Apr 13, 2023




Norvasc Vs. Amlodipine Besylate: What You Need to Know

High Blood Pressure

If you're among the millions of people in the U.S. suffering from high blood pressure, you may be familiar with Norvasc and amlodipine besylate. Doctors commonly prescribe these two drugs to help lower and manage blood pressure levels. 

However, with both of these medications featuring the same active ingredient, amlodipine, it might be confusing to know which option is best. 

We'll break down Norvasc and Amlodipine Besylate to help you better understand the benefits, potential side effects, and key differences between the two medications so that you can make a more informed decision with your doctor. 

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What is Norvasc?

Norvasc, a calcium channel blocker, is a brand-name medication that contains the active ingredient amlodipine. These drugs block calcium entry into the blood vessels and heart muscles. As a result, they reduce the heart's workload while enabling blood to flow more easily throughout the body. 

What is amlodipine besylate?

Amlodipine besylate is a salt form of the active ingredient amlodipine and the generic version of Norvasc. 

Like Norvasc, amlodipine besylate is a calcium channel blocker, providing the same benefits to blood pressure levels and promoting easier blood flow. 

What do these medications treat?

Most commonly prescribed for hypertension (high blood pressure), both Norvasc and amlodipine besylate are also used to treat certain heart conditions, such as angina (stable or variant angina) and angiographically documented coronary artery disease (CAD). 

Side effects

Norvasc and Amlodipine Besylate have similar side effects. The most common side effects include:

  • Dizziness

  • Drowsiness

  • Flushing 

  • Fatigue 

  • Stomach pain

  • Nausea

Although rare, both medications may have serious side effects, such as:

  • Allergic reactions like difficulty breathing 

  • Worsening chest pain

  • Swelling in the feet and ankles (edema)

  • Pounding heartbeats

  • Fluttering in the chest

  • Severe drowsiness or lightheadedness 

If you experience any of the above, you should immediately seek medical attention. 


Norvasc is approved only for use in humans whereas amlodipine besylate can be given to humans and animals. 

Dosage and Administration

Norvasc and amlodipine besylate are available in tablet form, ranging from 2.5mg to 10mg. They are taken orally, once daily, with or without food, as directed by your doctor. Norvasc is also available in a liquid form, while amlodipine besylate is only available in regular tablet form. 


The cost of Norvasc and amlodipine besylate is another factor you'll want to consider. Because generic drugs are cheaper than their brand-name counterparts, amlodipine besylate is often the most affordable option for most people, especially those who may not have insurance or insurance that only covers the generic version.  

Find out if you should use your insurance or discount pharmacy card here

Norvasc vs. Amlodipine besylate- Which Should I Take?

While both these medications effectively treat high blood pressure, it is vital to consult your doctor to help you decide which will work best for your needs.

Since either medicine may have an adverse effect when taken with other drugs and supplements, always share your current list of medications with your healthcare provider. You should also disclose your medical history, as Norvasc and amlodipine besylate may not be suitable for people with certain pre-existing heart conditions, low blood pressure, or liver disease.

Final thoughts 

Norvasc and amlodipine besylate are both amlodipine drugs used to treat high blood pressure. They have similar active ingredients and side effects. The significant differences between the two are their varying prices and the different forms they come in. 

Always consult your doctor before changing or starting a new medication or dosage. They will evaluate your condition and provide the best treatment options for you.

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What is Norvasc, and how does it differ from amlodipine besylate?

Norvasc is a brand-name medication containing the active ingredient amlodipine. Amlodipine besylate is the generic version of Norvasc. Both are calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure. The main difference lies in branding, with Norvasc being the brand-name drug.

Can amlodipine besylate be used for animals, and what's the recommended dosage?

Yes, amlodipine besylate is suitable for both humans and animals. The recommended dosage ranges from 2.5mg to 10mg, administered orally once daily. It's crucial to consult with a veterinarian for animal-specific dosing instructions.

Are there significant side effects of Norvasc and amlodipine besylate?

Both medications share similar side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness, flushing, and stomach pain. Serious side effects like difficulty breathing or severe drowsiness are rare but require immediate medical attention. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Is amlodipine besylate a cost-effective alternative to Norvasc?

Yes, amlodipine besylate is often more affordable as a generic option. Generic drugs are generally cheaper than brand-name counterparts. Consider discussing cost considerations with your healthcare provider, especially if you have insurance limitations.

How should I choose between Norvasc and amlodipine besylate for treating high blood pressure?

Consult your doctor to determine the most suitable option for your needs. Discuss your medical history and current medications, as these can impact the choice. Both medications effectively treat high blood pressure, and your healthcare provider will guide you based on your specific health conditions.

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