effects with nicardipine and your doctor may need to start you on a lower dose.
Who should not take Nicardipine?Do not take nicardipine if you have severe narrowing of the aorta, which causes an obstruction of blood flow from the heart to the body.
Do not take nicardipine if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to it.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Nicardipine?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with nicardipine, especially if you are taking cimetidine, cyclosporine, or other heart medications. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have chronic heart failure or kidney or liver disease. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The starting dose is usually 20 milligrams (mg), taken three times a day. The usual dose ranges from 20-40 mg, taken three times a day. The dose is the same whether you are being treated for angina or high blood pressure.
How should I take Nicardipine?Take nicardipine exactly as prescribed, even if your chest pain has disappeared or your blood pressure is normal.
What should I avoid while taking Nicardipine?Avoid driving or engaging in hazardous activities. Nicardipine can cause your blood pressure to become too low, making you feel lightheaded or faint.
Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or anything that contains grapefruit because it may lead to dangerous side effects.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Nicardipine?If nicardipine is taken with certain other medications, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining nicardipine with the following: amiodarone, cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, phenytoin, and propranolol.
What are the possible side effects of Nicardipine?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: dizziness, flushing, rash, headache, abnormal dreams, increased chest pain (angina), indigestion, constipation, nausea, pounding or rapid heartbeat, insomnia, nervousness or tremor, swelling of feet, weakness, dry mouth, frequent urination
Can I receive Nicardipine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of nicardipine during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or you are breastfeeding. Nicardipine may pass into breast milk.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Nicardipine?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at the same time.
How should I store Nicardipine?Store at room temperature, away from light and moisture.
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