Norvasc is a brand name for the drug Amlodipine. It belongs to the group of drugs called “calcium channel blockers” or “calcium antagonists”.
Norvasc is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Its main action is to relax the arteries, letting the blood flow more freely; thereby lowering the blood pressure.
Read this leaflet carefully. It does not replace your doctor's or pharmacist's advice. They may have given you different instructions for your particular health condition. Be sure to follow their advice. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Do not decide on your own how to take Norvasc.
Before taking Norvasc
Be sure you have told your doctor:
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding.
- About all health problems you have or have had in the past.
- About all medicines you take, including ones you can buy without a prescription.
- If you visit more than one doctor make sure that each knows about all the medicines you are taking.
- If you are allergic to “nonmedicinal” substances like food products, preservatives, or dyes, which may be present in Norvasc tablets.
- If you have ever had a bad, unusual or allergic reaction to “felodipine”.
Remember to get a new prescription from your doctor or a refill from your pharmacy a few days before all 30 tablets are taken.
How to Take Norvasc
- Take Norvasc exactly as your doctor tells you. Do not miss doses or take extra doses, unless your doctor tells you. If you are not clear about the directions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Norvasc is taken once a day. Even if your doctor has prescribed 2 tablets a day, both should be taken at the same time, unless otherwise indicated.
- Try to take Norvasc with something you do regularly each day; for example, upon waking or at breakfast. This will help you remember each dose.
- Norvasc may be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
- Grapefruit juice increases the amount of Norvasc in your body and should be avoided.
- Swallow Norvasc whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, chew, break or suck on the tablets.
- Do not transfer Norvasc to other pill containers. To protect your Norvasc tablets, keep them in the initial Compliance Pack.
If you Miss a Dose: If you miss a dose of Norvasc and remember within 12 hours, you should take your usual dose as soon as possible. Then go back to your regular schedule. But if it is more than 12 hours when you remember, do not take the missed dose. Just take the next dose on time.
Never take a double dose of Norvasc to make up for missed tablets. If you are still unsure, check with your doctor check with your doctor or pharmacist to see what you should do.
Along with its effects on controlling blood pressure, Norvasc , like any medication, may include side effects.
Some side effects may occur when Norvasc is first started or when the dose is increased. These side effects are usually mild and should go away as your body gets used to Norvasc.
It is important that you keep your doctor informed of all side effects, especially if you experience any of the following for more than a week:
- swelling of the ankles;
- flushing or a feeling of warmth;
- a racing heartbeat;
- unusual tiredness.
Medicines affect different people in different ways. Just because side effects have occurred in other patients does not mean you will get them. Discuss how you feel on Norvasc with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not stop taking Norvasc on your own.
A few patients report mild tenderness or swelling of their gums while taking Norvasc. This effect can be prevented with good dental care. Brush your teeth carefully and often with a soft toothbrush, and use dental floss daily.
Massaging your gums regularly with a soft toothbrush will also help. If your gums become tender, red or swollen be sure to tell your doctor or dentist.
Other side effects have been reported in a few cases. These include tingling in the hands, arms, feet or legs, stomach upset and diarrhea. Again, if any of these effects bother you, be sure to tell your doctor.
You should be certain to contact your doctor immediately if you experience anything unusual.
- Keep Norvasc out of sight and out of the reach of children. Never take medicine in front of small children as they will want to copy you.
- Unused medicines which you know you will no longer need should be carefully discarded. Small quantities may be disposed of in the toilet or you may wish to seek advice from your pharmacist.
- The Compliance Pack protects each tablet. When you first open the package, if you find any damage to the plastic seal or foil which exposes the tablet, ask your pharmacist to check the package.
- Check with your doctor if you want to drink alcohol (including wine with your meals) while you are Norvasc. Drinking alcohol while on Norvasc may make you feel dizzier than usual. Alcohol may also cause an uncomfortable drop in blood pressure.
- Remember, you may not notice any signs of high blood pressure. Therefore it is important to take Norvasc even when you feel well. A constant amount of drug is needed in your body to control your blood pressure. Do not stop taking Norvasc on your own.
How to Store Norvasc
Although the Norvasc tablets are protected in this Compliance Pack, it is best to keep the package at normal room temperature and in a dry place. Do not keep Norvasc in the bathroom. Keep Norvasc out of the reach of children. Do not keep or use Norvasc after the expiry date indicated on the Compliance Pack.
All drugs can have both helpful and harmful effects. Both depend on the person and his or her health condition. This leaflet alerts you to some of the times you should call your doctor. Other situations which cannot be predicted may arise. Nothing in this leaflet should stop you from calling your doctor or pharmacist with any questions or concerns you have about Norvasc.