Amlodipine

Amlodipine

Amlodipine is a medication used to treat high blood pressure. This medication works to relax and widen the blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. It can also be used to treat heart failure and kidney problems.

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Amlodipine is a medication used to treat high blood pressure. This medication works to relax and widen the blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood around the body. It can also be used to treat heart failure and kidney problems.

What is Amlodipine?

Amlodipine belongs to a group of medicines called calcium channel blockers, which are used to lower high blood pressure. The medication works to relax the blood vessels and allow the blood to pass through more easily.

Amlodipine also works to improve the blood supply to the heart, which means it is useful for treating people who suffer with chest pain caused by angina.

Amlodipine is a prescription only medication. You cannot buy it without a prescription. However, we can prescribe it to you following an online consultation. Contact us to find out more.

For more information about this medicine, consult the patient information leaflet.

How it works

Amlodipine works by preventing calcium from entering the cells lining the walls of blood vessels and the heart. By doing so, this triggers relaxation and causes blood vessels to widen. This then encourages blood and oxygen to flow through more readily, reducing blood pressure and increasing oxygen to the heart.

Before you take it

Do not take amlodipine if you are allergic to calcium channel blockers or any of the other ingredients of this medicine. A full list of ingredients can be found in the patient information leaflet.

Do not take the medicine if you are suffering from cardiogenic shock, narrowing of the aortic heart valve or if you suffer from heart problems in general. This medicine may not be suitable for you as amlodipine affects blood flow and pressure, therefore your GP may suggest an alternative medication.

Amlodipine causes blood pressure to drop, so should be avoided by patients who already have low blood pressure or patients who are prone to fainting.

This medicine is not recommended for use during pregnancy as there is limited research on how it will affect an unborn baby. Don't take amlodipine if you are breastfeeding, as it has been shown to pass into breast milk. Your doctor may choose another treatment for you if you are breastfeeding.

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, or have recently taken any other medicines. Some medicines may interact with amlodipine and its effectiveness. Tell your doctor before taking amlodipine if you are taking any of the following:

  • Medicines that can lower blood pressure (e.g. verapamil, diltiazem)
  • Ketoconazole and itraconazole (antifungal medicines)
  • HIV-protease-inhibitors (used to treat HIV infection)
  • Antibiotics, like erythromycin and telithromycin
  • Tacrolimus (a medicine used to alter the way your immune system works)
  • Ciclosporin (an immunosuppressant)
  • Medicines for epilepsy, such as phenobarbital

This is not a complete list of warnings and interactions. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet.

Dosage instructions

Always take amlodipine exactly as your doctor has told you. Never exceed the stated dose. If you are unsure of how to take this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Take this medicine at the same time each day. Do not take amlodipine with grapefruit juice.

The usual starting dose for adults is 5mg once daily. Your dose may then be adjusted by your doctor depending on your response.

Swallow the tablet whole, with water. Do not suck, crush or chew them.

Store in a cool, dry place and keep it out of the reach of children.

Common Side Effects of Amlodipine

Like all medicines, Amlodipine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. However, if these side effects persist, or they concern you, contact your doctor for advice. Side effects may include:

  • Oedema (fluid retention)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Flushing
  • Swollen ankles

Although they are very rare, some side effects can be more severe. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking this medicine:

  • Multiple areas of swelling (eyelids, tongue, throat)
  • Wheeziness
  • Chest pain
  • Severe skin reactions

Amlodipine has the potential to cause allergic reactions in very rare cases. If you experience such a reaction you must seek medical help straight away.

  • Hives
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Severe itching
  • Blistering

This is not a complete list of side effects and interactions. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I take amlodipine if I have liver problems?

Your doctor will decide if this medicine is suitable for you and the correct dose for you to take. Amlodipine is processed by your liver. If you suffer from liver problems, the drug may stay in your system for prolonged periods of time and its effect may be altered.

What should I do if I take more amlodipine tablets than I should?

If you have taken too much amlodipine, contact your nearest hospital casualty department. Symptoms of an overdose include: extreme dizziness, problems with breathing and having to urinate very often.

What if I forget to take amlodipine tablets?

If you forget to take a tablet, leave out that dose completely and take your next dose at the right time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

Can I stop taking amlodipine tablets?

Amlodipine only helps to control your blood pressure for as long as you are taking it. If you stop taking it, your blood pressure may rise again. Do not stop taking amlodipine unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Is amlodipine suitable for children?

Amlodipine has not been studied in children under the age of 6 years. Amlodipine should only be used to treat children and adolescents from 6 years to 17 years of age under the guidance of a specialist. We do not prescribe to anyone under the age of 18.

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