FDA: Nimodipine Should Never Be Administered Intravenously

Agency reminds providers that IV use may lead to cardiac arrest, other adverse events, death
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reminding health care professionals that nimodipine should never be administered intravenously but only given by mouth or through a feeding or nasogastric tube, as intravenous administration may lead to cardiac arrest, severe decreases in blood pressure, other cardiac adverse events, or death.

Nimodipine is only available as a capsule and typically used in the critical care setting for the treatment of neurologic complications resulting from ruptured blood vessels in the brain. In 2006, the FDA added a Boxed Warning and other revisions to the prescribing information of nimodipine to alert health care professionals against intravenous use. However, the agency continues to receive reports of intravenous use of the drug resulting in serious -- sometimes fatal -- adverse events.

Between 1989 and 2009, the FDA identified 31 cases of nimodipine medication errors, with 25 of the cases involving incorrect intravenous nimodipine prescribing or administration. Four patients who received nimodipine intravenously died, five patients experienced near-fatal events, and one patient suffered permanent harm.

According to the agency's safety alert, the "FDA will continue working with the manufacturers of nimodipine and with outside groups to evaluate and implement additional ways to prevent medication errors with this product."

More Information

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95

Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95

Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events