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No Nimodipine Via IV, FDA Says

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Federal health regulators are reminding health care professionals today that Nimodipine Oral Capsules should ever be given by intravenous (IV) administration. IV administration of Nimodipine Oral Capsules can result in death, cardiac arrest, severe falls in blood pressure, and other heart-related complications, according to the Food & Drug Administration.

In 2006, the FDA added a Boxed Warning and made other revisions to the prescribing information to warn against intravenous use of nimodipine. The prescribing information also provides clear instructions on how to remove the liquid contents from the capsules for nasogastric tube administration in patients who are unable to swallow. The instructions recommend that the syringe used for withdrawal of capsule contents be labeled with “Not for IV Use.” The FDA continues to receive reports of intravenous nimodipine use, with serious, sometimes fatal, consequences.

Nimodipine is a medication intended to be given in a critical care setting to treat neurologic complications from subarachnoid hemorrhage (ruptured blood vessels in the brain) and is only available as a capsule. Intravenous injection of nimodipine can result in death, cardiac arrest, severe falls in blood pressure, and other heart-related complications.

The FDA said it will continue working with the manufacturers of nimodipine and with outside groups to evaluate and implement additional ways in which to prevent medication errors with this product.

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