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All about: nimodipine

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Generic Name: nimodipine (nih MO dih peen)
Brand Names: Nimotop

What is nimodipine?

Nimodipine is in a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers. Nimodipine relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Nimodipine is used to prevent brain damage caused by reduced blood flow to the brain resulting from aneurysm (AN-yor-iz-m), a dilated or ruptured blood vessel in the brain.

Nimodipine may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

What is the most important information I should know about nimodipine?

Before taking nimodipine, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, low blood pressure, high blood pressure (hypertension) for which you take medicine, or a history of heart problems such as a slow heart rate, congestive heart failure, or heart attack.

Nimodipine gel capsules are to be taken by mouth only. The medicine in the capsule should never be placed into a needle and syringe and injected into a vein. If the person taking nimodipine cannot swallow the capsule, use a needle to make a hole in each end of the capsule, and squeeze the medicine out into an oral syringe. The syringe can then be used to give the medicine through a nasogastric (through the nose and into the stomach) tube.

If you are able to swallow capsules, take nimodipine on an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after meals. Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking nimodipine. Alcohol and nimodipine may cause low blood pressure, drowsiness, or dizziness. Do not stop taking nimodipine without first talking to your doctor, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking the medication, your condition could become worse.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking nimodipine?

Before taking nimodipine, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • low blood pressure;

  • high blood pressure for which you take medication; or

  • a history of heart problems such as a slow heart rate, congestive heart failure, or heart attack.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use nimodipine, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known if nimodipine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing infant. Do not take nimodipine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to have side effects from nimodipine. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take nimodipine?

Take nimodipine exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Nimodipine gel capsules are to be taken by mouth only. The medicine in the capsule should never be placed into a needle and syringe and injected into a vein. If the person taking nimodipine cannot swallow the capsule, use a needle to make a hole in each end of the capsule, and squeeze the medicine out into an oral syringe. The syringe can then be used to give the medicine through a nasogastric (through the nose and into the stomach) tube.

If you are able to swallow capsules, take nimodipine on an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after meals. Take each dose with a full glass of water.

It is important to take nimodipine regularly to get the most benefit.

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

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood pressure will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store nimodipine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a nimodipine overdose may include dizziness, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, an unusually fast or slow heartbeat, slurred speech, confusion, or coma.

What should I avoid while taking nimodipine?

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking nimodipine. Alcohol and nimodipine may cause low blood pressure, drowsiness, or dizziness.

Nimodipine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using nimodipine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • unusually fast or slow heartbeats;

  • fainting or severe dizziness;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • swelling in your legs or ankles.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely. Continue taking nimodipine and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • mild dizziness;

  • flushing (redness, warmth, or tingling feeling);

  • headache;

  • nausea, constipation; or

  • sweating.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect nimodipine?

There may be other drugs that can affect nimodipine, resulting in side effects and/or reduced effectiveness. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about nimodipine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Nimodipine is available with a prescription under the brand name Nimotop. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Nimotop 30 mg-ivory colored, soft gelatin capsules

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the condition prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.02. Revision Date: 5/8/06 12:07:59 PM.

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