General Information on Norvasc
Norvasc, with active ingredient amlodipine, belongs to a class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers. The drug is used for treating angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and some other heart diseases. The drug works by slowing down the rate at which calcium travels to the heart and reaches the walls of the arteries. Thus, by reducing the amount of calcium in the arteries, it makes the arteries wider, hence treating diseases caused due to narrowing down of arteries. The drug is a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, which means that it does not affect the rate of heartbeat.
Precautions/side effects of Norvasc
Norvasc has the active ingredient amlopidine. Patients allergic to amlopidine should refrain from using this drug. An allergic reaction to the drug can cause abnormally slow heart rate, swelling of the face, tongue, lips etc. Patients with liver diseases or kidney diseases should take this drug only after consulting a physician.
Apart from that, the drug is also known to react with certain other medications such as aspirin, Lipitor, plavix, metoprolol, atenolol etc. If the patient is on any of these drugs, the physician should be accordingly informed before taking Norvasc.
Norvasc is a Category C pregnancy drug. It may have an adverse effect on the fetus as well as the newborn child. Pregnant women as well as women who are breastfeeding should take this drug only after consultation with a physician.
Apart from that, the drug is known to have certain side effects such as headache, redness of the face, tiredness, pain in the abdomen and dizziness. However, in certain cases, it can lead to severe side effects such as inflammation of the hands or legs, irregular heartbeat or pain in the chest. If any of these symptoms show up after taking the drug, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Important safety information
- Consumption of alcohol should be limited while on this drug. Excessive consumption of alcohol while on Norvasc can lead to abnormally low blood pressure.
- Refrain from smoking while on this drug as it can render the drug ineffective and increase the chances of side effects to the drug.
- It is important to take a healthy diet and follow a healthy lifestyle while on this drug. Regular exercise is important for increasing the effectiveness of the drug.
- When Norvasc is used for treating high blood pressure, it should be taken as advised by the doctor even in the absence of symptoms. High blood pressure does not have clear symptoms in most cases and can be fatal.
- When the course of this drug is started, it may be accompanied by slight pain in the chest. However, if the chest pain increases with time, a doctor should be consulted.
- If using a beta blocker for treating high blood pressure or heart disease prior to taking Norvasc, the beta blocker drugs should not be stopped without consulting a doctor.
Dosage of Norvasc
Norvasc is available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg tablets. The usual prescribed dose for treating high blood pressure is 10 mg once daily. The usual dosage for treating angina as well as coronary disease is 5-10 mg once daily. However, the actual prescription may vary according to the diagnosis and the response of the patient. For patients above the age of 65 years, the usual dose is 2.5 mg once daily.
The drug can be taken with or without food. The overdose of the drug should be avoided. If a dose is missed, it should be taken as soon as possible. However, it should not be clubbed with the next dose. Overdose of the drug can cause serious complications such as abnormally low blood pressure, heart failure etc. which need immediate medical attention.
Storage of Norvasc
The drug should be stored in a cool and dry place at room temperature not exceeding 30 degree Celsius. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight an should be kept out of reach of children.