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GrammaBear

Norvasc (amlodipine)

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GrammaBear

Recently a new doctor I saw for my high blood pressure prescribed Norvasc in spite of my telling her that other doctors have prescribed the same drug with no success. I have edema, headache, insomnia and hyperglycemia. Yes, hyperglycemia. Three hours after I take it my blood sugar climbs from 94 (5.2) to over 200 (11.1). Even with an insulin pump controlling these sharp spikes presents a real challenge. I feel like the doctor steam-rolled over me and her attitude was: quick - give the patient some pills and send her on her way.

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GretchO

Maybe it's dose-related issue, i take a low-ish dose and don't have any issues. Or you might just be sensitive to it and she should look into either lowering the dose and adding another med or trying something else. Have they tried other BP meds besides calcium channel blockers - like ARBs (Diovan, Cozaar) or ACE Inhibitors (Lisinopril)? Or even a beta blocker...the newer ones have much lower risk of causing hypo unawareness. I took Labetalol during my pregnancy because it's one of the few BP meds OK to take during pregnancy but it made me completely hypo-unaware. Completely. But I'm currently on a newer class beta blocker and have no issues with hypo awareness (also on a low dose, so that may play into it).

 

I'm sensitive to BP meds in that I don't need much to lower my BP, however, I do need a "cocktail" of them...I take Norvasc, Atenolol and an ARB.

 

Your doc...either PCP, endo or whomever is treating your high BP specifically, should work w/ you to find whichever single drug or drug combo works for you all the way around - treats your BP with fewest side effects. I would have refused the Norvasc if it's causing you too many problems...I mean, getting your BP down is as important as keeping your BS stable and she should come up w/ a treatment that works for you. There's no way I'd ever take Labetalol again...never ever ever ever ever (fortunately I'm not at risk of getting pregnant again so its unlikely anyone would ever try to push it on me, but still. Never ever ever ever ever...)

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GrammaBear
Maybe it's dose-related issue, i take a low-ish dose and don't have any issues. Or you might just be sensitive to it and she should look into either lowering the dose and adding another med or trying something else. Have they tried other BP meds besides calcium channel blockers - like ARBs (Diovan, Cozaar) or ACE Inhibitors (Lisinopril)? Or even a beta blocker...the newer ones have much lower risk of causing hypo unawareness. I took Labetalol during my pregnancy because it's one of the few BP meds OK to take during pregnancy but it made me completely hypo-unaware. Completely. But I'm currently on a newer class beta blocker and have no issues with hypo awareness (also on a low dose, so that may play into it).

 

I'm sensitive to BP meds in that I don't need much to lower my BP, however, I do need a "cocktail" of them...I take Norvasc, Atenolol and an ARB.

 

Your doc...either PCP, endo or whomever is treating your high BP specifically, should work w/ you to find whichever single drug or drug combo works for you all the way around - treats your BP with fewest side effects. I would have refused the Norvasc if it's causing you too many problems...I mean, getting your BP down is as important as keeping your BS stable and she should come up w/ a treatment that works for you. There's no way I'd ever take Labetalol again...never ever ever ever ever (fortunately I'm not at risk of getting pregnant again so its unlikely anyone would ever try to push it on me, but still. Never ever ever ever ever...)

 

One of my BP problems is that I am more sensitive to the side effects than I wish I was. I currently take: meteprolol, spironolactone, micardis (ARB) and amlodipine. ACE inhibitors give me the nagging cough and cardura has caused me a measurable hearing loss. Norvasc causes my ankles to swell like a basketball, but that fact seems to go unnoticed by the doctor in spite of me pointing it out to her.

 

One nurse looked at my list of medications that I'm sensitive to and said "No one can be sensitive to this many BP drugs". It seems that no one believes me anymore.

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GretchO

Yuk...yeah, I get mildly swollen ankels every once in a while, usually if I've been standing for a really long time. But not enough to be an issue (for me). It is annoying, though. And I think that is a pretty common side effect...the eggplant ankles...so you'd think they'd have another go-to med for you to try. There's got to be some way to balance the meds. Have you ever tried Nifedipine/Procardia (also a calcium channel blocker)...I was on the max dose of that along w/ the Lisinopril when I was pregnant and didn't have any side effects...they checked me constantly for ankle swelling, I had zero water retention which is uncommon for pregnancy, let alone pregnancy + high blood pressure. There are a bunch of calcium channel blockers if that's something your doc thinks you need to be on...so I don't see why they can't try a couple to see if you have a better outcome, especially when Norvasc is known for the ankle swelling and you're getting it in spades.

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GrammaBear
Yuk...yeah, I get mildly swollen ankels every once in a while, usually if I've been standing for a really long time. But not enough to be an issue (for me). It is annoying, though. And I think that is a pretty common side effect...the eggplant ankles...so you'd think they'd have another go-to med for you to try. There's got to be some way to balance the meds. Have you ever tried Nifedipine/Procardia (also a calcium channel blocker)...I was on the max dose of that along w/ the Lisinopril when I was pregnant and didn't have any side effects...they checked me constantly for ankle swelling, I had zero water retention which is uncommon for pregnancy, let alone pregnancy + high blood pressure. There are a bunch of calcium channel blockers if that's something your doc thinks you need to be on...so I don't see why they can't try a couple to see if you have a better outcome, especially when Norvasc is known for the ankle swelling and you're getting it in spades.

 

Thanks for the tip on a different medicine to ask the doctor about. I definitely do have the 'eggplant' ankles. I have to wear "Crocs" because I can't get my regular walking shoes on my feet comfortably.

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jwags

I just went through a similar experience with Lisnopril. I tried it for a month and finally called doctor yesterday and told him it was driving up my bgs, driving my BP down to below 80, making me crave carbs, leg pain, dizziness and I had problems sleepi g. His response was WOW I've never had anyone react that way. I went online and found plenty of horror stories on BP meds. My BP was OK too, I have white coat syndrome and It spikes in the office everytime I see him. So for now I am off of it. I wonder if these doctors ever read the warni gs on these drugs.

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GrammaBear
I just went through a similar experience with Lisnopril. I tried it for a month and finally called doctor yesterday and told him it was driving up my bgs, driving my BP down to below 80, making me crave carbs, leg pain, dizziness and I had problems sleepi g. His response was WOW I've never had anyone react that way. I went online and found plenty of horror stories on BP meds. My BP was OK too, I have white coat syndrome and It spikes in the office everytime I see him. So for now I am off of it. I wonder if these doctors ever read the warni gs on these drugs.

 

I also have the white coat syndrome but my doctor doesn't believe it is a viable malady to experience. It is too bad the doctors themselves couldn't experience the side effects we feel. They might not be so quick to dismiss our concerns.

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GrammaBear
Don't fill the prescription.

If you did, don't take it.

Find a new doctor.

 

 

Art

 

Not taking the drug would certainly be one way to get the doctor's attention - - - maybe. At each appt. the nurse goes down my list of meds and supplements and asks "are you or did you take this today"? If I didn't take the new med the Doc prescribed, then I could well be dismissed from that practice as being 'non-compliant'. I was dismissed from another practice for being non-compliant for refusing to take a statin drug. These Docs have a lot of power. In the area where I live, it isn't all that easy to find a Doc who accepts Medicare patients.

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janice21475

Hi GrammaBear,

 

My husband is having a hard time getting his BP down without bad side effects. He is taking Amlodipine 5mg currently. He was on 10mg but had issues of passing out and falling is too painful. Sadly, 5mg has yet to lower his BP and it drains him of strength.

 

I am taking Atenolol 25mg. If I do not take it with food I get stomach pain. Of course, just about anything gives me stomach pain, so it could be a coincidence.

 

Sorry you are having a hard time with this. I was quick to agree with don't fill it, or don't take it but did not realize there could be judgments and penalties. Tricky would we live in now, eh? We try to handle everything with prayer. Not that we expect prayer to be a 'heal all' but it does sustain us and feeds our faith.

 

I, too, had eggplant ankles before the vein procedure. Now they stay nice and slim. Could be the swelling is a two-fold problem. If your valves were working correctly you might not get eggplant ankles. Not that I am encouraging you to seek a Podiatrist that does Veins but it is something to check out.

 

Take care,

Janice

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