Norvasc is a prescription medication classified as a calcium channel blocker. Its generic name is amlodipine besylate. Norvasc is primarily indicated for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and certain types of chest pain (angina). It is available in tablet form for oral administration.

It works by relaxing the blood vessels, which allows blood to flow more easily, thereby reducing blood pressure. It achieves this by blocking the influx of calcium ions into smooth muscle cells in the blood vessel walls, leading to vasodilation. By reducing blood pressure and improving blood flow, Norvasc helps to decrease the workload of the heart and can relieve symptoms of angina.

Precautions and Warnings with Norvasc

Contraindications

Norvasc is contraindicated in individuals with:

  • Known hypersensitivity to amlodipine besylate or any of its components.
  • Severe hypotension (low blood pressure).

Special Populations

  • Pregnancy: Norvasc should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefits justify the potential risks to the fetus.
  • Breastfeeding: It is not known whether Norvasc is excreted in human breast milk.
  • Pediatric use: Safety and effectiveness of Norvasc in pediatric patients have not been established.

Norvasc Side Effects

While Norvasc is generally well-tolerated, like any medication, it may cause side effects in some individuals. Side effects associated with Norvasc may include:

Common Side Effects

  • Swelling
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Faster heart beat

Serious Side Effects

  • Dangerously Low Blood Pressure
    • Dizziness
    • Lightheadedness
    • Pale skin
    • Feeling faint
  • Heart Attack
    • Anxiety
    • Dizziness
    • Tiredness
    • Cold and clammy skin
    • Sweating
    • Heartburn
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Tightness and pain in the chest, neck, arms, or back

Drug Interactions with Norvasc

Norvasc may interact with other medications, supplements, or substances, potentially affecting its effectiveness or increasing the risk of adverse effects. Some notable drug interactions with Norvasc may include:

  • CYP3A4 Inhibitors: Drugs that inhibit the enzyme CYP3A4, such as certain antifungal medications (ketoconazole, itraconazole) and protease inhibitors (ritonavir), may increase the plasma concentrations of Norvasc.
  • CYP3A4 Inducers: Drugs that induce the activity of CYP3A4, such as rifampin, may decrease the plasma concentrations of Norvasc, potentially reducing its effectiveness. Close monitoring of blood pressure and adjustment of Norvasc dosage may be necessary when co-administering with CYP3A4 inducers.
  • Beta-Blockers: Concurrent use of Norvasc with beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, atenolol) may result in additive effects on blood pressure and heart rate.

Norvasc Strengths and Dosages

Available Strengths

Norvasc tablets are available in the following strengths:

  • 5 mg
  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg

Recommended Dosage

The usual starting dose of Norvasc for adults is 5 mg once daily, with the maximum recommended dose being 10 mg once daily.

Administration Instructions

Norvasc tablets should be taken orally, with or without food. Swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water; do not crush, chew, or break the tablets.

Cost of Norvasc in America

At this time of writing, reports the cost for Norvasc oral tablet 5 mg to be approximately $812 for a supply of 90 tablets.

Patients are encouraged to check with their local pharmacies, insurance providers, or explore patient assistance programs to determine the most cost-effective option for obtaining Norvasc.

Norvasc Alternatives

If Norvasc is not suitable for you or if you experience intolerable side effects, there are several alternative medications available for the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) and angina:

  • Diltiazem (Tiazac): Diltiazem belongs to the same class of medications as Norvasc, known as calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow, thus reducing blood pressure. Diltiazem may also be used to treat certain types of chest pain (angina).
  • Verapamil (Calan): Verapamil is another calcium channel blocker that is used to treat high blood pressure and angina. Like Norvasc and diltiazem, verapamil works by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow.
  • Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers such as metoprolol and atenolol are commonly prescribed for the treatment of hypertension and angina. These medications work by blocking the effects of adrenaline on the heart and blood vessels, thereby reducing heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors: ACE inhibitors like lisinopril and enalapril help relax blood vessels by blocking the production of angiotensin II, a hormone that narrows blood vessels. This action helps to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
  • Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs): ARBs such as losartan and valsartan work by blocking the action of angiotensin II at the receptor level, leading to relaxation of blood vessels and decreased blood pressure.
  • Diuretics: Diuretics, also known as water pills, such as hydrochlorothiazide, help the body eliminate excess sodium and water, reducing blood volume and thereby lowering blood pressure.

FAQ of Norvasc

What is Norvasc used for?

Norvasc is used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and chest pain (angina) caused by coronary artery disease.

How long does it take for Norvasc to work?

Norvasc may start to lower blood pressure within a few hours of the first dose, but it may take up to 2 weeks to achieve its full effect.

What drug category is Norvasc classified as?

Norvasc is classified as a calcium channel blocker, which works by relaxing blood vessels to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

How long does Norvasc stay in your system?

The half-life of Norvasc (amlodipine) is approximately 30 to 50 hours, which means it may take several days for the medication to be completely eliminated from your system.

What is the generic name for Norvasc?

The generic name for Norvasc is amlodipine besylate.

What is a good replacement for Norvasc?

Alternatives to Norvasc include other calcium channel blockers like diltiazem or verapamil, as well as medications from different drug classes such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, or ARBs.

How much does Norvasc lower blood pressure?

Norvasc can lower blood pressure by an average of 8 to 10 mmHg systolic and 5 to 7 mmHg diastolic.

When is the best time to take Norvasc?

Norvasc can be taken at any time of day, with or without food. It is essential to take Norvasc consistently at the same time each day to maintain its effectiveness.

What should I avoid while taking Norvasc?

While taking Norvasc, it is advisable to avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice, as it may increase the levels of Norvasc in your bloodstream and lead to potential side effects.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Norvasc?

It is generally recommended to limit alcohol consumption while taking Norvasc, as alcohol may potentiate certain side effects such as dizziness or fainting.

Does Norvasc make you fatigued?

Fatigue is a common side effect of Norvasc, but not everyone experiences it. If you feel excessively fatigued while taking Norvasc, consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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