Amlodipine Besylate Tablets (Generic Norvasc)
Amlodipine (generic Norvasc) is a dihydropyridine medication classified under calcium channel blocker medication which is mainly used in the treatment of angina or chest pain and other conditions which are caused by the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries.
It can be administered as a single drug or combined with other medication to treat diseases such as hypertension, stroke and kidney conditions. It works by dilating blood vessels increasing the diameter of the arteries such that the blood can flow well without disruption. For the treatment of angina or chest pain, the dosage is 5-10 mg per day orally. For hypertension, it is given as a 5mg initial dose which is later titrated upwards by 2.5mg daily for every week taken. For coronary heart disease, amlodipine is given 5-10 mg daily. Amlodipine can be used to increase exercise tolerance and decrease the rate at which the chest pain occurs.
Amlodipine tablet is taken daily by mouth with or without food. However it is best if the drug is taken as prescribed by your physician. It is important not to skip days when taking the medicine to get the best out of the treatment and to manage the condition well.
The dosage of the medication depends on the condition you are suffering. Different conditions are managed using different dosage of the medication. A doctor or a physician prescribes the dosage according to the condition you are suffering
It is not an emergency medication for the treatment of angina or other conditions this is a long-term treatment medication. If you miss a day without taking the medication, you should inform your doctor immediately for further advice on how to go about the situation.
Like all the medication amlodipine also has side effects which may include: feeling dizzy, swelling ankles and face, flushing and feeling tired. You should immediately call a doctor if the chest pain is not improving even after taking the medication as well as if you experience worsening swelling in ankles, having a flutter or too much heart beating, feeling extremely light headed after taking the medication, having unusual sweating or having shortness of breath.
Some patients may have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, while others may have a general ill feeling after taking the medication. Other patients may experience a headache after taking the medication; the headache should resolve after sometime if it does not the patient needs to call a doctor. In some cases, the medicine may result in low blood pressure reflex tachycardia and arrhythmias.
Patients may have a hyper sensitive reaction immediately after being prescribed with this medication. Some of the allergic reactions include rash, feeling itchy, immediate swelling in the tongue, severe dizziness and trouble breathing. To avoid feeling dizzy the patient should take the medication while in a sitting position and relax some time before standing slowly. In case of these conditions happening, the patient should call a doctor for advice on the medication.
Several precautions should be considered before taking the medication. You should inform a prescribing professional if you are allergic to the drug or any medications such as nimodipine, nifedipine, and felodipine since they have the same mechanism of action. If you are allergic to some of the inactive ingredients in the formulation you need to inform your doctor as well.
You should also discuss your medical history with your doctor if you previously experienced any conditions such as hypotension, liver diseases, kidney diseases and blood vessels stenosis, especially carotid artery stenosis. After taking the medication it is recommended not to drive or operate any machinery as the drug can make you feel dizzy. Taking alcohol and amlodipine is not advised. You should seek advice from your doctor since alcohol may argument the dizziness and have a negative effect on you.
During pregnancy the medication ought to be avoided as much as possible. The Food Drug Administration classifies Amlodipine into category C meaning that the medicine can affect the pregnancy in different ways. If you are breastfeeding you should not be using this drug. This is because it can pass through the breast milk and have negative side effects on your child.
Precautions should be taken when doing exercise while using this medication as it may lead to excessive water loss through sweating which may lead to low blood pressure. You should have the exercise program to be approved by the doctor. You should be sure to follow the dosage which is prescribed and adhere to the diet or the restrictions you can have as it interacts with some food, products and substances.
Interaction can influence the effectiveness of treatment. There can be drug-drug interaction and food-drug interaction. Furthermore even some herbs interact with medication either reducing its efficacy or improve it.
To avoid drug-drug interactions all the patients’ medication should be managed by a doctor who has the knowledge of all possible interactions. You should be clear to tell the doctor all the medication you are currently taking to avoid any interaction which may be harmful.
Some of the drugs which interact with Amlodipine include heart medicines such as Diltiazem, Metoprolol, Losartan, Lyrica, Lasix, Benazepril; NSAIDs –Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Azole; antifungals – Ketoconazole, Itraconazole; antibiotics – Clarithromycin, Erythromycin; medication for maintaining erectile dysfunction such as Sildenafil citrate; cholesterol medication – Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, Lipitor; immunosuppressant medication – Cyclosporine. The medication also interacts with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C. Amlodipine also has food-drug interaction. It interacts with grapefruit juice and alcohol. You need always to discuss the medication you are taking with your doctor for a better advice.
Amlodipine overdose rarely cause severe symptoms but if you have taken an overdose of the medicine, call 911 for immediate assistance or the poison center by dialing 1-800-222-1222.