What Is Norvasc?
Norvasc is a prescription drug used to treat arterial hypertension, or high blood pressure. The brand name for amlodipine besylate. Norvasc has been indicated in coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with certain types of angina (chest pain) from (CAD) but without heart failure. It has been found to be effective in the various types of angina, viz: Activity and stressed-induced angina (chronic stable angina), and angina that occurs at resting state (Prinzmetal’s angina).
Norvasc, when taken regularly in compliance with the physician’s prescription can control angina, but it does not totally cure chest pain after it has already begun. The drug can also reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular events which are closely related to elevated blood pressure, such as strokes and heart attacks.
Amlodipine besylate belong to the class of drugs known as channel blockers, which shut the flow of calcium ions into heart muscles and the muscles lined along the walls of blood vessels. Norvasc relaxes and widens blood vessels which ultimately lead to the desired improvement in blood flow by lowering the contraction of these muscles.
Norvasc has also been implicated in the treatment of cluster headaches, migraines, congestive heart failure and Raynaud’s syndrome which is a blood vessel disorder.
Doctors also sometimes prescribe Norvasc “off-label” for the treatment of cluster headaches, migraines, Raynaud’s syndrome (a blood vessel disorder), and congestive heart failure.
Norvasc, manufactured by Pfizer was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987.
A study (PRAISE study) was carried out in the early 1990s, backed by Pfizer to determine if Norvasc could reduce the mortality rate in people with severe heart failure. Though the study had no significant benefit in severe heart failure patients, it is suggested that Norvasc might elongate the life of a subgroup of people down with heart failure but with no cardiac muscle damage.
The results of the study weren’t made available in the academic journal until 2013. This led to some experts asking questions as to wether pfizer deliberately stalled publication to prevent the data obtained from the study from being publicly available.
People who are sensitive to amlodipine should not take Norvasc.
Worsening of chest pain and heart attacks can develop after commencing or increasing the dose of the drug despite its implication in the treatment of angina. This is especially true for people with severe obstructive coronary artery disease.
Before starting Norvasc, inform your doctor about any episode of heart disease or liver problems in the past as you may require a tailored dosage regimen of Norvasc.
Norvasc is presented in three tablet sizes ( 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg, which should be taken once a day with or without food. Adults typically commence the regimen with a 5 mg dose, with a maximum dose of 10 mg. Adults who are fragile, small, geriatrics, or have liver problems may be placed on a 2.5 mg dose for start.
Children ages 6-17 may be started on a dose of 2.5 to 5 mg. A daily dose of over 5 mg has not been studied in children. The effect of Norvasc in children below 6byears has also not been demonstrated.
The overdose of Norvasc can result in severe hypotension , dizziness, fainting and rapid heartbeat. In any event of accidental poisoning or shortness of breath after taking Norvasc, call your doctor immediately.
Norvasc Side Effects
Common Side Effects of Norvasc
The most common side effect of Norvasc is swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs. Oedema is usually associated with high does of Norvasc.
Other side effects of Norvasc include:
Flushing (feeling of warmth)
Depression and anxiety
Difficulty in breathing
Contact your doctor if you experience any severe side effects.