Frequently asked questions for Nimodipine
Q. What is Nimodipine?Nimodipine belongs to a class of medicines known as calcium channel blockers. Nimodipine is used to prevent any further damage to the brain function which happens after subarachnoid haemorrhage (bleeding around the brain when a weak nerve in the brain bursts).
Q. How does Nimodipine work?Nimodipine relaxes and widens the blood vessels so that blood can flow easily through them, thereby improving the blood supply to the brain. This as a result decreases brain damage due to internal bleeding in the brain and also prevents vasospasm (reflex narrowing of blood vessels caused by this bleeding).
Q. I am better now after taking Nimodipine. Can I stop taking it?No, do not stop taking Nimodipine even if you start feeling better after taking it. This medicine is usually taken for 2 to 4 weeks. However, you must continue taking Nimodipine in the dose and duration advised by your doctor. If you stop taking it suddenly without consulting your doctor, your condition may worsen. Therefore, it is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and keep your doctor informed if you face any issues while taking Nimodipine.
Q. What are the side effects of Nimodipine?The most common side effects of Nimodipine are decreased blood pressure, headache, increased or decreased heart rate, nausea, rash, stomach discomfort, edema (swelling) and muscle cramps. These are usually not bothersome but you must consult your doctor if any of these worries you or gets worse.
Q. What precautions do I need to take while taking Nimodipine?Talk to your doctor if you ever had head injury or bleeding in and around the brain. Let your doctor know about all the other medicines you are taking because they may affect, or be affected by, this medicine. If you have been taking this medicine through a drip, it is likely that you may be switched to a tablet form of Nimodipine to continue your treatment, once the drip is stopped. Inform your doctor if you have any problems with your heart, brain or liver. Do not take Nimodipine if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Nimodipine should not be given to children below the age of 18 as the safety of Nimodipine is not known in children. Do not take antacids for 2 hours before or after taking Nimodipine as this may prevent the medication from working. Avoid taking alcohol while taking Nimodipine as it may only worsen the dizziness that may occur as a side effect of Nimodipine. You should not drive or do anything that requires focus as your alertness may be affected by Nimodipine. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to conceive, please consult your doctor before taking Nimodipine.
Q. How do I give Nimodipine to a person who is unable to swallow properly?If a person is unable to swallow properly, the doctor will suggest ways to give Nimodipine via a nasogastric tube. You must not mix the contents of Nimodipine into any other liquid or medicine as it may affect the working of the medicine. Nimodipine should not be injected. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to get maximum benefit.
Q. What if I take an overdose of Nimodipine by mistake?If you take an overdose of Nimodipine by mistake, get emergency medical help. Your blood pressure may decrease considerably and you may feel lightheaded or faint also. You may also experience irregular heart rate (fast or slow), making you feel sick or nauseated.
Q. What if I forget to take a dose of Nimodipine?If you miss a dose of Nimodipine, take it as soon as possible. Carry on taking that day’s dose at 4-hour intervals. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.
Q. Can I take Nimodipine with food?Nimodipine can be taken with or without food. Avoid eating grapefruit (chakotra) or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Nimodipine.
Q. Is Nimodipine safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?No, Nimodipine is not safe if you are pregnant, planning to conceive or breastfeeding. Please consult your doctor before taking, as it may cause harmful effects to the baby.