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- Dosage (mg): 2,5/5/10
- Active Component: Amlodipine
- Drug Class: Calcium Channel Blocker
Norvasc (amlodipine) is a calcium channel blocker. It mainly acts on the blood vessels causing a decrease smooth vascular walls tone and vasodilatation. It lowers blood pressure and reduces peripheral vascular resistance. Preparations from this group are used as blood pressure lowering medications and to relieve symptoms of angina pectoris. Administration of one pill daily provides clinically significant outcomes.
Modern life is abundant of chances to destroy one’s health. Multiple stresses at work and at home, lack of fresh air in big cities or bad working conditions together with overeating, smoking and drinking alcohol have affected the human cardio-vascular system causing high blood pressure, anginas and other cardio – vascular disorders. At the present time cardio-vascular diseases are in the TOP modern health disorders.
Pharmaceutical companies offer a lot of medications aimed at treating CVD of various types. Among them Norvasc has taken a good position as the CVD medication famous for the high effectiveness and percentage of successful results.
Norvasc is a calcium channel blocker (or calcium antagonist). The given remedy is widely used in the world cardiologic practice. Norvasc is a patented name of the original product. The medication is also known as Amlodipine, the non-patented name used for the generic products.
Norvasc’s main active ingredient is Amlodipine. The substance refers to the group of calcium channel blockers and has antianginal and antihypertensive action.
Amlodipine is a derivative of dihydropiridine. It blocks calcium channels and inhibits transmembrane transfer of calcium into the smooth muscle cells (to greater extent) and cardiac myocytes (to smaller extent). That’s how the hypotensive and antianginal effect works.
Norvasc is available in the form of oral tablets containing 5 mg and 10 mg of Amlodipine. Norvasc pills are white-coated octangles with AML5 and AML10 mark on one side. Pills are packed in 14 and 30 pieces per one box.
According to international classification Norvasc has the registration number C08CA01. It means that Norvasc belongs to the group of selective calcium channel blockers with mainly vascular effects, dihydropyridine derivatives.
Norvasc is widely used for the treatment of arterial hypertension. The medication can be applied both as a monotherapy and as a part of the complex therapy with other hypotensive medicines.
Norvasc is also administered in cases of stable anginas and Prinzmetal’s angina (vasospastic angina pectoris). The medication is used as a monotherapy and as a part of the complex therapy.
Generic Norvasc has already been available at the market in several dosages: 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg of Amlodipine. Generic Norvasc is produced by US and Canadian pharmaceutical companies.
All the generics of Norvasc available at the market have the ‘AB’ rating approved by FDA. According to the rating generic versions of Norvasc are proved to be safe and equivalent to the branded product.
It is vitally important that the proper dosage of the medication is defined by the doctor in accordance with the individual physiologic features of patient’s body and health state.
The initial dosage is Norvasc 5 mg. The dosage can be increased up to 10 mg after the doctor’s recommendation in case if the drug is well tolerated.
Norvasc should be used orally once a day. The pill should be swallowed with some water.
If the patient is suffering from the kidney or liver disorders the dosage is not corrected. Elderly patients do not need the correction of treatment schedule either.
Being co-administered with ACE inhibitors, diuretics and beta-blockers the treatment schedule does not require any corrections.
In case of overdosing with Norvasc sharp decrease of blood pressure together with further reflex tachycardia and peripheral vasodilatation is possible. Moreover, there is a high chance of stable arterial hypotension which results in shock and further lethal outcome.
Within the first two hours adsorbents (e.g. activated carbon) are prescribed; in heavy cases stomach lavage is conducted. The patient should lie horizontally with his legs upright. Functions of cardio-vascular system are supported; monitoring of lungs and heart performance is conducted. The volume of circulated blood and diuresis are controlled.
If there are no contraindications vasoconstrictor agents are applied in order to regulate blood vessel tonus and blood pressure. Calcium gluconate is injected intravenously. Hemodialysis is not effective.
Norvasc and its generic versions are not recommended for people who suffer from high sensitivity to the ingredients of the medication. The medication is not used in patients under 18 years old however no reliable tests have been conducted and in some cases Norvasc is prescribed for young patients though in smaller dosage of 2.5 mg (max. 5 mg) per day.
As the Norvasc is designed for reducing the arterial hypertension the drug is not used in patients with severe arterial hypotension.
Norvasc is prescribed with care in the following cases:
- Arterial hypotension;
- Chronic heart failure of non-ischemic nature;
- Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy;
- Aortic stenosis;
- Liver failure;
- Sick sinus syndrome;
- Mitral stenosis;
- Acute myocardial infarction (in a month after the case).
Doctors insist that their patients inform about any health disorder they are suffering in order to correctly define the therapy schedule and the dosage of Norvasc.
Norvasc is known to cause side effects in very rare cases. Nevertheless the branded producer of Norvasc provides the complete list of possible side effects even the rarest ones for the customers to be fully informed about all the consequences.
Cardio–vascular side effects include heart beating, peripheral edemas (feet and ankles), sharp decrease of blood pressure, orthostatic hypotension, development of cardiac failure, vasculitis, brachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, abnormal heart rhythms, myocardial infarction, and migraine.
In musculoskeletal system patients may experience myalgia, arthralgia, muscle seizures, arthrosis, pains in back, and myasthenia.
The other side effects that may be experienced by the patients involve:
- Peripheral and central nervous system: hot flashes, increased fatigue, somnolence, dizziness, headache, excessive sweating, faintness, asthenia, insomnia, nervousness, depression, mood swings, agitation, amnesia, ataxia and so on
- Gastrointestinal system: nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, bloating, anorexia, thirst perception, dry mouth, increased appetite, gastritis, pancreatitis, and hepatitis;
- Blood system: leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, purpura;
- Respiratory system: rhinitis, short breathing, cough;
- Genitourinary system: nycturia, painful urination, gynecomastia, polyuria, dysuria;
- Metabolism: hyperglycemia;
- Allergic reactions: rash, itching, erythema multiforme, angioedema, urticarial fever;
- Other: ringing in ears, vision problems, changes in taste, nasal bleeding, dermatitis, changes of weight etc.
The complete list of side effects is provided in the customer’s guide put inside each package of Norvasc.
In rare cases Norvasc may cause the sexual dysfunction in men and women (cases of women’s sexual dysfunction are even rarer than that of men’s). The percentage of cases does not exceed 2%. However if the sexual dysfunction has become a problem during the Norvasc therapy it is better to inform your doctor.
According to the studies conducted on animals intake of Norvasc increases the risk of miscarriages. Doctors do not recommend that pregnant women take Norvasc during the pregnancy. According to FDA Norvasc has the C category for pregnancy. It means that the given medication is not recommended for prescription due to possible health problems.
In case of breastfeeding women are recommended either to cease the breastfeeding or to discontinue taking the drug because of the potential problems. It is not known yet whether Norvasc penetrates the breast milk or not so it is better to inform your doctor about the fact or intention of feeding the baby.
Norvasc is well combined with food. Norvasc is reported not to co-interact with alcohol and influence the pharmacokinetics of ethanol. Nevertheless it is better to consult the health care expert in order to avoid possible problems.
Norvasc can be co-administered with antibiotics during the treatment of arterial hypertension.
Norvasc should not be co-administered with nitrates, alpha-blockers, beta-blockers and diuretics as simultaneous intake of Norvasc and the above-mentioned drugs may cause severe hypotensive effect.
It is allowed to take Sildenafil (100 mg) one-time during the Norvasc therapy.
In general, Norvasc is characterized with quite good combinability with other medications.
As a rule customers are positive about the treatment with Norvasc. In most cases patients experience limited side effects such as peripheral edemas and tachycardia. Rare negative feedbacks may be connected with incorrect dosage or treatment scheme.
Some customers ask which medication is better: branded Norvasc or generic Amlodipine. Branded product has already proved its efficiency and safety as well as approved generics of Norvasc. As for the other generic versions their efficiency depends upon the content of auxiliary ingredients and the level of decontamination.
How should I take Norvasc?
The scheme of Norvasc therapy should defined by your doctor. You should follow the scheme without any decision to change the Norvasc dosage or schedule of intakes. The dosage and the schedule depend upon your health state and the disease you are suffering. Please don’t try to change the prescribed dosage and scheme because it may lead to the increased risk of side effects and deterioration of your health condition. You should choose the most comfortable time to take the medicine and keep up with this time every day. Do not exceed daily dosage.
Should I check my blood pressure and heart rhythms during the treatment with Norvasc?
Yes, certainly you should check your blood pressure quite often and contact your doctor in case of any problems or deviations in parameters. Norvasc and its active ingredient Amlodipine are very effective so they may have strong influence on cardio – vascular system and blood pressure, in particular. That is why constant blood pressure check is vitally important in order to avoid hypotension state.
What should I do in case of overdosing?
If you overdose you should contact your doctor or the emergency if the situation starts being severe. If you have severe short breathing, flashes, face redness or abnormal heart beat you should urgently apply for the medical help.
What should I do if I miss the dose?
Norvasc should be taken once a day. If you miss the time of the dose intake take the pill as soon as possible. However keep in mind that if more than 12 hour pass from the missed dose you should not take the pill and wait for the next intake.
Is Norvasc enough for the complete treatment of cardio – vascular disorders?
In some cases Norvasc is applied as a monotherapy. Nevertheless Norvasc is more effective as a part of the complex therapy. Such a therapy does not need to include only medications. It always includes correction of daily schedule and eating habits, physical activity and weight control. Complex therapy seems to be much more complicated, but it definitely brings good results.
Should I store Norvasc in fridge?
No, you don’t need to store it in the refrigerator. Norvasc is usually stored at room temperature and away from excessive moisture, heat or direct light.