Amlodipine belongs to a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers. They work by widening your blood vessels. This makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around the body. It also help increase the supply of blood and oxygen to your heart. However, calcium channel blockers do not change the amount of calcium in your blood or bones.
Amlodipine is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and to prevent angina (chest pain). It may also help to increase your ability to exercise and decrease how often you get chest pain. Lowering blood pressure helps prevent conditions such as strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.
Amlodipine is only part of a complete treatment of lowering high blood pressure. Others may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take amlodipine if you are allergic to it. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include a skin rash. These may be similar to conditions such as hives, itchiness, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, lips or tongue. To make sure amlodipine is safe for you, tell your doctor:
- if you have any health problems, such as:
– heart disease such as heart failure.
– liver problems.
– any other allergies.
- if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- when or if you are breastfeeding.
- if you are taking any other medicines
Also do not take Amlodipine if:
- the packaging shows signs of tampering or does not look quite right.
- the expiry date marked on the packaging has passed, even though the tablets may look alright.
Amlodipine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.
The usual dose of Amlodipine is one 5 mg tablet each day, although a 2.5 mg dose may be prescribed in some cases. Your doctor may increase this to one 10 mg tablet each day.
How to take amlodipine
- Take amlodipine once a day. Try to take your doses at the same time each day.
- Swallow your tablet with a glass of water.
- You can take amlodipine with or without food.
- Limit or avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking amlodipine. It may increase your chance of side effects such as feeling dizzy.
- Take Amlodipine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label.
- Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
- Your chest pain may become worse when you first start taking it or after increasing your dose. Call your doctor if your chest pain is severe.
- If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using amlodipine even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you are more than 12 hours late, skip the missed dose but be sure to take the next day’s dose when it is due. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Side effects of amlodipine
- Swelling (edema)
- Excess fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Abdominal pain
- Male sexual disorder
- Skin rash
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle weakness
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known. If you notice any other symptoms that worry you, check with your doctor.
- Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them.
- If you take your tablets out of the pack they will not keep as well.
- Keep your tablets in a cool dry place in the original packaging where temperatures stay below 30°C. Protect from light.
- Do not store Amlodipine or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
- Do not leave your medicines on a window sill or in the car.
- Keep where children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and‐a‐half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.