Poor Utilization of Nimodipine in Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Arnavaz Hajizadeh Barfejani, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, Sarah L. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine adherence to nimodipine administration in patients admitted with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Background: Oral nimodipine (60 mg every 4 hours for 21 days) is recommended by the national guidelines for aSAH. A Cochrane systematic review has determined that nimodipine reduces the risk of cerebral ischemia and is currently the only effective drug for the prevention of vasospasm in aSAH patients. Design/Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 109 patients with aSAH admitted to the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at a tertiary care medical center between 2010 and 2013. Nimodipine-prescribing patterns, days of therapy completed, and adverse effects were tabulated. Patients not initiated on nimodipine and reasons for prematurely stopping therapy were noted. Results: One hundred two (93%) patients with aSAH were started on oral nimodipine upon admission to the NICU. Early death (3%) and hypotension (1%) were reasons why patients were not started on nimodipine. Only 36 (33%) patients received nimodipine, 60 mg orally every 4 hours for 21 days. In 26 patients (39%), the dose of nimodipine was reduced because of excessive drops in blood pressure. Transient discontinuation occurred in 2 (2%) patients. Thirty one (47%) patients were discharged from the hospital before 21 days and nimodipine was not ordered to continue at home. Conclusion: We found that the majority of patients with aSAH in our practice did not complete 21 days of nimodipine. Hypotension was mostly responsible for dosing change or discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2155-2158
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • hypotension
  • medication adherence
  • nimodipine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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