Norvasc (Amlodipine Besylate) is a prescription medication typically used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina, a type of chest pain.
If you or someone you know is suffering from high blood pressure or chest pain, Norvasc may be able to help.
Use the below information as a guide to help you determine if it is the proper medication for you, but always consult with your physician before starting any new medicines.
What is hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. It's normal for our blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day.
Affecting over half of adults in the US, hypertension occurs when your blood pressure is higher than normal for an unusual amount of time.
Symptoms of hypertension
Hypertension/high blood pressure is often called "the silent killer" because it has no signs or symptoms. However, some people may experience:
Severe headaches or nosebleeds (usually only during a hypertensive crisis)
Blood in the urine
Because these symptoms are typical with many other health conditions, you should have your blood pressure checked by a healthcare professional. Consult with your doctor on how often.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a hypertensive crisis, you should call 911 right away.
Causes and complications of hypertension
Certain conditions and lifestyle choices put you at risk of developing high blood pressure. These risks include:
Unhealthy diet, including too much salt and not enough potassium
Lack of physical activity
Excessive alcohol consumption
Without properly managing high blood pressure, the excessive force will cause damage to your blood vessels as well as lead to other severe health complications.
Weakened, constricted blood vessels in your kidneys, leading to kidney failure
Restricted or torn blood vessels in the eyes and vision loss
Memory loss or trouble understanding
What is angina?
Angina(angina pectoris) is a type of chest pain.
There are two types of angina:
Stable angina – Triggered by something like exercise or stress and stops with a few minutes of rest.
Unstable angina- Unexpected pains even at rest and often not triggered by anything.
While stable angina is the most common, it's often confused with other chest pain types, like indigestion or a heart attack.
If you're experiencing chest pain, you should seek medical attention right away.
Symptoms of angina
While the pain can feel different from person to person, chest pain is the most common sign of angina.
Symptoms of angina include:
Aching, burning, squeezing, or discomfort feeling in the chest
A fullness feeling in your chest
Heaviness or pressure in the chest
Shortness of breath
Complications and causes of angina
A sign of heart disease, angina, happens when blood flow to your heart is reduced due to the build-up of fatty substances. Blockage in the arteries can occur because of:
Lack of physical activity
Family history of atherosclerosis or heart problems
Angina can lead to unstable angina, heart attack, or even death if left untreated.
What is Norvasc, and how does it work?
Norvasc is a tablet-form calcium channel blocker (CCB) approved to treat hypertension and angina in people ages six and up. It relaxes the blood vessels for those with hypertension, allowing the blood to flow more easily and lowering blood pressure. This drug can also help reduce chest pain caused by angina.
How do you use Norvasc to treat hypertension and angina?
Norvasc is taken by the mouth with or without food. Dosing options for Norvasc are available in 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg. Never take more or less than prescribed.
There is a liquid form available of Norvasc for children and those who have trouble swallowing pills.
It is essential to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new prescription medication. Always follow the recommendations of your health care provider, and use Norvasc as instructed and as per the directions on the prescription label.
What are the potential side effects of Norvasc?
It is possible to experience side effects when using Norvasc. Call your doctor if any of these symptoms don't go away or get worse.
Common side effects include:
Swelling in the legs or ankles
Pain in the stomach
Feeling flushed (warm feeling in your face)
Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or fast heartbeat (palpitations)
Abnormal muscle movement or tremors
Serious side effects can also occur. If you experience any allergic reactions, hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek medical attention immediately. You shouldn't take Norvasc if you are allergic to amlodipine or any of the inactive ingredients. Your doctor or pharmacist can provide you with a list of all ingredients.
Seek emergency medical treatment right away if you experience:
Signs of a heart attack
Increased or worsening symptoms of angina
Before starting Norvasc, you should disclose all medications you take, including supplements and your health history, to your healthcare provider.
Norvasc may be the best treatment for you or someone you know who suffers from hypertension or angina.
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