Norvasc (amlodipine) -- anyone ever have weight gain or swelling?

I have been having some problems with weight gain and ankle swelling BIG TIME over the past 6-7 months. I've had an echo, and my EF is 65%; no fluid around the heart; no shortness of breath, still able to walk my 5 miles for exercise -- but still the weight gain and swelling.

I was sent to an endocrinologist. She spent 45 minutes with me asking all kinds of questions and getting my history and really seemed to LISTEN to me!! She is convinced that the Norvasc is causing most of my problems. She says that she has seen it "a hundred times" and has seen it start causing problems even after a patient has been on it for a few years already!

She also wants me to go off the insulin if I possibly can. She thinks that could also be contributing to the weight gain, as well. I'm a type 2 diabetic, and she thinks I could get along without it -- she read my food diary and was impressed with what I eat on a daily basis (her comment -- "you've been educated in this, haven't you?" That made me feel good!! LOL) She said that with the amount of calories I am ingesting, I should not be gaining this much weight (I usually eat about 1200 calories per day).

So, if there has been a thread on this medication before, I apologize for starting a new one. However, I'm really interested in what other people's experiences have been with the Norvasc or amlodipine.

My other medications: Metoprolol 50 mg per day (divided dose of 25 a.m. and p.m.), Crestor 10 mg per day, aspirin 81 mg per day, and the insulin (Novolog and Lantus).

The endocrinologist does not want to make any changes to my medication regimen until I have spoken to my cardiologist about it (she is sending him a note about it), to get his okay and maybe other suggestions. So I appreciate that.

Anyway, any thoughts?

Dana

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Hi Dana,

Congratulations by the way on your anniversary- glad to hear you are going to take some time off to relax.

I take Norvasc and have been having weight gain and extremety swelling with it. Since it does help my angina, my Cardio does not want to take me off it. He says it is one of those side effects that the drug causes so he now has me on a daily low dose diuretic (water pill) which has seemed to help. I also take Toprol, which can also contribute to some weight gain. It is very frustrating, but going off these meds with my current symptoms is not an option for me. I just keep trying to eat healthy, exercise, and hope that the side effect of the wt. gain and swelling will just one day disappear- LOL!!

Let me know if you find out anything different from your doctors and good luck with all of this. Maybe going off your Insulin will help you out. Keep me posted and I will do the same.

Terri

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I have not had any problems with weight gain.

I am curious, has your endocrinologist checked your thyroid?

I am curious, are you taking Norvasc for prevention of heart spasms or another reason? Also, what is your dose?

I am on 2.5 mg now and I think I might go off the meds at my next visit. I was scared about this since my heart attack was due to a spasm but my cardiologist was talking about it in my last visit and I am thinking it would be okay since I have learned to deal with stress a little better.

-GraceAnn

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When I was diagnosed with DCM I was on Norvasc. My new cardiologist, took me off it immediately as I had 30 pounds of fluid on me and was in moderate CHF.

He switched me to Lasix for the fluid and put me on 5 mg. of Altace for my blood pressure.

The fluid slowly began to come off though I had to sit in the bathroom alot. LOL

Hope this helps. I have been on Altace and now Torsemide for the fluid for over 5 yrs and the combinations seems to work with me.

Sounds like you need to discuss this with your primary or heart dr. You just need the right combo of drugs to fix this problems.

Let me know you make out. Research this on the Internet. You will be amazed how much you will help. DO IT NOW. Good luck and let me know how you are doing cause I care.

Donna

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I've been taking amlodopine for probably at least a year now, for HBP. I also take a diuretic. I rarely have any swelling, other than my gut, lol :/ I figure that is probably just age/hormone related mostly. I also never lose weight anymore. I never actively try, but don't usually have to, either.

Dgrant, your endocrinologist sounds wonderful! How nice that you got to see someone like that. And congratulations on self education! And MERCY, surviving on so few calories a day.. hugs for that! I hope you find out something soon.

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Hi Dana

I can't comment about your swelling (the only time I've had was with heart failure). But I can say that your EF is amazing. I'm sure that your cardiologist has told you that it's unusual to have such a high EF. Mine is fraction of that.

good luck, Dianne

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Thanks for the replies. Yes, my EF is amazingly good -- it was between 45 and 50% within 6 weeks of my heart attack and surgery, so I've never really had a very low EF, for which I am thankful. And as far as anyone can tell with the testing that has been done, I don't have CHF -- I can still walk my 5 miles without going out of breath other than the normal breathlessness that occurs from exercising hard.

I am also on Toprol. These two meds -- the Toprol and the Norvasc -- were given to me in order to keep my heart rate lower and my blood pressure lower. The endocrinologist tells me that she'd like me to go on lisinopril, because it is an ACE inhibitor and will be better for my kidneys, which is extremely important since I'm diabetic. The only problem is that they actually started me on lisinopril before they started me on Norvasc -- the lisinopril made me a bit dizzy, so they switched it to Norvasc. Now, the endocrinologist tells me that if I tough it out for a few days, that dizziness would probably go away -- we shall see.

Of course, all of this will depend on what the cardiologist says.

And about the thyroid -- that is so funny that you should ask -- I was just teasing my primary care doc because he has tested my thyroid about 6 times in the past 8 months -- I told him that he is bound and determined that I am going to have a thyroid problem!!! I think he wants thyroid to be the reason for the weight gain. Sorry, it's not!!

Also, I have been put on furosemide and spironolactone (not together, but different therapeutic trials) -- and neither one of them made the swelling any better. Yes, I was in the bathroom a lot, but it never helped the swelling.

I did not have swelling like this until about 8 months ago -- before that, I had my nice skinny ankles. The left one would swell once in a while, but I was warned of that in the hospital. The surgeon said that the leg where the veins were harvested for my bypass may cause a little swelling from time to time -- but that hasn't been any problem until now. This is really baffling me.

I'm probably going to go back to cardiac rehab for a while to see if doing even more exercise than I already do will help some. I think I'd feel safer exercising there than at a regular gym. I do walk a lot, but the rehab has more weights and other machines that I do, so maybe that will help some -- who knows.

This is getting to be very frustrating, I'll tell you that!!

Thanks for all your replies. I'll report back in when I go to the cardiologist. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

Dana in AZ

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My husband also had problems with terrible swelling of his feet while on Norvasc. He has since switched to Benicar with no swelling problems.

Lisa

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When my doctor prescribed a calcium channel blocker to treat my severe coronary artery spasms, the first thing he said was "You're going to grow tree trunks for arms and legs now". My understanding is that swelling and weight gain are a common side affect of this class of drug.

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I too am on Norvasc and the swelling is an issue, I think. Can someone explain to me what the issues are with water retention? And also how to manage diuretics? To take the last one first... I'm supposed to weigh myself every morning and if there is weight gain I am to take the diuretic... I'm then going to rush out the door (after bundling myself up against the 25 below Celcius weather) and walk up the hill to the bus stop, wait for the bus, take it to work over the next 30 minutes or so and then head for the nearest washroom? I asked my doctor how people do this and she said, "with great difficulty!" So I don't do this...

My Norvasc has been increased to address angina, and I think it has helped with that, but there are times when I'm out of breath after putting my socks on, and I couldn't face a flight of stairs... I'm getting less and less fit ... I'm sure I'm moving slower in general to compensate and I'm at my maximum ever weight plus my shoes are all too small. How are all of these things related and how is it a problem rather than a nuisance??

Can someone explain heart failure to me? is that what the worry is with fluid retention?

Thanks so much! Penny

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Hello,

I've been on Norvask for about 18 mos. and I do have swelling in my feet and ankles because of it. Like you, at first I thought something was wrong with my heart (I'm a heart transplant patient, so you can imagine my concern) but my cardiologist assures me it's the Norvask and nothing to worry about. I notice the swelling when I'm physically tired and feeling run down. It usually clears after rest. I'm not too concerned. My cardiologist says if it bothers me too much they can switch me to another BP medication.

Good luck!

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I too take Norvasc for chest pain, and I just went to re-read the packaging insert from Pfizer: interestingly enough, the most common possible side effects listed are 'headache and edema' (swelling).

Even more interesting, lesser side effects (reported in <1% but > 0.1% of patients) include both weight gain AND weight loss.

So weight gain is listed, but for far fewer patients than the edema, and those stats are similar to patients losing weight.

The info also says that 1.5% of patients discontinue Norvasc because of side effects.

So far, I have none of the side effects listed, touch wood (except slight weight gain due to Christmas celebrating, NOT to my meds!!)

XOXOXO

http://www.myheartsisters.org

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PS. I forgot to mention that the package insert info says that these side effects are typical for those taking a Norvasc dosage up to 10 mg/day.

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Hi,
I've been on Norvasc/Amlodipine for over three years now. I am on it for treatment of Prinzmetals/severe multivessel coronary artery spasm, which have caused me to have 5 heart attacks. I was on 10mg, and after these most recent MI's in August, I have suffered from EXTREME edema from chest down to my toes. Could not bend over to put on shoes, painful & burning swelling, trunks for legs, could not walk on treadmill without out pain from running shoes cutting into the swelling ankles.

Went to Mayo last month for second opinions and Norvasc was DC'd and changed to Cardizem. Was told to still expect some swelling but not as much. It's amazing :) I only have edema from the knees down now with a significant reduction in swelling.

I am slender but gained 30 lbs after these last heart attacks due to edema and another drug (Cyproheptidine) that Mayo docs also discontinued. So far have dropped 5 lbs. I had to go buy some new clothes because I couldn't fit in anything. Can't wait to get back into my clothes that are just hanging in my closet waiting.
Take care,
SurvivorX5

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I see it all the time. That is why Norvasc is very low on my use list. It also causes constipation. The peripheral edema doesn't really respond well to diuretics. There are other choices out there to do what Norvasc does. Such Kudos to your Endo! Insulin causes horrid weight gain and actually makes metabolic syndrome worse!

Good luck!

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