Amlodipine besylate (Norvasc®) can be prescribed for people with conditions affecting the cardiovascular system. In particular, it is commonly used for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart disease. At this time, there is only one form of amlodipine -- oral tablets that are typically taken once a day.
As part of a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers, amlodipine helps slow down the rate at which calcium moves into your heart and blood vessel walls. This effect helps to relax the vessels, which allows better blood flow and causes lower blood pressure. It also makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
The medicine decreases blood pressure, reducing the risks that can occur with long-term hypertension. In clinical studies, amlodipine oral tablets reduced systolic blood pressure by 12 points and diastolic blood pressure by 7 points (on average) in people with mild-to-moderate high blood pressure. In people with exercise-induced angina (chronic stable angina), taking amlodipine increased the amount of time they could exercise before chest pain occurred; for people with variant angina (Prinzmetal's angina), taking amlodipine decreased the number of angina attacks.
(Click Amlodipine for more information on how this medication works, suggestions on when and how to take amlodipine oral tablets, and what you should discuss with your healthcare provider before treatment begins.)