October 22, 2012

What is Atenolol?

Filed under: high blood pressure,high cholesterol,migraine headaches,migraines — robertprice @ 11:05 am

Atenolol is a type of drug known as a beta-blocker. It works on the body’s natural chemicals that help to regulate the heart and the blood vessels. The result is a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate.

Doctors prescribe atenolol for the following reasons:

  • To prevent heart attacks
  • To prevent kidney problems
  • To prevent strokes
  • To enhance survival after a heart attack
  • To treat chest pains
  • To treat high blood pressure
  • To treat irregular heartbeats
  • To handle symptoms related to alcohol withdrawal
  • To prevent migraine headaches

Using Atenolol

Atenolol is taken as a pill, with or without a meal. It’s taken once to twice daily, or as instructed by your physician.

Dosage can vary, depending on your condition and your physician’s advice. A lot depends on you and your body’s response to the treatment.

Most patients with high blood pressure do not actually feel sick. If this is you, be sure to still take your medication regularly as directed. Even if you feel fine.

If atenolol has been prescribed to you for chest pain, regular use is needed for best effectiveness.

However, atenolol should not be used to treat chest pain when it does happen. Other medications must be prescribed to relieve this condition. Talk to your doctor right away if you have chest pain and are on atenolol.

Side Effects of Atenolol

Some adverse drug effects may include:

  • Cold hands and feet. This happens because of the reduction of blood flowing into these areas.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Nausea.
  • Tiredness.

Serious side effects, while unlikely to happen, may include:

  • Breathing problems.
  • Extremely slow heartbeat.
  • Fainting.
  • Mood or mental changes.
  • Serious allergic reactions, especially to the face, tongue or throat area.
  • Severe headache.

Seek medical help right away if you feel any of these.

Atenolol: Off-Label

Some doctors prescribe atenolol for anxiety.

While not officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), atenolol has been shown to help control the physical effects of anxiety, rapid heartbeat, but not the psychological symptoms that cause the physical effects.

It works by helping reduce an irregularly fast heartbeat and high blood pressure. By controlling these two physical symptoms, the brain can stop providing feedbacks. When anxious, knowing you have a fast heartbeat, feeling your heart race, can intensify your anxiety.

A further advantage in using this medicine for anxiety disorders is the improvement in the quality of a patient’s life that it brings compared to other drugs.  Atenolol was found not to induce functional difficulties as a result of drowsiness. There is also no risk of a patient becoming too dependent on this medicine, which is a danger that comes with other kinds of anxiety medications.

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October 12, 2012

What is Amlodipine?

Filed under: cholesterol,cholesterol check,high blood pressure,high cholesterol — robertprice @ 10:50 am

Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker that’s metabolized mainly in the liver. It can be taken by a patient at any time. It does not necessarily have to be taken with food.

Amlodipine can affect the amount of calcium in a patient’s heart and muscle cells. It’s used mainly to treat patients who have high blood pressure, but it’s also used to prevent certain types of chest pain and angina.

Blood pressure is lowered by amlodipine by relaxing the blood vessels. This way, blood can flow more easily. This lowering of blood pressure helps to reduce risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disorders.

Commonly, amlodipine is known to help relieve patients of chest or heart pains, which can happen when not enough oxygen gets to the heart muscles. This lack of oxygen may be due to spasms or coronary artery blockage.

Those with a narrow coronary artery may also feel chest or heart pain during strenuous physical activities: heavy physical activity can increase the demand for oxygen in the heart. Taking amlodipine lessens the stress in blood vessels, thereby reducing the amount of work the heart has to do.

Using Amlodipine

Amlodipine comes in tablet form and in dosages of 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg. It is usually taken once a day. Your doctor will base your dosage on your individual medical condition response to treatments.

It’s important to take this medication regularly. Otherwise, it might not be as effective.

Most patients with high blood pressure do not feel sick, which makes them forget to take the medicine. If you’ve been prescribed amlodipine, try to take the medicine at the same time each day to make it a habit.

Amlodipine is used to prevent angina, not treat it. If angina occurs, a doctor must be consulted. Different medication may be required.

Amlodipine Side Effects

Most people who take amlodipine do not suffer from any side effects. If side effects are felt, risks are usually outweighed by the benefits.

Still, remember to consult a doctor immediately if serious, though unlikely, side effects of the medicine are felt. Here are a few to remember:

  • Allergic reactions: rashes, swelling, or itching of the face, tongue or throat
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Facial flushing
  • Severe fatigue
  • Headache
  • Hearing changes
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Mouth dryness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Stomach pain
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles or lower extremities
  • Vision changes
  • Vomiting or nausea

Amlodipine Contraindications

Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should not use amlodipine. Neither should breastfeeding women use it.

If you have any of the following problems, amlodipine might not be for you:

  • Allergic reactions to medicines, dyes, foods or preservatives
  • Heart problems like aortic stenosis
  • Liver disease

Additionally, it should not be taken with the following:

  • Certain dietary supplements
  • Local or general anesthetics
  • High blood pressure medicines
  • Prostate problem medicines
  • Rifampin

CanDrugstore.com, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC X23), offers low cost, long-term prescription drugs. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all Canadian prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, CanDrugstore.com is ranked as one of the best Canadian pharmacies online by PharmacyChecker.com. For more information on how to order your drugs from Canada safely and securely call 1-866-444-6376 or visit http://www.candrugstore.com/- a trusted and reliable Canadian online pharmacy since 2002.

October 4, 2012

Simvastatin FDA Warning and Recall: The Story

Filed under: muscle pain — robertprice @ 4:15 pm

Simvastatin. A statin-class drug used to decrease a person’s “low-density lipoprotein cholesterol,” or what we call bad cholesterol.

Simvastatin was approved in 1991 as a single-ingredient generic medicine. It was branded as Zocor. It comes in various dosages, with the 80mg dose prescribed to more than 2 million people.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, issued simvastatin warnings after a broad and wide-ranging review of information from clinical trials and data.

All data came from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System. The system is one of the agency’s most important tools for tracking the safety of medicines after they have hit the market.

Simvastatin Muscle Pain

All statin drugs carry the risk of what’s called myopathy. In essence, this means weakness in the muscles.

However, those taking the 80mg dose of simvastatin, which is the highest approved medicinal dosage, have been found to be at greater risk of the disease. And this is especially true during the first year of treatment.

The muscle damage is often caused by the drug’s interaction with other medicines. Plus, some people are just genetically predisposed to this kind of muscle damage disease.

Even worse, a rare form of the disease, called rhabdomyolysis (rab-dough-my-all-iss-iss), can cause kidney failure and even death.

These findings caused the FDA to issue a recommendation: sharply limit the use of the 80mg simvastatin dose.

Note: there is no complete simvastatin recall from the market. But, the strict restrictions mean that no more patients will start on 80mg of simvastatin.

The only people allowed to continue using the 80mg dose are patients who have taken simvastatin for at least 12 months and have not shown any signs of ill effect or muscle toxicity.

Also, patients taking the 40mg dose who still fail to meet their cholesterol goal are not to be given the higher 80 mg dosage. Instead, they would be advised to choose a different statin drug completely.

Simvastatin Side Effects

Aside from myopathy and rhabdomyolysis, the drug can also cause several side effects, ranging from the relatively mild to the life threatening ones:

  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Liver damage brought about by increased liver enzymes. This is a serious side effect that must be addressed immediately.

There have also been some findings on simvastatin weight gain.

The root of this is sleep problems that can be set off by the drug crossing into the brain, unique to simvastatin. The resulting sleep disturbance can greatly affect the quality of a patient’s life and may have negative consequences, such as resistance to insulin and increase in weight.

CanDrugstore.com, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC X23), offers low cost, long-term prescription drugs. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all Canadian prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, CanDrugstore.com is ranked as one of the best Canadian pharmacies online by PharmacyChecker.com. For more information on how to order your drugs from Canada safely and securely call 1-866-444-6376 or visit http://www.candrugstore.com/- a trusted and reliable Canadian online pharmacy since 2002.