Discussions that mention norvasc

High & Low Blood Pressure board


Hi - I have read old posts about ankle and leg swelling, depression, etc. caused by Amlodipine from 2006 and 2007. I have hypertension and had been taking Enalapril and HCTZ. Last year my systolic B/P went up, and my doctor gave me Norvasc to try to lower it. I tried 5 mg. but right away my legs started swelling; so we switched to 1/2 pill daily. That worked for a while; but then my systolic again began to rise, and I started taking the 5 mg. pill. This caused terrible swelling and tingling in my legs, so I tried taking 1/2 pill in the morning and 1/2 at night.My blood pressure has stayed down. However, my feet, ankles and legs still swell - more than they ever have. I have put in a call to my doctor's office regarding this, but I would like to know whether anyone else had recently had this problem. (who knows when they will call me back!) My ankles go down overnight; but the minute I start walking they swell again. I'm afraid to just stop taking the Amlodipine cold turkey. Has anyone done that? Should I ask to raise the HCTZ dosage?
Thanks for any help anyone can give me. :confused:
Hi again,
My doctor's office just called and said to discontinue taking the Norvasc . They have called in a prescription for Bistolic. I have tried to find information about this drug, and all I could find was that it is for hypertension and was just approved by the FDA in November, 2007. Has anyone heard of this drug?
Thanks.:( Mabent
Hi Flowergirl! Thanks for answering my posts. I did stop taking Norvasc and have been taking my B/P daily a.m. and p.m. Since the readings have not been high (I also take 10 mg. Enalapril and 5 mg. HCTZ daily), I have not started the Bystolic yet. I had them fill only part of my prescription to see if I will be able to take the Bystolic, since I have been reading many pros and cons about this new drug. I had a problem finding it because I was spelling it incorrectly!
I do not want to become paranoid about B/P readings, but I did buy a new machine because I wasn't sure that my wrist readings were accurate. Do you think that the amlopidine stays in a person's system for a while after he/she stops taking it?
When I do start taking the Bystolic, I plan to only take 1/4 pill and gradually increase it. What dosage of these drugs do you take? I tend to believe some of the opinions of website "doctors" who say that 120/80 is too low a reading to expect of everyone. I'm happy if mine stays below 140/80.
Thanks again for the info you sent. The edema disappeared the day after I stopped taking the Amlipodine. Atherosclerosis is a very common health problem in my family history, so I'm sure that's a big part of my problem! I also have varicose veins and have DDD. Hope you're doing better.

Take care! Mabent :)
Hi,

I am so glad to hear you have purchased a new blood pressure monitor. They say that the wrist monitors are inaccurate as far as the bp readings go, and it is recommended (NOT by their manufacturers, of course, but by the medical community) that they not be used for blood pressure monitoring.

The addition of Bystolic to your drug therapy could be good for you. Beta blockers are not so bad in low doses. Combining several medications in low doses can be more effective than taking fewer meds in high doses. When different classes of meds are combined, they enhance each others' effectiveness, so that people get better results with fewer side effects. Exceeding the maximum therapeutic dose of certain antihypertensives will not result in a further blood pressure lowering effect, only more side effects.

Your new third generation beta blocker, Nebivolol (Bystolic), is supposed to be better in terms of fewer side effects, and have little or no effect on exercise tolerance. There is a thread about it on this board by ACE. You should read it. It has been used in Europe since 1995 for hypertension and stable CHF but has only recently been approved for use here. There's a good chance it will be approved for indications other than hypertension in the very near future as well. Do not be afraid to try it. 1/4 of a pill is very little and should not affect you much.

You asked how much of these meds I take. I take 20 mg of an ACE inhibitor Ramipril, 25mg Hctz, 10mg Norvasc, 25mg of another diuretic and currently only 5mg of my beta blocker, because I don't tolerate large doses of beta blockers very well. My blood pressure is well controlled right now. I hope you won't have any problems with Bystolic and will be able to reduce your blood pressure to 120/80. It can be done! :) The CCB should be out of your system completely within about 7 days after discontinuing it, depending on your dose, the length of time you took it and other factors.

take care,
flowergirl
Hi Mabent,

I also take BYSTOLIC. As I mentioned in previous posts, the first few weeks of side effects ranged from tiredness to occassional joint/knee pain. These mild side effects will probably get better as your body adjust to the medication. Remember, all medications have side effects. As patients, we need to determine (along with our doctor) the medication which best agrees with us. BYSTOLIC is probably the best beta-blocker when it comes to heart rate control. Currently, my doctor has me only on BYSTOLIC 5mg and no other blood pressure medications, (to see if my numbers continue to improve). He said this pill is like no other HBP med.or beta blocker avaliable because it targets critical cardio-functions, increases blood flow, benefits platelet function, increases Nitric Oxide production, Vasodilates blood vessels, works within calcium (Ca) channels, calms the heart rate, relaxes the system, improves sexual function, and like other beta blockers or ace inhibitors, works to benefit the Angiotensin system.

It appears that if a pill can target all these supposed "beneficial critical areas" and provide a vasodilatory effect, why should we be taking a Calcium Blocker such as NORVASC to provide vasodilation. NORVASC/Amlodipine is notorious for causing flushing, swollen limbs, edema (face swelling), and palpitations. Ace Inhibitors also provide vasodilation without the high rate of leg edema, and have also been proven to prevent strokes and MI. The main problem with the Ace Inhibitor is a dry cough, which effects about 25 % of us.

I think your doctor made a good choice to prescribe BYSTOLIC. I don't believe you will have the side effects you had with NORVASC, but keep in mind that everyone reacts to medications differently. The things to watch for with this Class of medications (beta blockers) are change in lipids (cholesterol/trigs), Glucose numbers and weight gain. Even though the drug makers make claim to the contrary, the jury is still out. Some years ago on these same boards, DIOVAN was touted as the greatest HBP medication ever with the least side effects, after about 2 years when all the side effects appeared evident, the story changed. The main difference with this pill (BYSTOLIC) though, is this class of medication (along with diuretics) have been around for over 40 years, with a proven track record. It is still a beta blocker with added properties. DIOVAN and COZAAR were a new breed of drugs to imitate ACE INHIBITORS but without the cough.

P.S. I hope this information on BYSTOLIC makes you feel better.
Hi Ace!
Your post did ease my doubts about Bystolic, and I thank you very much!
I hadn't realized that it had been used in Europe for many years before being approved by the FDA. I started taking 1/2 pill morning and evening two days ago. It does make me feel tired, and I'm hoping that the tiredness will disappear in time. I certainly do not want to gain weight, so I'll watch for that. I am especially happy that you found that it doesn't cause ankle-swelling. That was a terrible side effect with Norvasc! I could take 1/2 tablet of Norvasc with no problem, but when I started taking the whole 5 mg. tablet my ankles felt as if they would blow up!!! I sure hope Bystolic will work for me as well as it does for you. As I said before, I also take Vasotec and Hydrochlorthiazide. Does Bystolic also lower your diastolic B/P as well as your Systolic? Do you think that you will eventually be able to stop taking it? How long have you been taking it, and how much have your readings improved? Thanks. Mabent:)
[QUOTE=flowergirl2day;3657158]Hi,
"
"I am so glad to hear you have purchased a new blood pressure monitor. They say that the wrist monitors are inaccurate as far as the bp readings go, and it is recommended (NOT by their manufacturers, of course, but by the medical community) that they not be used for blood pressure monitoring.

The addition of Bystolic to your drug therapy could be good for you. Beta blockers are not so bad in low doses. Combining several medications in low doses can be more effective than taking fewer meds in high doses. When different classes of meds are combined, they enhance each others' effectiveness, so that people get better results with fewer side effects. Exceeding the maximum therapeutic dose of certain antihypertensives will not result in a further blood pressure lowering effect, only more side effects.

Your new third generation beta blocker, Nebivolol (Bystolic), is supposed to be better in terms of fewer side effects, and have little or no effect on exercise tolerance. There is a thread about it on this board by ACE. You should read it. It has been used in Europe since 1995 for hypertension and stable CHF but has only recently been approved for use here. There's a good chance it will be approved for indications other than hypertension in the very near future as well. Do not be afraid to try it. 1/4 of a pill is very little and should not affect you much."
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Hi Flowergirl and Macheon,
I am doing well so far on Bystolic. I am assuming that Norvasc is working well for you, which is great. You, Macheon, and Ace have given me very useful information about Bystolic, and I certainly do appreciate receiving it. It's so scary to start a new medicine.
Macheon - I am very impressed with the way you have studied the effects of different drugs on your body and have been able to correct your various health problems! You must also have a great doctor! I know that exercise and weight are very important in controlling hypertension. Also important, of course are health habits, such as smoking (I was a heavy smoker for a long time, but haven't smoked for 20 years). What changes did you make to help lower your B/P besides taking the drugs? :) Mabent
[QUOTE=mabent;3664971]Hi Ace!
Your post did ease my doubts about Bystolic, and I thank you very much!
I hadn't realized that it had been used in Europe for many years before being approved by the FDA. I started taking 1/2 pill morning and evening two days ago. It does make me feel tired, and I'm hoping that the tiredness will disappear in time. I certainly do not want to gain weight, so I'll watch for that. I am especially happy that you found that it doesn't cause ankle-swelling. That was a terrible side effect with Norvasc! I could take 1/2 tablet of Norvasc with no problem, but when I started taking the whole 5 mg. tablet my ankles felt as if they would blow up!!! I sure hope Bystolic will work for me as well as it does for you. As I said before, I also take Vasotec and Hydrochlorthiazide. Does Bystolic also lower your diastolic B/P as well as your Systolic? Do you think that you will eventually be able to stop taking it? How long have you been taking it, and how much have your readings improved? Thanks. Mabent:)


Mabent,

I started Bystolic approx. 5 months ago. (At the time I was also taking a pill similar to Vasotec called Aceon). When my knees began to develop sharp pains (after about 3-4 weeks on Bystolic) I called my doctor and he switched me to another beta-blocker called Zebeta (Bisoprolol). My occasional knee pains disappeared, but I began getting these skipped heart beats, a little shortness of breath and feeling run-down after doing my usual chores.

I had to choose which pill side-effect I can live with better. I decided to give Bystolic another chance, besides it is hard to judge a pill and give it a fair chance unless you give it at least a few months. Often times, side effects can improve. On my last checkup my blood pressure was 130/85 taking only 5 mg of Bystolic. My mail-in pharmacy had phoned me about 3 weeks earlier to inform me that my Aceon prescription would no longer be available. So I continued taking only 5 mg of Bystolic, till I could speak to my doctor for an alternate medication. On my last visit July 9th, he told me to only take the 5mg of Bystolic and did not give me any other medications.

Aside from tiredness/fatigue, My knee pains have disappeared, I can perform all my daily chores without the heavy-leg feeling and my blood pressure numbers are pretty good. My last cholesterol test was much improved from my earlier readings in May. Sometimes things appear to get worse before they get better. In comparison tests, Bystolic was better than alot of other pill choices in lowering both Systolic and Diastolic pressure, but I think the Diastolic lowering is stronger.

P.S. Mabent, Unless your blood pressure numbers are really high, I mean (160/110+) I think that 3 medications is a bit excessive. Unless your doctor insists or their are special considerations. Beta blockers such as Bystolic, Toprol etc. work great with just a mild diurectic such as Hydrochlorthiazide. Vasotec works better with Norvasc (Calcium blockers). You mentioned, "When can we stop taking taking these pills?" I think to start, we should begin by eliminating one pill at a time, and try to be on the lowest dosage of only one pill. Ask your doctor if you can try the Bystolic and Hydrochlorthiazide (only) before your next appointment. This makes it easier to isolate pill side effects.

Drop the VASOTEC (if he allows). Apparently, either the NORVASC or VASOTEC were causing leg-swelling problems.

I hope this information was useful..
Hi Ace and everyone,
I want to bring you up-to-date on my progress with Bystolic. I have been taking it for over a week, and so far I haven't had any ill effects from it.
At first, it made me feel kind of nauseated, and I also felt anxious. But now those symptoms have disappeared. Bystolic certainly is superior to Norvasc for me; my leg tingling and swelling have improved tremendously! However, my blood pressure is higher! Can't have everything, right? :(
Ace - you mentioned that perhaps I could try to stop taking the Vasotec (with my doctor's approval). For many years I was doing really well when taking only HCTZ and Vasotec Then suddenly the systolic reading went to 150 from 120, and that's when I started taking Norvasc.
My b/p went up to 171/70 when I first switched to Bystolic. Since then it has averaged around 149/66. With the Norvasc it was 120/60 usually; but, as I said, my legs really ached and were very edematous. I have no idea what my blood pressure reading would be if I took no drugs. It has gradually escalated as the years have gone by.
Since starting the Bystolic, I've tried taking my b/p lying down with a wrist monitor and then also sitting up. Have you ever tried that? I spent time (way too much!!) searching for articles, etc., and some said that wrist monitors are worthless while others said they're accurate. I have a regular arm monitor but am not sure it is calibrated correctly. My next appointment with my doctor isn't until October, so I'll have to find a reliable place to have the monitors checked. I'm thinking that all this is a waste of time! I certainly don't want to become paranoid! (or am I already there??).
I have read some of your earlier posts about your experiences with Bystolic.
You surely have given it a good try. You're right - we just have to put up with some of the side effects of these drugs because all of them have at least one side effect. I'm hoping that Bystolic won't cause my cholesterol to go up!
Thanks again to you and everyone for all the information you've given me. Hope you continue to do well. :) Mabent
Macheon - I just noticed that you are taking Coreg as one of the drugs for your hypertension. I really admire the way you have studied and learned about how your body reacts to different medicines, foods, etc!
Is there a specific reason that you or your doctor chose Coreg? It seems that you are doing well taking it. I plan to give Bystolic a little more time to start working; but I have only had one reading which was the least bit satisfactory - 129/66. I do agree that it's much better to have readings below 120/70, and up until a few months ago, I was doing well on Vasotec and HCTZ. Then suddenly my pressure went up to 150 +. although the diastolic stayed low. I had always had some tingling in my legs, but usually only when I had stood for long periods of time. But it was when the Norvasc was prescribed that the edema and burning started. Now with the Bystolic I still have some burning sensations but no edema - so that part is fine. However, my blood pressure is back up to 150 and 160, and the diastolic pressure is also starting to go up! Also, I take the Bystolic at night because it makes me tired; and I have not been sleeping well since I started it.
Did or do you have any side effects from the Coreg? Does it come in generic form? My Bystolic pills cost over $2 each! and so far my insurance won't cover it. I don't mind paying that but certainly don't want to pay for something that could be harming me!
Thanks for all your excellent posts. You persevered and it was worth it! I've learned a lot from all of you.:) Thanks. Mabent