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nicardipine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nicardipine (Cardene, Cardene SR)?

Before taking nicardipine, tell your doctor if you have

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • another disease of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, aortic stenosis, heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease.

You may not be able to take nicardipine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Nicardipine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether nicardipine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

Nicardipine passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Do not take nicardipine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from nicardipine. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take nicardipine (Cardene, Cardene SR)?

Take nicardipine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Do not crush, break, or chew the extended-release (SR) capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release the medication slowly in the body.

Do not stop taking nicardipine without first talking to your doctor, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking the medication, your condition could become worse.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with nicardipine. The interaction could have potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit and grapefruit juice with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.

Store nicardipine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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