The connection between lisinopril and Norvasc® is that they are both used to treat high blood pressure. Physicians also prescribe lisinopril for congestive heart failure and Norvasc® to relieve symptoms of angina or chest pain that results from blocked arteries in the heart. Lisinopril and Norvasc® can be used together to treat stubborn cases of high blood pressure, provided that the patient does not also have congestive heart failure. Norvasc® should not be used by someone with congestive heart failure.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, does not always have a clear cause. Aging; hardening of the arteries, or arthrosclerosis; obesity; diabetes; too much salt in the diet and heredity are all associated with high blood pressure. What is known is that several drugs are highly effective in treating high blood pressure, two of which are lisinopril and Norvasc®.
Lisinopril and Norvasc® each act differently on the body to lower blood pressure. Lisinopril is in a class of drugs known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which block the action of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, a naturally occurring enzyme in the body. This prevents the body from synthesizing a hormone, angiotensin II, that causes blood vessels to constrict. Easing blood vessel constriction eases blood flow, lowering blood pressure in the process. This can also aid patients with congestive heart by reducing the workload on the heart.
Norvasc®, which has the generic name of amlodipine, is in a class of drugs known calcium channel blockers. Blood contains an electrolyte solution that is involved with the regulation of blood pressure in the body. Calcium ions are part of the solution. Calcium channel blockers lower blood pressure by reducing the rate at which calcium ions move from the bloodstream into blood vessels in the heart.
The action caused by calcium channel blockers relaxes the vessels, resulting in greater and easier blood flow in coronary arteries. This can reduce blood pressure. It can also lessen pain from angina, which occurs when coronary arterial blockages reduce oxygen flow to the heart muscle. Some calcium channel blockers can also slow the heart rate. Norvasc® does not have that effect, however.
It is common practice to prescribe more than one drug to treat high blood pressure because of how different drugs act on the body. For this reason, lisinopril and Norvasc® are often prescribed together, unless the patient has congestive heart failure. The action of Norvasc® on the heart is the opposite of what is needed for a patient with congestive heart failure. So, in that situation, the two drugs should not be used together.
Adverse interactions between the two medications seem to be rare. Of most concern is blood pressure getting too low. This condition is called hypotension.