amlodipine, Norvasc

  • Pharmacy Author:
    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: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Do I need a prescription for amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

Yes

Why is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) prescribed to patients?

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 exertion which increases the need of the heart for oxygen in patients with coronary artery narrowing (coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis). Amlodipine is used for the treatment and prevention of angina resulting from coronary spasm as well as from exertion. Amlodipine also is used in the treatment of high blood pressure.

What are the side effects of amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

Side effects of amlodipine are generally mild and reversible. The two most common side effects are:

Other side effects include:

More serious side effects include:

Increase in the frequency and severity of angina or heart attack due to amlodipine happens on rare occasions in patients with severe coronary artery disease when first starting amlodipine, or at the time of an increase in dosage. Excessive lowering of blood pressure during initiation of amlodipine treatment can occur, especially in patients already taking other medications that lower blood pressure. In rare instances, congestive heart failure has been associated with amlodipine, particularly in patients already taking a beta blocker.

What is the dosage for amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

The recommended starting dose of amlodipine for children and adults is 2.5 to 5 mg once daily. The maximum dose for adults is 10 mg once daily and the maximum dose for children is 5 mg once daily. Amlodipine can be taken with or without food. Amlodipine is inactivated mainly by the liver, and dosages may need to be lowered in patients with liver dysfunction.

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Which drugs or supplements interact with amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

Is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • Generally, amlodipine is avoided in pregnancy, and by nursing mothers and children although there are no adequate studies of amlodipine use during pregnancy.
  • It is not known whether amlodipine is excreted in breast milk. Generally, amlodipine is avoided in pregnancy, and by nursing mothers and children.

What else should I know about amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

What preparations of amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) are available?
  • Tablets: 2.5, 5, and 10 mg
How should I keep amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) stored?
  • Amlodipine should be stored at room temperature in a tight, light resistant container.
How does amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) work?
  • Calcium channel blocker 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.
When was amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) approved by the FDA?
  • The FDA approved amlodipine in July 1992.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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Summary

Amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) is a drug that belongs to the drug class of calcium channel blockers (CCBs), and is prescribed for the treatment and prevention of angina (heart or chest pain) that results from coronary spasm and from exertion. Norvasc also is prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure. Side effects include:

Drug interactions, dosing, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

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See more info: amlodipine on RxList
Reviewed on 11/3/2016
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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