Nicardipine is a dihydropyridine calcium-channel blocking agent used for the treatment of vascular disorders such as chronic stable angina, hypertension, and Raynaud's phenomenon. It is available in oral and intravenous formulations. Its mechanism of action and clinical effects closely resemble those of nifedipine and the other dihydropyridines (amlodipine, felodipine), except that nicardipine is more selective for cerebral and coronary blood vessels. Furthermore, nicardipine does not intrinsically decrease myocardial contractility and may be useful in the management of congestive heart failure. Nicardipine also has a longer half-life than nifedipine. Nicardipine was approved by the FDA in December 1988. The patent for both Cardene and Cardene SR expired in October 1995.