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Norvasc for Blood Pressure
Norvasc, whose generic name is amlodipine besylate, has been approved for use to control high blood pressure and for heart disease treatment. Heart conditions treated by Norvasc are exercised-induced angina or vasospastic angina. Norvasc is also used for people who do not have heart failure but do have coronary artery disease.
Pfizer, Inc. was the first to market Norvasc under that name, but their patents have expired and several other pharmaceutical companies now manufacture the product under the Amlodipine name.
Norvasc works as a calcium channel blocker, which allows the blood vessels to relax and widen to allow the blood to flow freer. Norvasc only gives its maximum effect when it is taken regularly so that the blood levels remain constant. It is also important to take it at the same time each day.
There are three strengths of Norvasc produced for the general public, 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg. For most adult patients, the Norvasc dosage is set for 5 mg once per day when initially prescribed. This might be increased to 10 mg depending on the severity of the patient's illness.
Elderly patients or people with hepatic insufficiencies might begin with only 2.5 mg of Norvasc per day. Additionally, if a person is taking other hypertension medicines, the lower dose of Norvasc might be determined best to begin with. Children 17 and under often start with the lower dosage until they reach maturity, at which time Norvasc is increased if necessary.
Dosages of Norvasc should be adjusted to fit the needs of the patient. The titration should take one to two weeks to give the physician time for assessment of the patient's response to the varying amounts of Norvasc. This timeframe for adjustment to Norvasc may be cut short if the health of the patient warrants it.
Norvasc Side Effects
Some users experience dizziness or lightheadedness when they first begin to use Norvasc, but this is usually only for a short time. Alertness may be affected, and driving a car or using machinery is not recommended when Norvasc is taken for the first time.
Other side effects of Norvasc may include fatigue, stomach pain, muscle cramps, nausea, weakness, headaches, or drowsiness. If these symptoms persist or increase while using Norvasc, notify your doctor or pharmacist.
More serious side effects from Norvasc use should be reported to your doctor immediately. In some cases, Norvasc use may affect irregular heartbeat, swelling of the feet and hands, chest pains that are more severe or last longer, dark urine, trouble breathing, or yellowing eyes or skin.
Norvasc Drug Interaction
Before using Norvasc, tell your physician about all the drugs you take, prescription and nonprescription. High blood pressure medications, calcium, medications for chest pain, and even cold medicines or diet pills may have ingredients that will adversely affect the use of Norvasc.
Any drug that can affect blood pressure and heart rate can be detrimental to the use of Norvasc. Ask your druggist about over the counter meds that might be questionable. Do not start or stop taking any medications without approval from your doctor.
Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.
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