Compare Calan vs. Norvasc

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Calan
(verapamil)

Norvasc
(amlodipine)

Lowers blood pressure and controls heart rate. Verapamil works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain, but you have to be okay with avoiding alcohol. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.Lowers blood pressure. Norvasc (Amlodipine) works well to lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain. You can't miss doses, and you might get persistent swelling.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
3.84Calan
Reviews for Calan
35%
of people (All ages) say Calan is worth it
33%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Calan (verapamil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Norvasc
58%
-23% worse vs. Calan
50%
-17% worse vs. Calan
15%
-6% worse vs. Calan
443 reviews
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CalanNorvasc
  • Constipation 7%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Low blood pressure 3%
  • Headache 2%
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 2%
  • Chf and pulmonary edema 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Lack of energy 3%
  • Indigestion 3%
More Calan side effects »
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 2%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Heart pounding or racing sensation 5%
  • Flushing 3%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
More Norvasc side effects »
How it works
CalanNorvasc
Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing your heart rate and relaxing your blood vessels. Your heart gets more oxygen and doesn't have to work as hard to pump, which can relieve chest pain.Norvasc (Amlodipine) is a calcium channel blocker. It lowers blood pressure by slowing your heart rate and relaxing your blood vessels. Your heart gets more oxygen and doesn't have to work as hard to pump, which can relieve chest pain.
Type of medication
CalanNorvasc
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CalanNorvasc
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Pill
Used for
CalanNorvasc
Risk factors for serious side effects
CalanNorvasc
  • Severe left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction <30%)
  • Taking beta-blockers
  • History of liver disease
  • History of kidney disease
Detailed Calan (verapamil) risks & warnings »
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of heart problems
  • Liver disease
  • History of blood vessel disease
  • History of heart failure
Detailed Norvasc (amlodipine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
CalanNorvasc
  • Interacts with grapefruit and the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
Alcohol
CalanNorvasc
  • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
CalanNorvasc
  • Your doctor may check your liver regularly, as there have been reports of liver damage which can only be seen through blood tests. If you do have a history of liver disease, let your doctor know.
  • Your doctor may monitor your heart to see if changes to its electrical system may occur, especially if you have had liver or kidney disease in the past.
  • Your body uses your liver to break down Norvasc (Amlodipine) and remove it from your blood. If you have liver disease you may not be able to remove Norvasc (Amlodipine) as quickly from your blood as someone with a healthy liver. You should increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine) slowly and watch closely for how it is working in your body. Increasing the dose slowly will lower your chances of having side effects.
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
Pain
CalanNorvasc
No pain related info.
  • Worsening heart pain or increased risk of heart attack is possible when you first start taking Norvasc (Amlodipine). This can also happen after you increase the dose of Norvasc (Amlodipine). Notify your doctor immediately if you experience any heart pain, radiating jaw pain, crushing chest pain, or persistent racing heartbeat.
Upsides and benefits
CalanNorvasc
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
  • You can take it alone or with other medicines to help lower blood pressure.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
  • Treats certain abnormal heart rhythms.
  • A first-choice blood pressure treatment for many people.
  • Calcium channel blockers work especially well for African Americans to lower blood pressure.
  • Lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Prevents heart-related chest pain (angina) if you take it regularly.
  • Each dose lasts longer than other calcium channel blockers, which keeps blood pressure consistent without big ups and downs.
  • Particularly good at lowering systolic blood pressure (the top number), so it's a good option for older people who can commonly get high blood pressure only in the top number.
Downsides and risks
CalanNorvasc
  • Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling in your limbs. If this happens for you, it probably won't get better over time, so talk to your doctor about alternatives if it bothers you.
  • Women are more likely to have side effects (especially swelling) from Verapamil than men.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Verapamil suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
  • Calcium channel blockers can cause swelling in your limbs. If this happens for you, it probably won't get better over time, so talk to your doctor about alternatives if it bothers you.
  • Women are more likely to have side effects (especially swelling) from Amlodipine than men.
  • Some people might experience flushing with this medication.
  • You can't miss doses. Stopping Amlodipine suddenly can cause your blood pressure to go up suddenly, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • If you have severe heart disease, using Amlodipine might increase your risk of chest pain or heart attack during the time right after starting the medication or raising the dosage.
  • Might not be a good choice if you have liver disease.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CalanNorvasc
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Interacts with grapefruit and the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause constipation and headache.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
  • Your doctor might do routine blood tests to check your liver function.
  • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
  • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
  • Interacts with the cholesterol medicine Simvastatin.
  • Can cause ankle or foot swelling.
  • Can cause gum overgrowth. Ask your dentist to check for this side effect.
Learn more
More about CalanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Calan (verapamil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NorvascSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Norvasc (amlodipine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it