What is Amlodipine?
Amlodipine belongs to the class of medications known as calcium channel blockers that dilates blood vessels. What Are The Uses of Amlodipine? Amlodipine is mainly used to manage hypertension. It relaxes blood vessels, allowing blood to flow easily.
By lowering blood pressure, Amlodipine also helps prevent:
- Heart attacks
- Kidney problems
This medicine may also be used to prevent angina; however, it does not provide immediate relief and thus cannot be used to manage it.
In patients with angina, Amlodipine improves blood supply to the heart muscles, which ultimately receives more oxygen, and as a result, angina is prevented. Amlodipine may also aid in improving your ability to exercise and reduce the frequency of angina.
How Do You Use Amlodipine?
You should take the following precautions while taking Amlodipine:
- Take medicine exactly as suggested by your doctor
- Read the patient information leaflet before taking this medicine
- Swallow the whole tablet without breaking it with a glass of water
- You can also dissolve this tablet in a glass of water if that is easier for you to take. But you must take all the water at once if you are doing so.
- You should take medicine at the same time every day without fail
- You can take this tablet with or without food
- Do not stop the medication unless advised by your doctor. Hypertension is a silent disorder, which does not have any symptoms. You should thus take this medicine even if you feel well.
If you forget a dose:
- Take it as soon as you remember it the same day and carry on as usual from the next day
- If you completely forget the dose for the whole day, skip it and carry on, as usual, the next day
- Do not take double the dose to compensate for the missed dose
What Are the Side-effects and Risks of Amlodipine?
As with every medication, Amlodipine may also have some side-effects in specific individuals.
Consult your doctor if it persists for more than a week.
- Abdominal pain
- Double or altered vision
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Ankle swelling
- Muscle cramps
- Abnormal taste
- Loss of pain sensation
- Tingling sensation or numbness in your limbs
- Low blood pressure
- Ringing in ears
- Running nose and sneezing (rhinitis)
- Dryness of mouth
- Itchy skin, skin discoloration, and red patches
- Hair loss
- Weight loss or gain
- Change in frequency of urine and an increased urge to urinate
- Muscle or joint pain
- Breast enlargement in men
- Difficulty in getting an erection
- High blood sugar levels
- Bloating of the abdomen
- Swelling of the gums
- Decrease in blood platelets and white blood cells
- Nerve disorder causing numbness or tingling and muscular weakness
- Light sensitivity
- Skin rash
- Liver disorders such as hepatitis, jaundice, and abnormal liver function tests
- Muscle disorder such as tremor, rigidity, and movement disorders
Visit the doctor if you get any side-effects, and it holds even for those side-effects mentioned here. However, if you get the following side-effects, you should visit your doctor immediately:
- Swelling of face, eyes, or lips
- Sudden chest pain, breathing difficulty, or wheezing
- Swelling of the tongue
- Severe skin allergy including hives, skin rash, intense itching, and peeling of the skin
- Abnormal heartbeats
- Severe back and abdominal pain that may suggest inflammation of the pancreas
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.
Who Should Not Take Amlodipine?
You should avoid this medication if you have the following conditions or are on certain medications unless suggested by your doctor. You should not take Amlodipine if you have the following conditions:
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Allergy to Amlodipine or any of its ingredients
- Aortic heart valve narrowing (aortic stenosis)
- Cardiogenic shock
- Heart failure
You should also avoid taking Amlodipine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding Grapefruit increases the concentration of Amlodipine and thus increases the risk of side-effects. So, avoid eating or drinking grapefruit when taking this medicine. Inform your doctor before taking Amlodipine if you have either of the following conditions:
- Recent heart attack
- Sudden increase in blood pressure
- Liver disorders
- Heart failure
Medications that may interfere with the functioning of Amlodipine are:
- Hypericum perforatum
This may not be a comprehensive list, and other drugs may interact with Amlodipine. Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.
When Should You Not Take Amlodipine?
You should not take Amlodipine if:
- It has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
- The packaging shows signs of tampering.
Further, Amlodipine may alter your ability to drive or operate machines. It may make you feel dizzy, sick, or tired, and even give a headache. If you feel any of these effects, do not drive or operate machines and contact your doctor immediately.