What is Norvasc?

Norvasc (amlodipine) is a calcium channel blocker that dilates (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Amlodipine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina (chest pain).

Norvasc is also used to treat coronary artery disease and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with high blood pressure or CAD.

Norvasc may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Norvasc

Health Benefits

Norvasc can be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure and angina.

Calcium channel blockers work by relaxing the smooth muscle in the walls of your blood vessels, which lowers your blood pressure and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood.

Norvasc is also used to prevent certain types of chest pain (angina). It may help to increase your ability to exercise and decrease how often you may get angina attacks.

Norvasc is not a beta-blocker.

Norvasc is available as a generic drug.

Amlodipine is also available as the brand-name drug Norvasc.

Side Effects

Norvasc can cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

· headache

· flushing (feeling of warmth)

· tiredness

· stomach pain

· constipation

· diarrhea

· heartburn

· swelling of ankles, feet, or legs

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

· fainting

· irregular heartbeat

· chest pain or heaviness

· shortness of breath

· swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

· hoarseness

· difficulty breathing or swallowing

Norvasc can cause other serious side effects. If you experience any of the following symptoms call your doctor immediately:

· yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

· dark urine

· nausea

· vomiting

· upper stomach pain that may spread to your shoulder

· itching

· rash

Dosage

Norvasc is available in tablets of 2.5, 5, and 10 milligrams (mg). The usual starting dose for the treatment of high blood pressure is 5 mg once daily. The dosage may be increased to a maximum recommended dose of 10 mg once daily based on the response and tolerability of the patient.

The recommended starting dose for the treatment of angina is 2.5 or 5 mg once daily. The dosage may be increased to a maximum recommended dose of 10 mg once daily based on the response and tolerability of the patient.

Interactions

Norvasc may interact with other medications. Tell your doctor all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you use.

During pregnancy, Norvasc should be used only when prescribed. This medication may pass into breast milk and could have harmful effects on a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Mechanism of Action

Norvasc relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker that also dilates (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Calcium channel blockers work by relaxing the smooth muscle in the walls of your blood vessels, which lowers your blood pressure and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood.

Norvasc is also used to prevent certain types of chest pain (angina). It may help to increase your ability to exercise and decrease how often you may get angina attacks.

Pharmacokinetics

Norvasc is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract after oral administration with peak plasma concentrations reached within 6 to 12 hours.

Amlodipine has an apparent volume of distribution of approximately 21 L/kg and is highly bound to plasma proteins (> 90%).

The elimination half-life of amlodipine is about 30 to 50 hours. Amlodipine is excreted in human milk at levels similar to those found in plasma.