7 Things to know about Norvasc
What is Norvasc?
Norvasc is the brand name for Amlodipine. It falls under a category of medication called calcium channel blockers.
Norvasc is primarily a white crystalline powder that is available in white tablets and capsule forms. They are released to the market in three quantities: 2.5mg, 5mg and 10 mg.
Norvasc is also in the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. It lists the most effective and reliable drugs needed in the health-care system.
According to a source on the internet, Norvasc was the 5th most prescribed medication in the United States, with prescriptions of over 75 million.
Pfizer Laboratories manufacture Norvasc.
Why is Norvasc used?
This is a medication that is used to treat several medical conditions such as the ones mentioned below.
- Hypertension- The term that doctors use for high blood pressure.
- Coronary Artery Disease- This is developed when the major blood vessels (coronary arteries) become damaged and inflamed as a result of deposits that contain cholesterol.
- Angina- This is severe pain in the chest that is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. It is an early sign of Coronary Artery Disease.
How is This used?
According to FDA’s prescribing information leaflet, the following doses should be administered.
- For children aged from 6 years up to 17 years, it is recommended to administer a dose between 2.5mg to 5mg once a day.
It is important to note that doses that exceed 5mg have not been tested in child patients yet.
- For an adult, the recommended starting dose is 5mg once daily with a maximum dose of 10mg once daily.
- For elderly patients and people with liver failure, the recommended starting dose is 2.5mg once daily.
Norvasc is taken by mouth. It only affects one day.
It can be administered with or without food.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But never take treatment if it has been more than 12 hours since you missed the last dose.
Never take two doses at once.
What are the side effects of Norvasc?
The most common side effects are the ones that are related to the dosage.
- Oedema- This can be described as a swelling which is resulted by the excess fluid trapped in the tissues of your body. Oedema can more commonly be observed in hands, legs, ankles, arms and feet.
- Flushing- This relates to a hot or warm feeling in the face that results in redness.
- Heart palpitations- These are rapid, strong and irregular heartbeats.
The less common side effects include,
- Stomach pain
- Extreme sleepiness
If a person experiences any irritating side effects such as the ones mentioned above, they should consult their physician about changing medication.
What are some of the medications that react with Norvasc?
- Simvastatin- When multiple doses of 10mg of Norvasc is administered together with 80mg Simvastatin, the exposure to Simvastatin inpatient is increased by 77%. Therefore, it is recommended to limit the dose of Simvastatin to 20mg when both drugs are administered together.
- CYP3A4 inhibitors- CYP3A4 is one of the most widespread CYP enzymes in the liver. Medications that can inhibit these enzymes are prone to react with Norvasc. Examples of these medications include amiodarone, erythromycin, fluconazole, miconazole and diltiazem.
It is important to note that this list does not include all the medications that interact with Norvasc. For more information, you can consult a physician or a pharmacist.
What happens if you experience an overdose of Norvasc and what steps should be taken to reverse the damage?
An overdose of Norvasc may lead to a widening of blood vessels which might result in a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate.
A patient with an overdose of Norvasc should immediately be subjected to active cardiac and respiratory monitoring. The patient should also be submitted to frequent measurements of blood pressure. If low blood pressure persists, cardiovascular support should be provided including elevated limbs and sensible provision of fluids. If blood pressure remains unresponsive to any of these measures, a vasopressor should be administered. A vasopressor is a drug which narrows down the blood vessels to increase blood pressure.
Precautions you should take while administering Norvasc
- Do not breastfeed. It is not tested whether Norvasc can pass with breast milk.
- Stop administering Norvasc if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
- It is not advisable to start non-prescription medicines or supplements while you are administering Norvasc without consulting your physician first.
- Never decide for yourself whether or not you should administer Norvasc. Your doctor will determine that for you.