What Is Nicardipine Used For?
Nicardipine is used for the treatment of high blood pressure and chest pain in adults. The medication works by causing the blood vessels to relax, which improves blood flow and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood. Off-label uses for the drug include treating high blood pressure after surgery and kidney problems in people with diabetes. Nicardipine has not been approved for use in children.
Nicardipine Uses: An OverviewNicardipine hydrochloride (Cardene®) is a prescription medication used to treat certain types of chest pain and high blood pressure (hypertension).
Nicardipine for AnginaChest pain is known medically as angina. There are several types of angina, including:
- Stable angina (exertional angina or exercise-induced angina)
- Unstable angina
- Variant angina (Prinzmetal's angina).
Stable angina is the most common type of angina. It occurs when the heart is working harder than usual. The angina pain comes at predicable times (such as during exercise) and usually goes away in a few minutes after you rest or take your angina medicine. This type of angina is usually caused by coronary artery disease. The coronary arteries are blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. When these arteries become clogged with fatty deposits called plaque, it's called coronary artery disease, coronary heart disease, or just heart disease. Clogged arteries can keep the heart from getting enough blood and oxygen, and can cause chest pain.
Unstable angina is a dangerous condition that requires emergency treatment, as it is a sign that a heart attack could soon occur. Unlike stable angina, it does not follow a pattern. It can occur without physical exertion and is not relieved by rest or medicine.
Variant angina (also known as vasospastic angina) is rare. It usually occurs at rest and is caused by spasms in the arteries of the heart. It may be associated with coronary artery disease, but it can also occur in someone who has an otherwise healthy heart. Variant angina can increase your risk of a heart attack or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia).
Nicardipine is approved to treat stable angina (but not the other types of angina). It helps the blood vessels to relax, which relieves pain and lessens the workload on the heart.