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Amlodipine (antihypertensive agent)

Know the basics|Know the precautions & warnings|Know the side effects|Know the interactions|Understand the dosage

Amlodipine belongs to a class of drugs known as calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily.

amlodipine

Know the basics

What is amlodipine used for?

Amlodipine is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.

Amlodipine is also used to prevent certain types of chest pain (angina). It may help to increase your ability to exercise and decrease the frequency of angina attacks. Amlodipine should not be used to treat attacks of chest pain when they occur. Use other medications (such as sublingual nitroglycerin) to relieve attacks of chest pain as directed by your doctor.

How should I take amlodipine?

Take amlodipine by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

How do I store amlodipine?

This product is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer.

There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using amlodipine?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
  • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
  • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Is it safe to take amlodipine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of amlodipine?

Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

  • Angina
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Hypotension
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble breathing (dyspnea)
  • Edema
  • Weight gain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal liver function, jaundice
  • Skin reactions or rash
  • Insomnia
  • Mood disturbances
  • Tremors
  • Gynecomastia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Tinnitus

However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with amlodipine?

This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Drugs with known interactions:

  • Other antihypertensive drugs (e.g. beta blockers, ARBs)
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Statins
  • Azole antifungals
  • Erythromycin
  • Diltiazem
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Rifampicin

If you experience an adverse drug interaction, stop taking this drug and continue taking your other medication. Inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

Does food or alcohol interact with amlodipine?

Do not take this drug with alcohol, grapefruit juice, or St. John’s wort. These foods have known interactions with amlodipine and should be avoided.

What health conditions may interact with amlodipine?

This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

What is the dose for an adult?

Hypertension

Initial dose: 5 mg orally once a day.

Maintenance dose: 5 to 10 mg orally once a day. Smaller patients or those with hepatic impairment may be started on 2.5 mg orally once a day.

Angina Pectoris

Chronic stable or vasospastic angina, or angiographically documented coronary artery disease in patients without heart failure or an ejection fraction less than 40%: 5 to 10 mg orally once a day.

Most patients with chronic stable or vasospastic angina require 10 mg for adequate effect. In clinical studies, most patients with coronary artery disease required 10 mg.

Coronary Artery Disease

Chronic stable or vasospastic angina, or angiographically documented coronary artery disease in patients without heart failure or an ejection fraction less than 40%: 5 to 10 mg orally once a day.

Most patients with chronic stable or vasospastic angina require 10 mg for adequate effect. In clinical studies, most patients with coronary artery disease required 10 mg.

What is the dose for a child?

Hypertension

6 to 17 years: 2.5 mg to 5 mg orally once a day.

Doses in excess of 5 mg daily have not been studied in pediatric patients.

How is amlodipine available?

Amlodipine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Tablet: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Amlodipine https://www.mims.com/philippines/drug/info/amlodipine?mtype=generic Accessed June 21, 2021

Amlodipine (Oral Route) https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/amlodipine-oral-route/before-using/drg-20061784 Accessed June 21, 2021

Amlodipine https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Amlodipine Accessed June 21, 2021

Amlodipine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519508/ Accessed June 21, 2021

Amlodipine. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, IL. Accessed June 21, 2021. http://online.lexi.com

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jun 21
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