When you must not take it
Do not take Norvapine if you have an allergy to:
- Norvapine, or any other medicine containing amlodipine (for example Norvasc)
- other calcium channel blockers such as medicines that contain felodipine, nifedipine or lercanidipine.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if you are taking any of these medicines.
- any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
- shortness of breath
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
- rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
- heart problems, including heart failure
- liver problems.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This medicine may affect your developing baby if you take it during pregnancy. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.
Do not breast-feed if you are taking this medicine. It is not known if the active ingredient in Norvapine passes into breast milk or if your baby may be affected.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you start taking Norvapine.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including:
- all prescription medicines
- all medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements or natural therapies you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket, naturopath or health food shop.
Some medicines may be affected by Norvapine or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor will advise you.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following:
- other medicines used to treat angina, such as diltiazem
- some antibiotics, such as erythromycin or rifampicin
- some antifungals, such as ketoconazole or itraconazole
- anti-proteases, medicines used to treat HIV infection, such as ritonavir
- simvastatin, a medicine used to lower cholesterol
- St John's Wort
- grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Norvapine.
Take Norvapine exactly as your doctor has prescribed.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How much to take
The usual dose of Norvapine is one 5 mg tablet each day. Your doctor may increase this to one 10 mg tablet each day.
Your doctor may prescribe another dose of Norvapine depending on your condition and how you respond to this medicine.
How to take it
Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water.
When to take it
Take your medicine at about the same time each day, either morning or evening. Taking it at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you remember when to take it.
Norvapine can be taken with or without food.
How long to take it
You must take Norvapine every day. Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
This medicine helps to control your condition, but does not cure it. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well.
If you forget to take it
If it is less than 12 hours before your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your medicine as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed. This may increase the chance of you getting an unwanted side effect.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre - the telephone number in Australia is 131 126 and in New Zealand is 0800 POISON or 0800 764 766 - for advice or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Norvapine.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too many tablets, you may feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint and have an irregular heartbeat.
Things you must do
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Norvapine.
If you are about to start any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Norvapine.
If you become pregnant while taking Norvapine, tell your doctor immediately.
Keep all of your doctor's appointments so that your progress can be checked. Your doctor may do some tests from time to time to make sure the medicine is working and to prevent unwanted side effects.
Things you must not do
Do not take Norvapine to treat any other conditions unless your doctor tells you to.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how Norvapine affects you.
Norvapine may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not drive, operate machinery or do anything else that could be dangerous.
Things that would be helpful for your high blood pressure or angina.
Some self-help measures suggested below may assist your condition. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you more information about these measures.
- Weight: Your doctor may suggest losing some weight. Some people may need a dietician to plan a suitable diet to help with weight loss.
- Exercise: Regular exercise helps lower blood pressure and strengthens the heart. It is important not to overdo it. Before commencing regular exercise you should consult your doctor who will suggest the most suitable exercise for you. If you feel uncomfortable when exercising or experience symptoms such as unusual chest pain or breathlessness see your doctor.
- Alcohol: Your doctor may advise you to limit your alcohol intake.
- Salt: Your doctor may advise you to watch the amount of salt in your diet. To reduce your salt intake you should avoid using salt at the table or in cooking.
- Smoking: Your doctor may advise you to stop smoking or at least cut down.
Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them. If you take your tablets out of the pack they may not keep as well.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.
Do not store Norvapine or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave your medicines on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep Norvapine where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Norvapine, or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any medicine that is left over.