Listing of intravenous nicardipine

Hospital devices Decision

PHARMAC is pleased to announce the listing of intravenous nicardipine in Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule from 1 June 2015.

Details of the decision

From 1 June 2015 nicardipine hydrochloride injection (2.5 mg per ml, 10 ml vial) will be:

  • listed in Part II of Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule; and
  • restricted to the following classes of prescribers - anaesthetist, intensivist and paediatric cardiologist.

Feedback received

The listing of intravenous nicardipine was the subject of a consultation letter dated 1 April 2015.

We appreciate all of the feedback that we received and acknowledge the time people took to respond. All consultation responses received by 17 April 2015 were considered in their entirety in making a decision on the proposed changes.

Support for the proposal noted that the listing was a positive move to address an area of real need for paediatric cardiac surgery, and that this was in line with international practice.

All responses were supportive of the proposal; however, the following issues were raised in relation to specific aspects of the proposal:

Theme Comment

One respondent informed us that phentolamine is still available, although future supply could not be guaranteed.

Clinical advice received indicates that phentolamine is not suitable for paediatric blood pressure control in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and Operating Room settings.  Phentolamine will remain listed.

Several respondents questioned whether the restrictions were too narrow and needed to be widened.

Following further advice from specialists in the field ‘paediatric cardiologist’ was added to the restriction as an additional prescriber class.

More information

If you have any questions about this decision, you can email us at or call our toll free number (9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday) on 0800 66 00 50.