Norvasc (Amlodipine Besylate)
What is Norvasc (amlodipine besylate)?
Norvasc is a medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure or hypertension. Norvasc belongs to the drug class, calcium channel blocker (CCB). This medication lowers blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels providing more oxygen to the heart.
What are the Indications for Norvasc?
Norvasc is used as part of a treatment plan to control high blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.
Norvasc may also be prescribed to treat coronary artery diseases such as chronic stable angina, vasospastic angina (prinzmetal’s or variant angina), and angiographically documented CAD.
Norvasc is not recommended:
- If you are allergic to Norvasc or any ingredients in Norvasc.
- If you are younger than 6 years old.
How is Norvasc used?
Norvasc tablets should be stored at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C – 30°C).
Keep out of reach of children.
Take Norvasc by mouth once daily, as directed by your doctor, with or without food. Do not chew or crush the extended-release tablet.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it has been more than 12 hours since you missed your last dose, do not take Norvasc. Skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your next scheduled time.
Norvasc is available in tablet form in the following strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg.
Do not change your dosage and take more than what is prescribed without consulting with your doctor. If you took more than prescribed, contact your doctor or seek emergency medical care right away.
Dosing for children
The recommended dose for pediatric patients from 6-17 years of age is 2.5 mg to 5 mg once daily.
Dosing for Adults
Low starting dose
The recommended dose for patients who are fragile, elderly, or have liver disease starts at 2.5 mg once daily. Your doctor will adjust your dose as needed.
Initial starting dose
The recommended dose for patients with high blood pressure, chronic stable or vasospastic angina, and coronary artery disease is 5 – 10 mg once daily.
It’s important to understand that although Norvasc is FDA approved, it comes with side effects that may or may not affect you.
Before starting Norvasc, you should discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist.
Common Side Effects
Not all side effects require medical attention. As your body adjusts to Norvasc, side effects may go away.
Tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms, and they become severe or do not go away on their own:
- Edema (swelling in ankles and lower part of your legs)
- Flushing (Warm or hot feeling on your face)
- Increased heart rate
- Stomach Pain
Serious Side Effects
Severe adverse reactions while taking Norvasc can occur. Seek emergency medical care or call 911 if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe allergic reaction: severe rash or itching, swelling in the face, lips, tongue, or throat, rapid heartbeat, fainting or dizziness, or problems breathing or swallowing.
- Worsening chest pain
- Severe drowsiness
- Irregular or very fast heartbeat
- Feeling like you might pass out
The information above does not list all possible side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any side effects not listed. You or your doctor may report side effects to the FDA by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
Warnings & Precaution
Before taking Norvasc, tell your doctor or pharmacist:
- If you are allergic to any medications such as Norvasc
- If you have or have had heart problems such as heart failure
- If you have or have had liver problems
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding
Low blood pressure (hypotension)
Taking Norvasc can result in symptomatic hypotension especially if you have severe aortic stenosis.
If you have severe liver failure, your doctor may start you on the lowest dose and slowly titrate your dose up to a higher dose for the best treatment results.
Increased Heart Attack or Angina
If you are taking Norvasc for the first time or changing your dose, on rare occasions, you may develop a heart attack or your chest pain may worsen. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical care right away if you experience any symptoms.
Clinical studies in patients 6 to 17 years of age have shown taking Norvasc to be effective in lowering blood pressure. Studies have not been conducted for patients less than 6 years of age.
Breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
A clinical study conducted has shown that Norvasc is present in human milk although no adverse effects have been reported on breastfed infants observed. Consult with your doctor to determine if the benefit outweighs the risk.
Pregnant or planning to become pregnant
It is not known if taking Norvasc will pass on to your unborn baby however the benefit of treating high blood pressure may outweigh any risks. High blood pressure may cause complications such as eclampsia or diabetes.
Symptoms of high blood pressure include severe headaches, nosebleeds, fatigue, vision problems or confusion, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or irregular heartbeat.
Interactions & Contraindications
Before taking Norvasc, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you take any medications, herbal supplements, or vitamins.
Taking Norvasc in combination with aspirin may increase your blood pressure. If you stop taking aspirin while taking Norvasc, your blood pressure may decrease. Your doctor will review and adjust your dose as needed.
Taking Norvasc in combination with Lipitor can increase the effect of Lipitor resulting in serious side effects such as liver damage. Your doctor will review and adjust your dose as needed.
Symptoms of liver damage include chills, fever, unusual bruising or bleeding, itching, skin rash, joint pain or swelling, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, yellowing of the skin or eyes, or dark-colored urine.
Multivitamins with minerals
Taking Norvasc in combination with multivitamins with minerals may decrease the effects of Norvasc. Your doctor will review and adjust your dose as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions