Amlodipine

Amlodipine is used to treat high blood pressure or angina, and is commonly prescribed alongside other medications to assist in treatment already in progress.

Amlodipine is used to relax the blood vessels so that your heart does not have to pump as much to regulate the blood supply in your body. This will help lower blood pressure and help relieve pain in the chest caused by an overworked heart. This medication can be used to control chest pain, but it cannot stop an angina attack that has already begun. In most cases, your doctor will prescribe a second medication to help with these attacks. Amlodipine can help you manage your heart condition, but it will not cure it, so talk with your doctor about appropriate long term use of Amlodipine before you start your prescription.

Indications and Usage

Amlodipine is sold under the brand names Amturnide, Azor, Caduet, Exforge, Exforge HCT, Tekamlo, Tribenzor, and Twynsta. These medications are usually prescribed alongside other treatment to assist in the management of high blood pressure or angina, a condition that causes frequent chest pain. Amlodipine is prescribed as a tablet that is taken once a day. You should try to take your medication around the same time every day to help ensure that you always have a consistent amount of medication in your system. In most cases, your doctor will start you on a low dose of Amlodipine and increase your dosage as necessary to monitor your condition. Do not alter your prescription in any way unless you have been given specific medical direction to do so.

In some cases, your symptoms may initially become worse while using Amlodipine. This is nothing to be alarmed about, but you should let your doctor know. Once your symptoms have been eliminated you should not stop taking your medication. If you happen to miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time when you should be taking your next dose. Do not double up doses to make up for those which have been missed.

Amlodipine Dosage

Adults using Amlodipine should be given 5 mg of the drug initially, which can be increased up to 10 mg as necessary. Those who are small, elderly or fragile may be limited to 2.5 mg per day to prevent overdosing. Patients should be examined every 7-14 days to ensure that the Amlodipine doses are clearing from their system at the proper rate. If they are not, your dose may be lowered to help avoid a serious reaction. Children 6-17 may take 2.5-5 mg of Amlodipine per day. Children under 6 are not recommended to use this drug.

How Supplied

Regular Dosage

Special Dosage

2.5, 5 and 10 mg tablets

5 mg daily, increased to 10 mg daily as necessary.

Children 6-17 may be given 2.5-5 mg daily. Small or elderly adults should be limited to 2.5 mg per day.

Amlodipine Side Effects

Side effects are not especially common when taking Amlodipine. The most common side effect associated with this drug is swelling or water retention which occurs in up to 10.8 percent of users. Other common side effects include rapid or forceful heartbeat in 4.5 percent of users, fatigue in 4.5 percent, dizziness in 3.4 percent, nausea in 2.9 percent, flushing in 2.6 percent, and abdominal pain in 1.6 percent and drowsiness in 1.4 percent. These side effects are not dangerous, but you may want to report them to your doctor if they interfere with your ability to function. They will determine whether or not it is necessary to adjust your prescription to avoid these side effects.

Rare side effects of Amlodipine include loss of appetite, shakiness, difficulty swallowing, back pain, vomiting, hot flashes, and weight gain, thirst, dry mouth, vertigo, insomnia, diarrhea, ringing in the ears and sexual problems. These side effects are not the sign of a dangerous reaction, but should be reported to your doctor to ensure that you are being medicated at an appropriate level.

If you begin to suffer from severe swelling, rapid weight gain, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure or the signs of an allergic reaction you may be suffering from a sever reaction to Amlodipine. Stop taking your medication immediately and contact your doctor to determine if it is safe to continue using your medication. Signs of an allergic reaction include hives, itching, swelling, wheezing, difficulty breathing or rash. If these side effects occur, contact emergency medical services immediately.

If you begin to suffer from dizziness, fainting, or rapid heartbeat you may be suffering from an overdose of Amlodipine. Contact poison control and emergency medical services as quickly as possible to get the necessary assistance. This is especially important if you feel as though you may lose consciousness or you begin to have trouble breathing.

Types of Side Effects

Symptoms

Common Side Effects

Swelling, water retention, rapidly or forcefully beating heartbeat, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, flushing, abdominal pain, drowsiness

Serious Side Effects

Severe swelling, rapid weight gain, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, signs of an allergic reaction.

Rare Side Effects

Shakiness, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, back pain, hot flashes, weight gain, ringing in the ears, dry mouth, insomnia, thirst and sexual problems

Overdose

Extreme dizziness, fainting, rapid heartbeat

Interactions

Depending on the nature of your heart condition, it is likely that your doctor will start you on a low sodium diet to help manage your symptoms. Do not make any drastic changes to your diet without your doctor's knowledge. You should also talk to your doctor before starting on a serious exercise routine as this may be dangerous depending on the nature of your heart condition.

Amlodipine may make you dizzy when you get up from a lying or resting position. Take your time getting up and use something to steady yourself to avoid falling and causing injury.

Medications known to interact with Amlodipine include gold injections, shots for bee sting allergies, lithium, simvastatin, NSAIDs, potassium supplements, salt substitutes containing potassium, and diuretics. Inform your doctor about any medications you are taking so that they can determine the best way to help you adjust your medications to ensure that you do not have a poor reaction to Amlodipine.

You should not drink alcohol while you are using Amlodipine. This will lower your blood pressure even further, which could lead to a dangerous condition and increase your risk of side effects.


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