amlodipine (generic name)

Norvasc (brand name)

It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells
(am LOE di peen)
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What is this medicine?

AMLODIPINE (am LOE di peen) is a calcium-channel blocker. It affects the amount of calcium found in your heart and muscle cells. This relaxes your blood vessels, which can reduce the amount of work the heart has to do. This medicine is used to lower high blood pressure. It is also used to prevent chest pain.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • heart problems like heart failure or aortic stenosis
  • liver disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to amlodipine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take the tablets with or without food. Do not change the amount of grapefruit juice you drink from day to day while taking this drug, or avoid grapefruit juice altogether. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take more medicine than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. This medicine has been used in children as young as 6.

Persons over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction to this medicine and need smaller doses.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • herbal or dietary supplements
  • local or general anesthetics
  • medicines for high blood pressure
  • medicines for prostate problems
  • rifampin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Check your blood pressure and pulse rate regularly. Ask your health care professional what your blood pressure and pulse rate should be, and when you should contact him or her.

This medicine may make you feel confused, dizzy or lightheaded. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not sit or stand up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Avoid alcoholic drinks; they can make you more dizzy.

Do not suddenly stop taking amlodipine. Ask your doctor or health care professional how you can gradually reduce the dose.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • changes in vision or hearing
  • chest pain
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • swelling of legs or ankles

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • dry mouth
  • facial flushing
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stomach gas, pain
  • tired, weak
  • trouble sleeping

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Protect from light. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: February 27, 2009
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