Amlodipine

Norvasc™

What It's For & How To Take

Amlodipine relaxes the blood vessels in your heart as well as the rest of your body. Your heart rate may be decreased, and your heart will not need to work as hard to pump blood.

This medication is used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain.

Amlodipine is in a category of medications called calcium channel blockers.

Taking amlodipine on a regular basis will help decrease how often you have chest pain and how severe your chest pain attacks are.

If high blood pressure is not treated, your blood vessels will harden, and this will eventually lead to a heart attack or a stroke. High blood pressure may also cause vision problems, kidney failure and eventually heart failure.

Amlodipine is usually taken once daily. Your doctor may have you take this medication twice daily in some conditions.  Your dose may be slowly increased over a couple months. You may take this medication with or without food. Take amlodipine at the same time each day with a full glass of water.

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.

Keep using this medication, even if you don’t feel sick. You may need to treat your high blood pressure for many years.

Your blood pressure should be checked often to make sure the medication is working correctly.

Warnings & Cautions

  • Do not use amlodipine to treat a sudden attack of chest pain. Talk with your doctor about which medication to use to treat sudden chest pain.
  • Blood pressure medication may make you feel light-headed, dizzy, drowsy or blur your vision. Take it slow when you go from a sitting to standing position. Balance yourself to make sure you are stable before taking a step.
  • Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while taking amlodipine.
  • The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the drowsiness and dizziness.
  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking amlodipine.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if amlodipine is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don't take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any liver or kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, heart problems or a history of low blood pressure.
  • While taking this medication, you may feel light-headed, dizzy, nauseous, flushing and possibly a headache.  If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you feel any severe dizziness or fainting, very slow heartbeat, swelling in your feet or ankles, shortness of breath, or severe abdominal pain.
  • Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath, and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and confusion.
If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.