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a calcium channel blocking agent used as a vasodilator in the treatment of neurologic deficits associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured intracranial aneurysm; administered orally.



Pharmacologic class: Calcium channel blocker

Therapeutic class: Cerebral vasodilator

Pregnancy risk category C

FDA Box Warning

Don't give by I.V. or other parenteral route. Deaths and serious or life-threatening adverse events have occurred when capsule contents have been injected parenterally.


Inhibits calcium transport into vascular smooth muscle cells, suppressing contractions; also dilates coronary and cerebral arteries


Capsules: 30 mg

Indications and dosages

Subarachnoid hemorrhage

Adults: 60 mg P.O. q 4 hours for 21 days. Therapy should start within 96 hours of subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Dosage adjustment

• Hepatic impairment




Use cautiously in:

• hepatic impairment, hypotension

• elderly patients

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients (safety not established)

• children (safety not established).


• Give at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Don't let patient consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice within 1 hour before or 2 hours after dose.

• If patient can't swallow capsule, puncture it with sterile needle and empty contents into syringe. Administer through nasogastric tube, then flush with normal saline solution (30 ml).

Adverse reactions

CNS: headache, depression

CV: hypotension, peripheral edema, ECG abnormalities, bradycardia, tachycardia

GI: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort

Musculoskeletal: muscle cramps

Respiratory: dyspnea

Skin: acne, flushing, rash


Drug-drug. Other calcium channel

blockers: enhanced cardiovascular effects

Drug-diagnostic tests. Liver function

tests: abnormal results

Drug-food. Any food: decreased drug blood level and effects

Grapefruit juice, grapefruit juice: increased drug blood level and effects

Drug-herbs. Ephedra (ma huang),

yohimbine: antagonism of nimodipine effects

St. John's wort: decreased drug blood level

Drug-behaviors. Alcohol use: increased hypotension

Patient monitoring

• Monitor weight and fluid intake and output. Stay alert for fluid retention.

• Assess neurologic status and mood, watching for signs of depression.

• Check vital signs and ECG.

Patient teaching

• Tell patient to complete full course of therapy (21 days).

• Advise patient to take on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Instruct him to not to consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice within 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking drug.

• Tell patient to report irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, rash, or swollen hands or feet.

• Instruct patient to minimize GI upset by eating small, frequent meals.

• Advise patient to weigh himself daily and report sudden weight gain.

• As appropriate, review all other significant adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, foods, herbs, and behaviors mentioned above.


/ni·mo·di·pine/ (ni-mo´dĭ-pēn) a calcium channel blocker used as a vasodilator in the treatment of neurologic deficits associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured intracranial aneurysm.


A calcium channel blocker used to reduce neurological damage after subarachnoid hemorrhage.


a calcium channel blocking agent used as a vasodilator in the treatment of neurological deficits associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured intracranial aneurysm, administered orally.


An dihydropyridine L-type calcium channel antagonist originally developed for treating hypertension; it is now used to prevent vasospasm in subarachnoid haemorrhage. Nimodipine preferentially binds to the channels when cells are depolarised, maintaining them in an opened state and theoretically preventing the accumulation of glutamate, which has been pathogenically linked to AIDS dementia complex.


A CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKER drug used to minimise brain damage after subarachnoid haemorrhage. A brand name is Nimotop.

Nimodipine (Nimotop)

A calcium-channel blocker, that is, a drug that relaxes arterial smooth muscle by slowing the movement of calcium across cell walls.
Mentioned in: Cerebral Aneurysm
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