Norvasc is a medicine used to lower blood pressure; The active ingredient is amlodipine.

Norvasc® is a drug used to lower blood pressure.
The active ingredient is amlodipine. The active ingredient in Norvasc® amlodipine is a so-called calcium antagonist, also known as a calcium channel blocker.

Mechanism of action

The lowering of blood pressure by Norvasc® is achieved in that special calcium channelsthat are in the walls of the Blood vessels are blocked, i.e. prevented from doing their work. These channels are important for the Muscle cells can tense in the vessel walls. Are these channels blocked, the vessel walls relax and the vessels expand. This mechanism is particularly effective in the medium-sized arteries (also Arterioles called), i.e. in vessels that lead away from the heart. On the one hand, this directly reduces the blood pressure, since the same amount of blood flows through one larger vessel diameter can flow. It's like letting water flow from a straw into a garden hose. The pressure in the straw would be higher than in the garden hose. This is the case, albeit to a lesser extent, with the tense (straw) and relaxed (garden hose) blood vessels.

On the other hand, it must heart against less resistance pump. This means that the stress on the heart from the high pressure it has to work against is reduced.

Norvasc® also works very well on the blood vessels that supply the heart. These so-called "coronary vessels" supply the heart muscle itself with blood. If they are expanded, the blood flow to the heart increases.

What is Norvasc® used for?

Most commonly, Norvasc® is used for Lowering blood pressure used. This can be done either with Norvasc® alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents.

Another area of ​​application are different forms of chest tightness (Angina pectoris). Angina pectoris can be divided into a stable and an unstable form. In both cases, the vasodilator effects of Norvasc® are used to improve blood flow to the heart.

A final area of ​​application, but without official approval, is the treatment of painful vascular spasms in the Fingerswhich occur particularly in the cold. This disease is called Raynaud's disease, and often comes with people Scleroderma in front.

When should Norvasc® not be used?

Like all drugs, Norvasc® must not be used if one Allergy or intolerance against the active ingredient amlodipine or a substance contained in the drug is known.

In addition, Norvasc® must not be used if you have one before taking it very low blood pressure to have. The same applies to the extreme form of low blood pressure, the shockin which the heart cannot pump enough blood to supply the body adequately.

This also applies expressly if the Cause of shock one Heart failure is.

Even if the flow of blood from the heart is blocked, e.g. by a Narrowing of the valve between the heart and the main artery (Aortic stenosis), Norvasc® must not be taken. This is because the heart has to work a lot harder with an outflow obstruction in order to achieve an acceptable pressure behind the constriction.

In the first four weeks after a heart attack Norvasc® should not be taken.

At severe liver damage Norvasc® must not be taken as the drug will break down in the liver he follows.

How is Norvasc dosed?

Basically, you should take Norvasc® in the dosage that your doctor has prescribed.

However, the usual dosages are:

Usually you should start at the beginning 5 mg per day take in; to do this, a 5 mg tablet is taken once a day.
The daily dose can up to the desired effect up to a maximum of 10 mg per day increase.
In children of 6-17 years is the Starting dose 2.5 mg per day and can up maximum 5 mg increased per day.
At Kidney damage is not a reduction the dosage necessary. At Liver damage however, the dose should increased very slowly become. In the case of severe liver damage, Norvasc® must not be taken at all.

What are the side effects?

Here just be Side effects called that at least in 1/1000 of the patients occur. For a complete list, please read the package insert.

Occasionally the following side effects occur:

  • insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • depressions
  • Tremble
  • Taste disorders
  • brief fainting
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensory and visual disturbances
  • Shortness of breath
  • sniff
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Hair loss

Frequently the following side effects occur:

  • fast heartbeat, this can also be perceived as unpleasant ("palpitations")
  • Seizures of Chest tightness (Angina pectoris)
  • sleepiness
  • dizziness
  • a headache
  • Joint swelling
  • fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal complaints

Are there other agents with the same active ingredient or the same effect?

Yes, apart from Norvasc®, many other products from other companies contain the active ingredient amlodipine, including many manufacturers of generic drugs.

Besides amlodipine, there are many other active ingredients that are used to lower blood pressure. These include so-called ACE inhibitors such as. Ramipril, or also AT1 blocker how Valsartan.
These two groups of active ingredients can also be used together with Norvasc®.