Also Known As: Nimodipine, Nimotop
Nimodipine (marketed by Bayer as Nimotop) is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker originally developed for the treatment of high blood pressure. It is not frequently used for this indication, but has shown good results in preventing a major complication of subarachnoid hemorrhage (a form of cerebral hemorrhage) termed vasospasm; this is now the main use of nimodipine.
Because it has some selectivity for cerebral vasculature, nimodipine's main use is in the prevention of cerebral vasospasm and resultant ischemia, a complication of subarachnoid hemorrhage (a form of cerebral bleed), specifically from ruptured intracranial berry aneurysms irrespective of the patient's post-ictus neurological condition. Its administration begins within 4 days of a subarachnoid hemorrhage and is continued for three weeks. If blood pressure drops by over 5%, dosage is adjusted. There is still controversy regarding the use of intravenous nimodipine on a routine basis.
A 2003 trial (Belfort et al.) found nimodipine was inferior to magnesium sulfate in preventing seizures in women with severe preeclampsia.
While nimodipine is not used in head injury currently, it has shown promise in clinical studies. A 2009 study found that patients with severe head trauma who were given nimodipine, via peripheral vein injection, along with the standard procedures had significantly higher cerebral perfusion pressure and jugular venous oxygen saturation, while intracranial pressure, jugular lactate and jugular glucose were lower. The study concluded that Glasgow outcome score values were higher, and that the cerebral metabolism was improved.[