Amlodipine for Cats

Amlodipine besylate, oftentimes known by the brand name drug Norvasc, is one of the leading treatment options available for cats and dogs suffering from hypertension. Hypertension is associated with high blood pressure and can cause damage to the eyes, heart, kidneys and lungs.

Amlodipine Besylate Overview

Norvasc is a drug that is classified as a calcium channel blocker. This means that the medicine prevents calcium mineral from entering into muscle and other types of cells. This effectively causes the blood vessels to relax, which in turn lowers the blood pressure. Norvasc is developed for and tested for use in humans only, so it must be used in cats with caution. Although it is a human approved drug, vets can nonetheless recommend it for veterinary use under certain special cases. You'll need to have a vet's prescription in order to purchase Norvasc for your pet.

Using Amlodipine Besylate for Your Pet

Amlodipine besylate is typically used to treat hypertension caused by high blood pressure in pets. In order to determine whether this medicine will be an effective way of treating your cat, you will need to have him carefully examined by your vet. The examination will include checks of your cat's blood pressure at numerous times, as well as measurements of his health in other ways as well.

Once you've determined that Norvasc will be a good choice for your cat, you'll need to follow your vet's recommendations for administering the drug. The medicine is available in tablets. However, because these tablets are designed for humans, you'll need to cut them carefully into smaller portions before providing the medicine to your pet. The exact amount that you'll need to provide to your cat will depend upon his weight, blood pressure, overall health and age. Generally, Norvasc is given once per day.

Risks and Side Effects of Amlodipine Besylate

As with other blood pressure medicines, it's important that you consult with your vet about any other conditions that your pet is suffering from before you give him any medicine. It's also important that your vet be aware of other medicines which may be in your cat's body. These issues may affect your cat's use of Norvasc.

The most commonly noted side effects of Norvasc in cats include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart muscle depression (observable through veterinary tests)

In most cases, these side effects will not be a major risk or deterrent. However, it is important that you continue to have your pet's blood pressure and overall health monitored while he is taking amlodipine besylate, as the dosage of the medicine will be dependent upon his overall reaction to the drug. Ask your vet for more information about this medicine.