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All about: Caduet

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Generic name:
Brand names: Caduet

Why is Caduet prescribed?

Caduet is a combination of two drugs, amlodipine (also known as Norvasc) and atorvastatin (also known as Lipitor). It's used for people who need both medications.

Amlodipine is used to treat high blood pressure and angina. Angina is characterized by episodes of crushing chest pain that usually results from a lack of oxygen in the heart muscle due to clogged arteries. Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker, a type of drug that dilates blood vessels and slows the heart to reduce blood pressure and the pain of angina.

Atorvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering drug. Your doctor may prescribe it along with a special diet if your blood cholesterol or triglyceride level is high enough to put you in danger of heart disease, and you have been unable to lower your readings by diet alone. Atorvastatin works by helping to clear harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol out of the blood and by limiting the body's ability to form new cholesterol.

Most important fact about Caduet

You must take Caduet regularly for it to be effective. Caduet does not cure high blood pressure or high cholesterol; it merely helps keep them under control. To get the full benefits of the drug, you should follow any diet, exercise, and weight-loss program prescribed by your doctor.

How should you take Caduet?

You should take Caduet exactly as prescribed, even if your symptoms improve. Your dosage will be tailored depending on how much of each individual component is needed. The doctor may also direct you to take atorvastatin or amlodipine separately while you're taking Caduet.

Caduet may be taken with or without food.

--If you miss a dose...

Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue using Caduet. Clinical trials have shown no side effect specific to Caduet. Side effects are similar to those reported with amlodipine and atorvastatin.

  • Side effects of amlodipine may include:
    Dizziness, fatigue, flushing, fluid retention and swelling, headache, palpitations (fluttery or throbbing heartbeat)
  • Side effects of atorvastatin may include:
    Abdominal pain, constipation, gas, indigestion

Why should Caduet not be prescribed?

Never take Caduet during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Avoid Caduet if you have liver disease, or if the drug gives you an allergic reaction.

Special warnings about Caduet

There is a slight chance of liver damage from the atorvastatin contained in Caduet. Your doctor may order a blood test to check your liver function before you start taking the drug, again at 12 weeks after you begin therapy or your dosage is increased, and periodically thereafter. If the tests reveal a problem, you may have to stop using the drug.

Drugs like atorvastatin, one of the ingredients in Caduet, have occasionally been known to damage muscle tissue. Be sure to tell you doctor immediately if you notice any unexplained muscle tenderness, weakness, or pain, especially if you also have a fever or feel sick. Your doctor may want to do a blood test to check for signs of muscle damage.

Check with your doctor before you stop taking Caduet. You may need to reduce the medication slowly.

Your doctor will prescribe Caduet with caution if you have certain heart conditions or liver disease. Make sure your doctor is aware of all your medical problems before you start therapy with Caduet. Although very rare, if you have severe heart disease, you may experience an increase in frequency and duration of angina attacks, or even have a heart attack, when you are starting on Caduet or when your dosage is increased.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Caduet

If you take Caduet with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Caduet with any of the following:

Antacids such as Maalox TC Suspension
Cimetidine
Colestipol (Colestid)
Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral)
Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Erythromycin (E.E.S., Erythrocin, others)
Fluconazole (Diflucan)
Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
Itraconazole (Sporanox)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Niacin (Niaspan, Niacor, Slo-Niacin)
Oral contraceptives
Spironolactone (Aldactone)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Caduet should never be used during pregnancy, since developing babies need plenty of cholesterol. In fact, your doctor is unlikely to prescribe Caduet if there is even a chance that you may become pregnant. If you do conceive while taking Caduet, notify your doctor right away. Caduet does make its way into breast milk, so you should not take Caduet while breastfeeding your baby.

Recommended dosage

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Adults

The usual starting dose of amlodipine is 5 milligrams once a day, up to a maximum of 10 milligrams once a day. Individuals who have liver problems and those who are small, fragile, or elderly may be started at 2.5 milligrams a day.

If needed, the doctor may increase your dosage of amlodipine gradually over 1 to 2 weeks depending on how your body responds.

Children 6 to 17 Years Old

The usual dose is 2.5 to 5 milligrams once a day. Doses higher than 5 milligrams daily have not been studied in children.

ANGINA

Adults

The usual dose of amlodipine is 5 to 10 milligrams once a day. The elderly and individuals with liver problems will usually be started at the 5-milligram dose.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL OR TRIGLYCERIDES

Adults

The recommended starting dose is 10 or 20 milligrams once a day. (The doctor may start with 40 milligrams daily if your LDL levels need to be reduced by more than 45 percent.) The doctor will check your cholesterol levels every 2 to 4 weeks and adjust the dose accordingly. The maximum recommended daily dose is 80 milligrams.

Children 10 to 17 Years Old

The recommended starting dose is 10 milligrams once a day. The dosage may be increased after 4 weeks, as determined by the doctor, up to a maximum of 20 milligrams a day. Girls must be having regular menstrual cycles before starting therapy with Lipitor.

The safety and effectiveness of Lipitor in children under 10 years old or in doses greater than 20 milligrams a day have not been studied.

Caduet tablets come in doses ranging from 2.5 milligrams amlodipine/10 milligrams atorvastatin up to 10 milligrams amlodipine/80 milligrams atorvastatin. However, a 2.5 milligram/80 milligram Caduet tablet is not available. If your doctor prescribes this dosage combination, you'll need to take each drug separately.

Overdosage

If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Although no specific information on Caduet overdose is available, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences.

In addition, no specific information about atorvastatin overdose is available. Experience with amlodipine overdose is limited, but the most likely symptoms include a severe drop in blood pressure and a faster heartbeat.

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