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Trade namesCardene, others
Other namesNicardipine hydrochloride
  • 2-[benzyl(methyl)amino]ethylmethyl-2,6-dimethyl-4-(3-nitrophenyl)-1,4-dihydropyridine-3,5-dicarboxylate
Clinical data
Drug classCalcium channel blocker (dihydropyridine)[1]
Main usesHigh blood pressure, heart related chest pain[1]
Side effectsSwelling, headache, palpations, low blood pressure[1]
Routes of
By mouth, intravenous
Onset of actionWithin 15 min[2]
Duration of actionAbout 1 hr[2]
External links
Legal status
  • In general: ℞ (Prescription only)
Protein binding>95%
Elimination half-life8.6 hours
Chemical and physical data
Molar mass479.533 g·mol−1
3D model (JSmol)
Melting point136–138 °C (277–280 °F)
  • O=C(OCCN(Cc1ccccc1)C)\C2=C(\N/C(=C(/C(=O)OC)C2c3cccc([N+]([O-])=O)c3)C)C
  • InChI=1S/C26H29N3O6/c1-17-22(25(30)34-4)24(20-11-8-12-21(15-20)29(32)33)23(18(2)27-17)26(31)35-14-13-28(3)16-19-9-6-5-7-10-19/h5-12,15,24,27H,13-14,16H2,1-4H3 checkY

Nicardipine, sold under the brand name Cardene among others, is a medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart related chest pain.[1] It is also used for Raynaud's phenomenon.[3] It is given by mouth and injected into a vein.[1]

Common side effects include swelling, headache, palpations, and low blood pressure.[1] It should not be used in those with severe aortic stenosis.[1] It may be used in pregnancy.[4] It is a calcium channel blocker of the dihydropyridine class.[1] It works by dilating peripheral arteries.[1]

Nicardipine was patented in 1973 and first approved for medical use in 1981.[5] It was approved in the United States in 1988.[1] It is available as a generic medication.[4] In the United Kingdom 4 weeks of medication costs the NHS about £10 as of 2021.[4] In the United States this amount costs about 130 USD.[6]

Medical uses

It has been used in percutaneous coronary intervention.[7]


For angina or high blood pressure it is used at a dose of 20 to 30 mg three times per day.[4]

For a hypertensive emergency it is often started at a dose of 5 mg/hr as an intravenous infusion.[4][2] This may be increased by 2.5 mg/hr every half hour up to 15 mg/hr.[2]

Society and culture

The patent for both Cardene and Cardene SR expired in October 1995.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Nicardipine Monograph for Professionals". Archived from the original on 21 September 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Hypertensive emergency". EMCrit Project. Archived from the original on 8 July 2023. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  3. Pope, J (10 October 2013). "Raynaud's phenomenon (primary)". BMJ clinical evidence. 2013: 1119. PMID 24112969.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 BNF 81: March-September 2021. BMJ Group and the Pharmaceutical Press. 2021. p. 176. ISBN 978-0857114105.
  5. Fischer, Jnos; Ganellin, C. Robin (2006). Analogue-based Drug Discovery. John Wiley & Sons. p. 464. ISBN 9783527607495. Archived from the original on 2021-08-29. Retrieved 2021-09-18.
  6. "Nicardipine Prices, Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs". Archived from the original on 22 September 2021. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  7. Huang RI, Patel P, Walinsky P, et al. (November 2006). "Efficacy of intracoronary nicardipine in the treatment of no-reflow during percutaneous coronary intervention". Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions. 68 (5): 671–6. doi:10.1002/ccd.20885. PMID 17034064. S2CID 37071966.
  8. "Nicardipine at Medline PLus". Archived from the original on 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2021-09-18.

External links