Nicardipine or Cardene is a channel blocker used for the treatment of high blood pressure and angina. It works by widening your blood vessels, which in turn makes it easier for your heart to pump blood. Cardene is available in both oral and drip form. If you cannot take it orally, you can consider opting for a Cardene drip which works equally well to lower your blood pressure. It is important to keep your blood pressure in control to avoid heart attacks, strokes and kidney problems. A Nicardipine drip helps keep your blood pressure on the lower side, and at the same time, it helps improve your ability to exercise.
Overall, Cardene is a good choice for hypertension patients, but it is important to know information about certain precautions as well as certain side effects that may be associated with its use.
How to Take Cardene
Cardene SR Capsules
It is important to take Cardene exactly in the way your doctor has directed. Ask the pharmacist or your doctor to explain anything that’s not completely clear. Take each capsule with a full glass of water. Don’t break, crush or chew the SR capsules – swallow the whole capsule because they are formulated to release the medication at a certain speed.
It is important that you don’t stop taking Cardene capsules without talking to your doctor first. You may feel better and think it is okay to stop taking the medication, but that is only going to make your condition worse.
For some patients, it is difficult to swallow Cardene capsules. If that’s the case with you as well, you may consider opting for Cardene drip. You will receive Cardene drip in the form of an injection at your doctor’s clinic. You can also learn how to use it at home. Make sure to follow the exact procedure whenever using a dose. Don’t use it if you find any particles in it or it is discolored and cloudy. Take proper care when storing the syringes, needles and Cardene drip to ensure it’s out of reach of children and pets. You should dispose of syringes and needles after use – your healthcare provider can help you dispose of them in the right way.
Avoid skipping a dose of Cardene. If you’ve missed one, take it as soon as you remember it. If it’s too late and it’s already time to take your next dose, skip the last one and continue with your normal routine. Avoid taking a double dose of Cardene. Seek immediate medical help if you overdose.
Precautions for Cardene
Before you start taking Cardene (Nicardipine), it is important to keep a few things in mind. For starters, don’t use it if you’re allergic to Nicardipine. It is a good idea to avoid it if you’re a patient of aortic stenosis. You should also tell your doctor if you have a liver disease, kidney disease, or any other condition of the blood vessels and heart, such as aortic stenosis, sick sinus syndrome, low blood pressure, heart failure or coronary artery disease.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Since it is not clear how Nicardipine works if you’re pregnant, it is important to inform your doctor about your condition before you start taking Cardene. In addition, the medication can pass into breast milk, so discuss with your doctor if you will be nursing a baby.
If you’re using some other medicines already, be sure to inform your doctor because certain medicines can interact with Cardene. Cimetidine can increase side effects of Cardene. Similarly, the side effects of cyclosporine increase if you start taking Cardene. You should also ask your doctor to inform you about other medicines that may interact with Cardene and find the right treatment plan for your conditions.
It is worth mentioning that grapefruit can interact with Cardene, so it is important that you ask your doctor about the use of grapefruit while taking Nicardipine. If you’re already using any grapefruit product, don’t increase or decrease its quantity without discussing with your doctor.
Side Effects of Cardene
General Side Effects
The most common side effects include headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, swollen ankles and flushing. Be sure to move slowly when you’re feeling dizzy.
Serious Side Effects and Allergic Reaction
It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you notice serious side effects, such as palpitation, fast/irregular heartbeat, vision changes and fainting. You may even develop a serious allergic reaction which is rare but is possible. Go see your doctor if you notice any symptoms such as severe dizziness, rash, trouble breathing, and swelling of the tongue, face or throat.
Side Effects Relating to Heart Disease
Although it proves effective in preventing chest pain, some people with severe heart disease may notice certain side effects that may even lead to a heart attack. Get immediate medical help if you experience symptoms of heart attack such as shortness of breath, chest or left arm pain, and unusual sweating.