Amlodipin - Use | Side Effects | Precautions
Amlodipin belongs to the group of medicines called calcium channel blockers. Amlodipin works by blocking calcium channels, which cause widening of blood vessels (vasodilation). Widening of blood vessels causes following effects:
- Easier blood flow through the blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. Due to this effect, Amlodipin is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Improving blood supply to the heart muscle. Due to this effect, Amlodipin is used in the treatment of Prinzmetal angina.
Amlodipin should be avoided in the following conditions:
- If you are allergic to Amlodipin or other similar medicines, such as: nifedipine, nicardipine and others.
- If you have heart failure or you have had heart attack.
- If you have an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart (aortic stenosis)
- If you have low blood pressure (hypotension).
Amlodipin can be used in patients with liver diseases at lower than normal doses. Elderly patients require dose reduction.
Avoid use of alcoholic beverages and grapefruit juice while using Amlodipin, because these beverages may increase the concentration of Amlodipin in the blood and increase the risk of side effects.
Use of Amlodipin during pregnancy and breastfeeding
According to the FDA, Amlodipin belongs to group C (FDA: Group C). This means that animal studies have shown adverse effect of Amlodipin on fetus, but there are no studies on humans. Amlodipin should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the child.
There are no data whether Amlodipin passes into breast milk. Avoid breastfeeding while using Amlodipin.
How to use
Initial dose of Amlodipin is 5 mg once a day. The dose may be increased up to 10 mg once a day. Your doctor will start you at a low dose, and then gradually increase your dose as needed.
Amlodipin can be taken with or without meal, because the food does not affect Amlodipin.
Do not use alcoholic beverages or grapefruit, while taking Amlodipin. Alcohol beverages and grapefruit may increase the concentration of Amlodipin in the blood and cause side effects.
Patients aged 8-17 years and elderly patients (>65 years):
The recommended dose is 2.5 mg once a day. Patients with liver diseases, also require dose reduction.
Symptoms of an overdose include: fatigue, dizziness and headache.
Contact your doctor if you are experiencing above mentioned symptoms.
Use with other medicines (Interactions)
Amlodipin should be avoided in combination with the following medicines:
- Medicines used to treat high cholesterol, the so-called statins, such as: simvastatin, rosuvastatin, and others.
- Medicines used in the treatment of fungal infections, such as: ketoconazole, itraconazole and fluconazole.
- Medicines used in the treatment of viral infections (HIV), such as: nelfinavir, saquinavir, ritonavir and efavirenz.
- Antibiotics, such as: eritrimicin, clarithromycin, azithromycin, rifampicin and isoniazid.
- Other calcium channel blockers, such as: verapamil and diltiazem.
- St. John's Wort.
Tell your doctor about all medications and herbal products you are taking.
Amlodipin may cause the following side effects:
- Heart palpitations (feelings of having rapid or pounding heart)
- Stomach pain
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Muscle ache
- Joint pain
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Gynecomastia (male breast enlargement)
- Difficulty urinating
- Mood swings (depression, anxiety)
- Blurred vision
- Photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to sunlight)
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Allergy and others.
Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any side effects.