Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker that’s metabolized mainly in the liver. It can be taken by a patient at any time. It does not necessarily have to be taken with food.
Amlodipine can affect the amount of calcium in a patient’s heart and muscle cells. It’s used mainly to treat patients who have high blood pressure, but it’s also used to prevent certain types of chest pain and angina.
Blood pressure is lowered by amlodipine by relaxing the blood vessels. This way, blood can flow more easily. This lowering of blood pressure helps to reduce risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disorders.
Commonly, amlodipine is known to help relieve patients of chest or heart pains, which can happen when not enough oxygen gets to the heart muscles. This lack of oxygen may be due to spasms or coronary artery blockage.
Those with a narrow coronary artery may also feel chest or heart pain during strenuous physical activities: heavy physical activity can increase the demand for oxygen in the heart. Taking amlodipine lessens the stress in blood vessels, thereby reducing the amount of work the heart has to do.
Amlodipine comes in tablet form and in dosages of 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg. It is usually taken once a day. Your doctor will base your dosage on your individual medical condition response to treatments.
It’s important to take this medication regularly. Otherwise, it might not be as effective.
Most patients with high blood pressure do not feel sick, which makes them forget to take the medicine. If you’ve been prescribed amlodipine, try to take the medicine at the same time each day to make it a habit.
Amlodipine is used to prevent angina, not treat it. If angina occurs, a doctor must be consulted. Different medication may be required.
Amlodipine Side Effects
Most people who take amlodipine do not suffer from any side effects. If side effects are felt, risks are usually outweighed by the benefits.
Still, remember to consult a doctor immediately if serious, though unlikely, side effects of the medicine are felt. Here are a few to remember:
- Allergic reactions: rashes, swelling, or itching of the face, tongue or throat
- Breathing problems
- Chest pain
- Facial flushing
- Severe fatigue
- Hearing changes
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mouth dryness
- Sleeping problems
- Stomach pain
- Swelling in the legs, ankles or lower extremities
- Vision changes
- Vomiting or nausea
Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant should not use amlodipine. Neither should breastfeeding women use it.
If you have any of the following problems, amlodipine might not be for you:
- Allergic reactions to medicines, dyes, foods or preservatives
- Heart problems like aortic stenosis
- Liver disease
Additionally, it should not be taken with the following:
- Certain dietary supplements
- Local or general anesthetics
- High blood pressure medicines
- Prostate problem medicines
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