Amlodipine : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Why is this medication prescribed?

Amlodipine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure in adults and children 6 years of age and older. It is also used to treat certain types of angina (chest pain) and coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). Amlodipine is in a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so the heart doesn’t have to pump as hard. Controls chest pain by increasing the blood supply to the heart. If taken regularly, amlodipine controls chest pain, but it does not stop chest pain once it starts. Your doctor may prescribe a different medicine to take when you have chest pain.

High blood pressure is a common condition and, when left untreated, it can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs can cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medications, making lifestyle changes will also help control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising for at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and consuming alcohol in moderation.

How should this medicine be used?

Amlodipine comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. To remind you to take amlodipine, take it at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take amlodipine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medicine evenly.

Your doctor will likely prescribe a low dose of amlodipine for you and gradually increase it.

Amlodipine helps control high blood pressure, angina, and coronary artery disease, but it does not cure these conditions. Keep taking amlodipine even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking amlodipine without consulting your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking amlodipine,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to amlodipine, any other medications, or any ingredient in amlodipine tablets or suspension. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain seizure medications such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), and phenobarbital; clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); efavirenz (Sustiva); indinavir (Crixivan); itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox); ketoconazole (Nizoral); lovastatin (Altoprev, in Advicor); nefazodone; nelfinavir (Viracept); nevirapine (Viramune); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampicin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), simvastatin (Zocor, in Simcor, in Vytorin), and tacrolimus (Astragraf SL, Prograf). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart failure or heart or liver disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking amlodipine, call your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

If your doctor prescribes a low-salt or low-sodium diet, follow these directions carefully.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Amlodipine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • drowsiness
  • excessive tiredness
  • flushing

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • more frequent or more severe chest pain
  • rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
  • fainting

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store the tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store the suspension in the refrigerator and prevent it from freezing; protect it from light.

It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not resistant to children and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA Safe Drug Disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • rapid heartbeat

What other information should I know?

Keep all your appointments with your doctor. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to amlodipine.

Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.

Brand Names

  • Amvaz®
  • Katerzia®
  • Norvasc®

Brand names of combination products

  • Amturnide® (containing Aliskiren, Amlodipine, Hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Azor® (containing Amlodipine, Olmesartan)
  • Caduet® (containing Amlodipine, Atorvastatin)
  • Consensi® (containing Amlodipine, Celecoxib)
  • Exforge® (containing Amlodipine, Valsartan)
  • Exforge® HCT (containing Amlodipine, Hydrochlorothiazide, Valsartan)
  • Prestalia® (containing Amlodipine, Perindopril)
  • Tekamlo® (containing Aliskiren, Amlodipine)
  • Tribenzor® (containing Amlodipine, Hydrochlorothiazide, Olmesartan)
  • Twynsta® (containing Amlodipine, Telmisartan)

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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