Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: amlodipine besylate
BRAND NAME: Norvasc
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Amlodipine belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. These medications block the transport of calcium into the smooth muscle cells lining the coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. Since calcium is important in muscle contraction, blocking calcium transport relaxes artery muscles and dilates coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. By relaxing coronary arteries, amlodipine is useful in preventing chest pain (angina) resulting from coronary artery spasm. Relaxing the muscles lining the arteries of the rest of the body lowers the blood pressure, which reduces the burden on the heart as it pumps blood to the body. Reducing heart burden lessens the heart muscle's demand for oxygen, and further helps to prevent angina in patients with coronary artery disease.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets ( 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg.)
STORAGE: Amlodipine should be stored at room temperature in a tight, light resistant container.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Chest pain or heart pain (angina) occurs because of insufficient oxygen delivered to the heart muscles. Insufficient oxygen may be a result of coronary artery blockage or spasm, or because of physical exertion which increases heart oxygen demand in a patient with coronary artery narrowing. Amlodipine is used for the treatment and prevention of angina resulting from coronary spasm as well as from exertion. Amlodipine is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure.
DOSING: Amlodipine can be taken with or without food. Amlodipine is metabolized mainly by the liver and dosages may need to be lowered in patients with liver dysfunction.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: In patients with severe coronary artery disease, amlodipine can increase the frequency and severity of angina or actually cause a heart attack on rare occasions. This phenomenon usually occurs when first starting amlodipine, or at the time of dosage increase. Excessive lowering of blood pressure during initiation of amlodipine treatment can occur, especially in patients already taking another blood pressure lowering medication. In rare instances, congestive heart failure has been associated with amlodipine, usually in patients already on a beta blocker.
PREGNANCY: Generally, amlodipine is avoided in pregnancy, and by nursing mothers and children.
NURSING MOTHERS: Generally, amlodipine is avoided in pregnancy, and by nursing mothers and children.
SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of amlodipine are generally mild and reversible. The two most common side effects are headache and edema (swelling) of the lower extremities. Less common side effects include dizziness, flushing, fatigue, nausea, and palpitations.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 12/14/2010
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