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- What is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?
- Is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?
- Why is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) prescribed to patients?
- What are the side effects of amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?
- What is the dosage for amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?
- Is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?
What is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?
Amlodipine belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers (CCBs).
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)?
- Combining amlodipine with sildenafil (Viagra) and similar drugs used for treating erectile dysfunction may lead to excessive reductions in blood pressure with complications, particularly fainting upon standing (orthostatic hypotension).
- Amlodipine significantly increases blood levels of simvastatin (Zocor). The dose of simvastatin should be limited to 20 mg daily by patients taking amlodipine.
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric), itraconazole (Sporanox), ritonavir (Norvir) and other drugs that are strong inhibitors of amlodipine inactivation in the liver increase blood levels of amlodipine, resulting in excessive blood pressure reduction.
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.
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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.
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:
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