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Why have I been prescribed NORVASC?

NORVASC has been prescribed to you for:

  • The treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension), or
  • The management of a type of chest pain called angina.

NORVASC can be used by itself or with other medicines to treat these conditions. For complete information, please refer to your NORVASC consumer information leaflet.

What is NORVASC?

NORVASC is a type of medicine known as a calcium channel blocker (CCB). It relaxes your blood vessels, which lets your blood flow more easily and helps lower your blood pressure. It also controls chest pain by improving the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart and by reducing its workload. 

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure or force of blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels (known as arteries).

When your blood pressure is measured, you get 2 numbers: 

  • The top number represents the pressure when your heart contracts and pushes blood out (systolic).
  • The bottom number represents the lowest pressure when the heart relaxes between beats (diastolic). Blood pressure levels are measured in mm Hg (millimetres of mercury).

What is considered normal blood pressure? Why is high blood pressure important?

If your blood pressure is consistently more than 135/85 mm Hg when measured in the doctor's office with an automated device, or when you measure at home (or more than 140/90 mm Hg when measured manually by your doctor) it is considered high. If you have diabetes, blood pressure above 130/80 mm Hg is considered high.

One out of five Canadians has high blood pressure, which has no warning signs or symptoms. 

Learn More: Taking this medication >

How much NORVASC should I take and how often?

The usual starting dose of NORVASC is 5 mg once a day. If needed, your doctor may increase your dose to a maximum of 10 mg once a day. 

What if I accidentally take too much NORVASC?

If you accidentally take too much NORVASC or overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms. 

What if I forget to take a dose of NORVASC?

If you miss taking your medicine, take it as soon you remember. But if it has been more than 12 hours since you missed your dose, skip the missed dose and just take the next dose at the usual time. Don't take a double dose. 

How do I check my blood pressure at home?

To check your blood pressure at home: 

  • Sit down in a quiet, comfortable place with no distractions or talking, so that you are calm and your blood pressure is not artificially raised
  • Put your arm on a table, and put the blood pressure cuff at the same height as your heart
  • Make sure you’re seated in a position with back support
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor, and don’t cross your legs
  • Take two measurements in the morning and two in the evening on the same arm and record the readings in a log.

Blood pressure levels are measured in mm Hg (millimetres of mercury or mm Hg). When written, systolic is the top number, and diastolic is the bottom. Your blood pressure should be less than 135/85 mm Hg when measured in the doctor's office with an automated device, or when you measure at home (or less than 140/90 mm Hg when measured manually by your doctor). If you have diabetes, it should be less than 130/80 mm Hg.

If you are planning to buy a home blood pressure monitor, before going to the pharmacy, measure the distance (the circumference) around the middle of your upper arm to make sure that you buy the correct size. Ask your pharmacist to help you choose the right size blood pressure cuff based on this measurement. Blood pressure monitors can be purchased in most pharmacies. 

How should I store NORVASC?

You should store NORVASC at room temperature (15-30°C). Protect it from light and keep it out of the reach and sight of children. 

Learn More: Safety information >

Is it okay to take other medicines while I am taking NORVASC?

Check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. Be sure to tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about all drugs you are taking, including drugs prescribed by other doctors, vitamins, minerals, natural supplements, or alternative medicines. Also mention if you drink alcoholic beverages.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while on NORVASC. 

Does NORVASC cause any side effects?

NORVASC can cause side effects in some people. 

What are some side effects of NORVASC?

Side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness, extreme sleepiness
  • Stomach pain, nausea
  • Dizziness

If any of these affect you severely, tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

How will I know if I am having an allergic reaction to NORVASC?

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

If you think you might be having an allergic reaction to NORVASC, stop taking the medication and seek immediate emergency medical help.

What else should I tell my doctor before taking NORVASC?

You should tell your doctor if you: 

  • Are currently taking other medications
  • Suffer from any other medical conditions such as liver or kidney problems, aortic stenosis (narrowing of a heart valve) or heart or blood vessel disease
  • Are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. NORVASC should not be used during pregnancy unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Are older than 65 years

NORVASC is not recommended for use in children less than 6 years of age.

When should NORVASC not be used?

Do not take NORVASC if you:

  • Are allergic to amlodipine (the active ingredient in NORVASC), or to the inactive ingredients in NORVASC.
  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to a similar type of drug.
  • Have very low blood pressure (less than 90 mmHg systolic)
  • Have been diagnosed with aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic heart valve).
  • Have been diagnosed with unstable heart failure after a heart attack.
  • Experience shock including cardiogenic shock.
  • Are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while taking NORVASC.
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