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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
3.761904761904762Calan
Reviews for Calan (Verapamil)
33%
of people say Calan (Verapamil) is worth it
31%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Norvasc (Amlodipine)
59%
+26% vs. Calan (Verapamil)
50%
+19% vs. Calan (Verapamil)
14%
+7% vs. Calan (Verapamil)
Side effects
CalanNorvasc

The Calan FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Calan side effects »
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 10%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Dizziness 1%
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
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Antihypertensive
Calcium channel blocker
Prescription only
Available as
CalanNorvasc
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Delayed release capsule
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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
    • History of liver 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
    • History of kidney disease
    • Obesity
    Detailed Norvasc (Amlodipine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    CalanNorvasc
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

    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.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    • Not a good medication for you if you drink alcohol.
    • Don't drink too much alcohol while taking this medicine.
    No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • 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.
    • Norvasc (Amlodipine) can cause varying degrees of swelling in your limbs. The most commonly affected areas are your feet, ankles, legs, or occasionally your arms. Swelling may be worse if you have other conditions that makes it hard for your body to get rid of fluids such as congestive heart failure or kidney disease. If your swelling is caused by Norvasc (Amlodipine), it should improve when you stop taking the medication. If the swelling is bothersome, a different medication may be better for you.
    Sex
    No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    CalanNorvasc
    • You can take it alone or with other medicines to help lower blood pressure.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    Downsides and risks
    CalanNorvasc
    • 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.
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    CalanNorvasc
    • 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.
    • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
    • Can cause dizziness in the first few days.
    • 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.
    • Check your blood pressure 1 week after starting this medicine, and tell your doctor if it hasn't improved.
    Learn more
    More about CalanSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about NorvascSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert