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Amlodipine (Norvasc) Side Effects, Dosage & Interactions

What is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

Amlodipine belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers (CCBs).

Why is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) prescribed to patients?

Chest pain or heart pain (angina) occurs because of insufficient oxygen delivered to the heart muscles. Insufficient oxygen may be a result of coronary artery blockage or spasm, or because of exertion which increases the need of the heart for oxygen in patients with coronary artery narrowing (coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis). Amlodipine is used for the treatment and prevention of angina resulting from coronary spasm as well as from exertion. Amlodipine also is used in the treatment of high blood pressure.

Do I need a prescription for amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?


Is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) available as a generic drug?


What are the side effects of amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

Side effects of amlodipine are generally mild and reversible. The two most common side effects are:

Other side effects include:

More serious side effects include:

Increase in the frequency and severity of angina or
heart attack
due to amlodipine happens on rare occasions in patients with severe coronary
artery disease when first starting amlodipine, or at the time of an increase in
Excessive lowering of blood pressure during initiation of amlodipine treatment can occur, especially in patients already taking other medications that lower blood pressure. In rare instances,
congestive heart failure has been associated with amlodipine,
particularly in patients already taking a
beta blocker.

What is the dosage for amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

The recommended starting dose of amlodipine for children and adults is 2.5 to 5 mg once daily. The maximum dose for adults is 10 mg once daily and the maximum dose for children is 5 mg once daily. Amlodipine can be taken with or without food. Amlodipine is inactivated mainly by the liver, and dosages may need to be lowered in patients with liver dysfunction.


Salt and sodium are the same.
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Which drugs or supplements interact with amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

Is amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

  • Generally, amlodipine is avoided in
    pregnancy, and by nursing mothers and children although there are no adequate studies of amlodipine use during pregnancy.
  • It is not known whether amlodipine is excreted in
    breast milk. Generally, amlodipine is avoided in pregnancy, and by nursing mothers and children.

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What else should I know about amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)?

What preparations of amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) are available?
  • Tablets: 2.5, 5, and 10 mg
How should I keep amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) stored?
  • Amlodipine should be stored at room temperature in a tight, light resistant container.
How does amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) work?
  • Calcium channel blocker medications block the transport of calcium into the smooth muscle cells lining the arteries of the heart (coronary arteries) and other arteries of the body. Since the action of calcium is important for muscle contraction, blocking calcium transport relaxes arterial muscles and expands (dilates) coronary arteries and other arteries of the body. By dilating coronary arteries, amlodipine increases the flow of blood to the heart and is useful in preventing heart pain (angina) resulting from reduced flow of blood to the heart caused by coronary artery spasm (contraction). Relaxing the muscles lining the arteries in the rest of the body lowers blood pressure, which reduces the work that the heart must do to pump blood to the body. Reducing the work of the heart also lessens the heart muscle’s need for oxygen, and thereby further helps to prevent angina in patients with
    coronary artery disease.
When was amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) approved by the FDA?
  • The FDA approved amlodipine in July 1992.

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