Intravenous nicardipine medicines

  • Procedure started
  • Under evaluation
  • CHMP opinion
  • European Commission final decision
Current status:
European Commission final decision


European Medicines Agency gives recommendations on the use of intravenous nicardipine

On 24 October 2013, the European Medicines Agency completed a benefit-risk review of intravenous (given into a vein) nicardipine medicines. The Agency's Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) concluded that these medicines should only be used to treat acute (sudden) life-threatening high blood pressure and to control high blood pressure after an operation. Use of intravenous nicardipine medicines in other indications is no longer recommended.

The CHMP also recommended that these medicines should only be given by continuous infusion (drip) into a vein by a specialist in a hospital or intensive care unit.

Detailed information on the recommended uses of intravenous nicardipine, including instructions on how to use these medicines, can be found below.

The review of intravenous nicardipine was triggered by the UK medicines regulatory agency (MHRA), following submission in the UK of an application for a generic intravenous nicardipine medicine. The MHRA was concerned that the clinical data submitted were inadequate to determine the benefits and risks of the generic medicine in the proposed indications. It also noted that medicines containing nicardipine given intravenously had been authorised in other EU countries but that the authorised uses differed between countries. The MHRA therefore decided to request an EU-wide review of these medicines.

Having assessed the available evidence on the safety and effectiveness of intravenous nicardipine from published studies and post-marketing data, the CHMP concluded that an intravenous formulation of nicardipine is a useful treatment for high blood pressure in specific settings and with appropriate specialist intervention and monitoring.

The CHMP opinion was sent to the European Commission, which endorsed it and adopted a final legally binding decision valid throughout the EU on 20 December 2013.

Key facts

Approved name
Intravenous nicardipine medicines
International non-proprietary name (INN) or common name
Associated names
  • Cardene IV
  • Loxen
  • Nicardipine Aguettant
  • Nicardipine Arrow
  • Rydene
  • Vasonase
Reference number
Article 31 referrals

This type of referral is triggered when the interest of the Union is involved, following concerns relating to the quality, safety or efficacy of a medicine or a class of medicines.

European Commission final decision
Opinion date
EC decision date

All documents

Document description

  • Questions and answers (Q&A) - easy-to-understand summary of key issues and Committee conclusions
  • Summary of Opinion - contains the CHMP opinion of the referred medicine(s)
  • List of the medicines affected by the referral (Annex I)
  • Scientific conclusions of the Committee (Annex II)

The following two documents are sometimes available:

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