amlodipine, Norvasc

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GENERIC NAME: amlodipine besylate


DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Amlodipine belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers (CCBs). These medications block the transport of calcium into the smooth muscle cells lining the arteries of the heart (coronary arteries) and other arteries of the body. Since the action of calcium is important for muscle contraction, blocking calcium transport relaxes arterial muscles and expands (dilates) coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. By dilating coronary arteries, amlodipine increases the flow of blood to the heart and is useful in preventing heart pain (angina) resulting from reduced flow of blood to the heart caused by coronary artery spasm (contraction). Relaxing the muscles lining the arteries in the rest of the body lowers blood pressure, which reduces the work that the heart must do to pump blood to the body. Reducing the work of the heart also lessens the heart muscle's need for oxygen, and thereby further helps to prevent angina in patients with coronary artery disease. The FDA approved amlodipine in July 1992.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/10/2014

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