Norvasc generic is the brand name for amlodipine besylate, a prescription drug used to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Amlodipine norvasc is also used to treat coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients without heart failure, and certain types of angina (chest pain) from CAD, such as activity- and stress-induced angina (chronic stable angina), and angina that occurs at rest (Prinzmetal’s angina).
Taken regularly, Norvasc can control angina, but it doesn’t stop chest pain after it has already begun.
The drug can also lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular events related to high blood pressure, such as strokes and heart attacks.
Norvasc belongs to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers, which block the flow of calcium into heart muscles and the muscles along the walls of blood vessels.
Because the contraction of these muscles depends on calcium, Norvasc relaxes and widens blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow.
Doctors also sometimes prescribe Norvasc “off-label” for the treatment of cluster headaches, migraines, Raynaud’s syndrome (a blood vessel disorder), and congestive heart failure.
Manufactured by Pfizer, Norvasc was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987.
In the early 1990s, researchers conducted the so-called PRAISE study, which was backed by Pfizer, to determine if Norvasc could help reduce the risk of death in people with severe heart failure.
Though the study found little overall benefits to severe heart failure patients, it suggested that Norvasc might prolong the life of a subgroup of people with heart failure from non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (cardiac muscle damage not associated with low blood supply to the coronary arteries).
Norvasc Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Norvasc
The most common side effect of Norvasc is edema, or swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs. You are more likely to experience edema with higher norvasc doses. Other common side effects of Norvascinclude:
Drowsiness and fatigue
Flushing (feeling of warmth)
Severe Side Effects of Norvasc
Taking Norvasc can result in several serious side effects. Seek medical help immediately if you experience:
More frequent or severe chest pain
Palpitations (rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeats)
Rare Side Effects of Norvasc
In clinical trials, Norvasc has been associated with numerous rare side effects, which affect less than one percent of people. These include, but are not limited to:
Diarrhea, vomiting, and weight changes
Depression and anxiety
Itchiness and rashes
Contact your doctor if you experience any severe side effects.
Norvasc comes in three tablet sizes, which should be taken once a day, with or without food: norvasc 2.5 mg, norvasc 5 mg, and norvasc 10 mg.
Adults typically start out with a 5 mg dose, with a maximum dose of 10 mg. Adults who are small, fragile, elderly, or have liver problems may be started on a 2.5 mg dose.
Children ages 6 to 17 may be given doses of 2.5 to 5 mg — a daily dose of over 5 mg has not been studied in children. The effect of Norvasc on children under 6 years old is unknown.
Norvasc overdose can result in rapid heartbeat and severe hypotension, possibly resulting in dizziness and fainting. If you believe you’ve overdosed, call your local poison control center, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately. If someone taking Norvasc has collapsed or is not breathing,
Missed Dose of Norvasc
Take your dose of Norvasc at the same time every day. If you miss a dose of Norvasc, take it as soon as you remember. If has been more than 12 hours since your missed dose, wait and take your next dose at your normal time.
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