The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved amlodipine besylate (Norvasc®) to treat conditions related to the heart and blood vessels. In particular, it is licensed to treat high blood pressure and heart disease, including angina and coronary artery disease in people who do not have heart failure.
Amlodipine pills are taken by mouth, typically once a day. It is best to take the medicine at the same time each day to maintain an even level in your blood. You can take your dose either with food or on an empty stomach.
By decreasing blood pressure, amlodipine reduces the risks that can occur with long-term hypertension. In clinical studies, the medication 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 pills increased the amount of time they could exercise before chest pain occurred. For people with variant angina (Prinzmetal's angina), the medication decreased the number of angina attacks.
(Click Amlodipine for more information on when and how to take amlodipine pills, potential side effects to be aware of, and what you should discuss with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.)