Cardene is a prescription medicine licensed to treat several conditions related to the heart and blood vessels. Some specific uses of the drug include controlling high blood pressure and relieving chest pain. The medicine works by relaxing the blood vessels to improve blood flow. By lowering blood pressure, Cardene can decrease the risks that accompany long-term high blood pressure. The medication comes as a capsule and is typically taken three times a day.
What Is Cardene?Cardene® (nicardipine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication used to treat certain types of chest pain (angina) and high blood pressure (hypertension). A long-acting form of the drug is also available (see Cardene SR).
(Click Cardene Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes Cardene?Cardene is made by Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. Generic Cardene is made by various manufacturers.
How Does It Work?Cardene is part of a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It helps to slow down the rate at which calcium moves into the heart and blood vessel walls. This, in turn, helps to relax the vessels, which improves blood flow and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
There are two basic types of calcium channel blockers, dihydropyridine and non-dihydropyridine. The most important difference between the two types is that non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers can slow down the heart rate, while dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers do not. Cardene is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, which means that it does not usually decrease the heart rate.
EffectsCardene decreases blood pressure, reducing the risks that can occur with long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). In clinical studies, it reduced systolic blood pressure by 16.3 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 15.4 mmHg, on average, in people with mild-to-moderate high blood pressure.
In people with exercise-induced angina (chronic stable angina), taking Cardene increased the amount of time they could exercise before chest pain occurred. It also decreased the frequency of chest pain.