Norvasc

Generic Name: Amlodipine

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Norvasc is a medicine known as a calcium channel blocker, which is used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain in patients with coronary artery disease (narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart), either alone or in combination with other medicines.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Norvasc lowers high blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels, which allows your blood to flow through with less resistance. Norvasc also helps to reduce chest pain by increasing the supply of oxygen delivered to your heart.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: By lowering your blood pressure, Norvasc may lower your risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Norvasc may also lower your risk of hospitalization for chest pain or the need for procedures to restore the blood flow back to the heart.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. Though you may not feel an improvement or change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to keep your condition under control.

    How do I know it is working?

    Check your blood pressure regularly. Your healthcare provider will also check your blood pressure at every visit. Following an appropriate diet and exercise plan will also affect your blood pressure results.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: swelling of your legs or ankles; fatigue; fluttery, throbbing, or irregular heartbeat; dizziness; nausea; flushing of your face; stomach pain; drowsiness.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Your blood pressure can become lower than normal during treatment with Norvasc. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting while taking Norvasc.

    You may have a heart attack or your chest pain may get worse when you first start taking Norvasc or when you increase your dose. If you experience chest pain that gets worse, or that does not go away during treatment with Norvasc, get medical help right away.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Norvasc if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Norvasc. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems, heart disease, or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    High Blood Pressure

    Adults: The usual starting dose is 5 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your healthcare provider may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    Children 6-17 years: The usual dose is 2.5 mg-5 mg once a day.

    Chest Pain and Coronary Artery Disease

    Adults: The usual dose is 5 mg-10 mg once a day. If you are elderly or have liver impairment, your healthcare provider will adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Norvasc exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Norvasc without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Take Norvasc at the same time every day, either with or without food.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not stop taking any other blood pressure medicines or prescription medicines while you are taking Norvasc without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Norvasc is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Norvasc with the following: cyclosporine, diltiazem, itraconazole, ketoconazole, ritonavir, or simvastatin.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Norvasc during pregnancy are unknown. Do not take Norvasc while you are breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Norvasc, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it has been more than 12 hours since you missed your last dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light and moisture.

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