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NICARDIPINE HCL
NICARDIPINE CAPSULE - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

NICARDIPINE CAPSULE - ORAL

(nye-KAR-deh-peen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Cardene

Uses

This drug is a calcium channel blocker. Calcium is involved in blood vessel contraction. By blocking calcium, nicardipine relaxes and widens the blood vessels. It is used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina). Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible problems related to use of short-acting calcium channel blockers.

How To Use

This medication should be swallowed whole and is best taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water unless your doctor directs you otherwise. This drug must be taken as directed if used to prevent chest pain. It is not effective if taken only when chest pain occurs. Do not stop taking this medication suddenly without your doctor's permission. Chest pain can occur if the medication is stopped too fast. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.

Side Effects

This drug may cause dizziness and lightheadedness especially during the first few days. Avoid activities requiring alertness. When you sit or lie down for a while, get up slowly to allow your body to adjust and minimize dizziness. You may also experience fatigue or weakness, nausea, heartburn, muscle cramps, headache or flushing. If any of these effects persist or worsen, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop: breathing difficulties, swelling of the hands or feet, irregular heartbeat. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before taking this drug, tell your doctor if you have: heart disease, liver or kidney disease, any allergies. Limit intake of alcohol while taking this drug. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this drug is excreted into breast milk. Other calcium channel blockers are known to be excreted and breast-feeding is not recommended while taking those drugs. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription drugs you may use, especially of: beta-blockers, intravenous (IV) calcium, cimetidine, cyclosporine, digoxin. Avoid any drugs that increase your heart-rate (e.g., decongestants such as phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine). These drugs are commonly found in over-the-counter cough-and-cold products. Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include slowed heart rate, flushing, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, weakness, and slurred speech.

Notes

Do not share this product with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from sunlight and moisture.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).