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Nicardipine is used alone or together with other medicines to treat severe chest pain (angina) or high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure… Read more

Brand names include: Cardene, Cardene SR


Nicardipine is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for… Read more

Brand names include: Cardene, Cardene IV

Drug classes About this
Antianginal, Antihypertensive, Cardiovascular Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Nicardipine for the treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy: a review of the literature

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intravenous nicardipine for the treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy. Articles were identified through electronic databases (Medline and Cochrane). No date or language restrictions were placed. Relevant citations were hand searched. The following search terms were used: pregnancy, severe hypertension and nicardipine. Patients included had chronic or gestational hypertension with or without marked proteinuria. Primary outcomes were reduction of systolic/diastolic and/or mean arterial pressure, time to target blood pressure, and severe maternal (hypotension, tachycardia) or severe fetal side effects (CTG abnormalities needing direct intervention). Five studies were found describing the use of nicardipine for treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy. All studies were included in this review. One hundred forty-seven patients were treated. All patients had a significant reduction of both diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Treatment resulted in a 91% success rate in studies that defined success and 20% reduction of mean arterial blood pressure or systolic/diastolic blood pressure in 87%. Target blood pressure was reached within 23 minutes in 70% of the patients, 91% reached target blood pressure within 130 minutes. No severe maternal or fetal side effects were recorded. Nicardipine is a very effective therapy for treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy and may be a better alternative to other available treatment options.

Nicardipine in the treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage: a meta-analysis of published data

Nicardipine is a dihydropyridine-type Ca(2+) channel blocker with a powerful antihypertensive activity and a unique cerebrovascular profile. Recent studies have examined nicardipine for the treatment of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH), but have shown inconsistent results. In the current study, a meta-analysis was performed to assess the clinical effectiveness of nicardipine in the prevention of cerebral vasospasm in patients who had suffered from aneurysmal SAH. Medline, EMBASE, and PubMed databases were searched for the controlled trials evaluating nicardipine for treating SAH after a ruptured aneurysm, without language restrictions. Moreover, a manual search of the bibliographies of relevant articles was also conducted. Two researchers of the present study independently performed the literature search and the data extraction. The meta-analyses were performed using the software RevMan 4.2.10 (provided by the Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, UK). Five published manuscripts involving 1,154 patients were included in this meta-analysis. Nicardipine infusion reduced the risk of poor outcome (death, vegetative state, or dependency) and mortality, with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.58 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.37-0.90] and 0.45 (95 % CI 0.15-1.29), respectively. This meta-analysis suggests that nicardipine therapy reduces the likelihood of poor outcome and mortality in patients after aneurysmal SAH.

Dementia: A NICE-SCIE Guideline on Supporting People With Dementia and Their Carers in Health and Social Care

This guideline has been developed to advise on supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social care. The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of health and social care professionals, a person with dementia, carers and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guideline will be useful to practitioners and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for those with dementia while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for people with dementia and carers.

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Summaries for consumers

Calcium channel blockers for primary Raynaud's phenomenon

Raynaud's phenomenon is a disorder whereby blood vessels in the fingers and toes constrict and reduce blood flow, causing pain and discolouration. This is usually in response to cold exposure or emotional stress. In a small number of cases, Raynaud's phenomenon is associated with an underlying disease but, for most people, it is idiopathic (of uncertain cause, or 'primary'). Primary Raynaud's phenomenon is extremely common (especially in women), with one UK study suggesting that over 15% of the population are affected.

Is the blood pressure lowering effect of dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers consistent or variable throughout 24 hours?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a risk factor for adverse cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack. Blood pressure varies widely in an individual but certain patterns in its rise and fall have been identified in the general population; blood pressure increases in the early morning hours and decreases during the night. There is a variety of treatment options available for treating high blood pressure. Dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers are a group of drugs used to lower blood pressure.

Calcium channel blockers for inhibiting preterm labour and birth

Preterm birth is when a baby is born between 20 and 36 completed weeks' gestation. These babies are generally more ill and are less likely to survive than babies born at term. Preterm babies are also more likely to have some disability, and the earlier the baby is born the more likely they are to have problems. Even short‐term postponement of preterm birth can improve outcomes for babies, as this gives time for the mother to be given a steroid injection to help develop the baby's lungs develop prior to birth. Short‐term postponement of preterm birth may also give the chance to transfer the mother, if required, to somewhere where there is more expert care for the baby available. Drugs used to try and stop labour are called tocolytics. The most common drugs used are betamimetics, but calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are another option. CCBs are commonly used for reducing high blood pressure, but they can also relax uterine contractions. We looked to see if CCBs were effective in postponing labour and improving outcomes for babies, and also whether CCBs were better than betamimetics and other types of tocolytics used to postpone preterm labour and birth.

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