Nicardipine Hydrochloride (Page 2 of 5)

5.6 Use in Patients with Impaired Renal Function

When nicardipine was given to mild-to-moderate hypertensive patients with moderate renal impairment, a significantly lower systemic clearance and higher AUC was observed. These results are consistent with those seen after oral administration of nicardipine. Careful dose titration is advised when treating patients with more than mild renal impairment.

5.7 Intravenous Infusion Site

To reduce the possibility of venous thrombosis, phlebitis, local irritation, swelling, extravasation, and the rare occurrence of vascular impairment, administer drug through large peripheral veins or central veins rather than arteries or small peripheral veins, such as those on the dorsum of the hand or wrist. To minimize the risk of peripheral venous irritation, consider changing the site of the drug infusion every 12 hours.

5.8 Beta-Blocker Withdrawal

Nicardipine is not a beta-blocker and therefore gives no protection against the dangers of abrupt beta-blocker withdrawal. Withdraw beta-blockers gradually.

5.9 Use in Patients with Pheochromocytoma

Only limited clinical experience exists in use of nicardipine for patients with hypertension from pheochromocytoma.


6.1 Adverse Reactions Observed in Clinical Trials

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Two hundred forty-four patients participated in two multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of nicardipine. Adverse experiences were generally not serious and most were expected consequences of vasodilation. Adverse reactions occasionally required dosage adjustment. Therapy was discontinued in approximately 12% of patients, mainly due to hypotension, headache, and tachycardia. Adverse reactions that occurred more often on nicardipine than on placebo by at least 2% were headache (13%) and nausea/vomiting (4%).

The following adverse reactions have been reported in clinical trials or in the literature during the use of intravenously administered nicardipine.

Body as a Whole: fever, neck pain
Cardiovascular: angina pectoris, atrioventricular block, ST segment depression, inverted T wave, deep-vein thrombophlebitis
Digestive: dyspepsia
Hemic and Lymphatic: thrombocytopenia
Metabolic and Nutritional: hypophosphatemia, peripheral edema
Nervous: confusion, hypertonia
Respiratory: respiratory disorder
Special Senses: conjunctivitis, ear disorder, tinnitusUrogenital: urinary frequency

Sinus node dysfunction and myocardial infarction, which may be due to disease progression, have been seen in patients on chronic therapy with orally administered nicardipine.


7.1 Antihypertensive Agents

Since nicardipine hydrochloride injection may be administered to patients already being treated with other medications, including other antihypertensive agents, careful monitoring of these patients is necessary to detect and to treat promptly any undesired effects from concomitant administration.

7.2 Beta-Blockers

In most patients, nicardipine hydrochloride injection can safely be used concomitantly with beta-blockers. However, monitor response carefully when combining nicardipine hydrochloride injection with a beta-blocker in the treatment of congestive heart failure patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

7.3 Cimetidine

Cimetidine has been shown to increase nicardipine plasma concentrations with oral nicardipine administration. Carefully monitor patients receiving the two drugs concomitantly. Data with other histamine-2 antagonists are not available.

7.4 Digoxin

Studies have shown that oral nicardipine usually does not alter digoxin plasma concentrations.

7.5 Cyclosporine

Concomitant administration of oral or intravenous nicardipine and cyclosporine results in elevated plasma cyclosporine levels through nicardipine inhibition of hepatic microsomal enzymes, including CYP3A4. Monitor closely plasma concentrations of cyclosporine during nicardipine hydrochloride injection administration, and adjust the dose of cyclosporine accordingly.

7.6 Tacrolimus

Concomitant administration of intravenous nicardipine and tacrolimus may result in elevated plasma tacrolimus levels through nicardipine inhibition of hepatic microsomal enzymes, including CYP3A4. Closely monitor plasma concentrations of tacrolimus during nicardipine administration, and adjust the dose of tacrolimus accordingly.

7.7 In Vitro Interaction

The plasma protein binding of nicardipine was not altered when therapeutic concentrations of furosemide, propranolol, dipyridamole, warfarin, quinidine, or naproxen were added to human plasma in vitro.


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of nicardipine use in pregnant women. There are limited human data in pregnant women with pre-eclampsia and preterm labor. In animal reproduction and developmental toxicity studies, evidence of fetal harm was observed. Therefore use nicardipine during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

In reproduction studies conducted in rats and rabbits, increased embryolethality occurred when nicardipine was administered intravenously at doses equivalent to human intravenous doses of 1.6 (rats) and 0.32 mg/kg/day (rabbits).

Increased embryolethality was also observed when nicardipine was administered orally to pregnant rabbits at a dose equivalent to a human oral dose of about 48 mg/kg/day (a dose 24 times the maximum recommended human oral dose and one associated with marked maternal body weight gain suppression). At a lower oral dose, equivalent to a human dose of about 32 mg/kg/day (16 times the maximum recommended human oral dose), in a different strain of rabbit, there were no adverse effects on the fetus, though there was increased maternal mortality. There was no evidence of embryolethality or teratogenicity when pregnant rats were administered nicardipine orally at a dose equivalent to a human oral dose of about 16 mg/kg/day (8 times the MRHD); however, dystocia, reduced birth weight, reduced neonatal survival and reduced neonatal weight gain were reported [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.3)].

8.3 Nursing Mothers

Nicardipine is minimally excreted into human milk. Among 18 infants exposed to nicardipine through breast milk in the postpartum period, calculated daily infant dose was less than 0.3 mcg and there were no adverse events observed. It is recommended that women who wish to breastfeed should not be given this drug.

In a study of 11 women who received oral nicardipine 4 days to 14 days postpartum, 4 women received immediate-release nicardipine 40 to 80 mg daily, 6 women received sustained-release nicardipine 100 mg to 150 mg daily, and one woman received intravenous nicardipine 120 mg daily. The peak milk concentration was 7.3 mcg/L (range 1.9 to 18.8), and the mean milk concentration was 4.4 mcg/L (range 1.3 to 13.8).

Infants received an average of 0.073% of the weight-adjusted maternal oral dose and 0.14% of the weight-adjusted maternal intravenous dose.

In another study of seven women who received intravenous nicardipine for an average of 1.9 days in the immediate postpartum period as therapy for pre-eclampsia, 34 milk samples were obtained at unspecified times and nicardipine was undetectable (less than 5 mcg/L) in 82% of the samples. Four women who received 1 to 6.5 mg/hour of nicardipine had 6 milk samples with detectable nicardipine levels (range 5.1 to 18.5 mcg/L). The highest concentration of 18.5 mcg/L was found in a woman who received 5.5 mg/hour of nicardipine. The estimated maximum dose in a breastfed infant was less than 0.3 mcg daily or 0.015% to 0.004% of the therapeutic dose in a 1 kg infant.

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