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What Is Nicardipine SR Used For?

Nicardipine SR is used for treating high blood pressure in adults. It is a type of calcium channel blocker, which works by relaxing blood vessels to improve blood flow. On occasion, nicardipine SR is also used "off-label" for treating other conditions, such as chest pain, postoperative hypertension, and diabetic nephropathy. There are currently no approved nicardipine SR uses for children.

Nicardipine SR Uses: An Overview

Nicardipine SR (Cardene SR®) is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers -- for example, 120/80. The top number is known as the systolic blood pressure, and the bottom number is the diastolic blood pressure. High blood pressure is defined as an average blood pressure higher than 140/90, with multiple blood pressure readings.
In clinical studies, nicardipine SR has been shown to significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure. By lowering blood pressure, nicardipine SR can decrease the risk of developing health problems, such as a stroke, heart disease, or congestive heart failure, which can occur with long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). However, nicardipine SR is not a cure for high blood pressure.

How Nicardipine SR Works

Nicardipine SR is part of a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. Nicardipine SR helps to slow down the rate at which calcium moves into your 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. Nicardipine SR is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, which means that it does not usually decrease the heart rate.
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Nicardipine SR Information

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