Nicardipine

Generic Name: Nicardipine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Nicardipine capsules are in a class of medicines known as a calcium channel blockers, which are used alone or in combination with other medicines, to treat high blood pressure and chest pain.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Nicardipine capsules lower high blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels, which allows your blood to flow through with less resistance. Nicardipine capsules also help to reduce chest pain by increasing the supply of oxygen delivered to your heart.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: By lowering your blood pressure, nicardipine capsules may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Nicardipine capsules may also help manage your symptoms of chest pain.

    When: Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider will also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: flushing; swelling of your legs, ankles, or feet; headache; dizziness; weakness; increased chest pain; fast heartbeat; fluttery or throbbing heartbeat.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Nicardipine capsules can cause low blood pressure. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting while taking nicardipine capsules.

    Nicardipine capsules may worsen chest pain. If you experience chest pain that gets worse, or that does not go away during treatment with nicardipine capsules, get medical help right away.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take nicardipine capsules if you are allergic to this medicine or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take nicardipine capsules if you have a condition known as aortic stenosis (a narrowing of a valve in the heart).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with nicardipine capsules. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, liver, or kidney problems; or 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 healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 20 milligrams three times a day.

    If you have kidney or liver impairment, or congestive heart failure (a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood throughout the body), your healthcare provider will adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take nicardipine capsules exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not change your dose or stop taking nicardipine capsules without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If nicardipine capsules are taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining nicardipine capsules with the following: blood pressure/heart medications known as beta blockers (such as atenolol or metoprolol), cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin, or fentanyl anesthesia.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of nicardipine capsules during pregnancy are unknown. Do not take nicardipine capsules while you are breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or you are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of nicardipine capsules, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light.

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