What Is Amlodipine?

Nearly half of American adults (108 million people, or 45 percent of the adult population) is currently struggling with hypertension, or high blood pressure. Common advice from doctors includes making serious lifestyle changes, like eating right and exercising more. While lifestyle changes are important and can reduce or eliminate high blood pressure for many people, others may require treatment with a blood pressure medication like an ACE inhibitor or beta-blocker in addition to lifestyle changes in order to bring their blood pressure under control. High blood pressure is called the silent killer; because it is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths and heart failure in the United States, but many people have no symptoms and are unaware that they have high blood pressure until it is too late. If your doctor has recommended taking an antihypertensive medication in conjunction with living a healthy lifestyle to control your here's what you need to know about the medication.

Share This Post

Nearly half of American adults (108 million people, or 45 percent of the adult population) is currently struggling with hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Common advice from doctors includes making serious lifestyle changes, like eating right and exercising more.

While lifestyle changes are important and can reduce or eliminate high blood pressure for many people, others may require treatment with a blood pressure medication like an ACE inhibitor or beta-blocker in addition to lifestyle changes in order to bring their blood pressure under control.  

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths and heart failure in the United States, but many people have no symptoms and are unaware that they have high blood pressure until it is too late.

If your doctor has recommended taking an antihypertensive medication in conjunction with living a healthy lifestyle to control your high blood pressure, here’s what you need to know about the medication.

What Is Amlodipine?

Amlodipine, manufactured under the brand names Norvasc and Katerzia, belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers.

Amlodipine was patented in 1982 and was first approved for medical use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1990.

Amlodipine is sold under the brand names listed above and is also sold as a generic drug in the United States. 

What Is Amlodipine Used to Treat?

Amlodipine is primarily used to treat chest pain (angina) and other conditions caused by coronary artery disease, otherwise known as heart disease, and it is also used to treat blood pressure.

Amlodipine is sometimes taken in combination with other medications.

By reducing pain associated with angina, amlodipine reduces the risk of hospitalization and surgeries caused by chest pain.

When treating high blood pressure, amlodipine reduces the risk associated with heart attack or stroke caused by high blood pressure.

Angina

Angina is pain, pressure, or tightness that may be caused by stress or physical activity, such as walking or exercising, and it is usually felt in the chest.

People who suffer from angina usually experience decreased blood flow and oxygen to the heart, which is often caused by atherosclerosis.

If not treated properly, angina can increase the risk of heart attack and become life-threatening.

Angina is sometimes experienced as pressure, tightness, or pain felt in other places than the chest, such as the neck, jaw, shoulder, back, or either arm. Some people may experience shortness of breath, heart palpitations, sweating, nausea, or lightheadedness, and symptoms may feel similar to heartburn.

High Blood Pressure

All people experience the pressure of blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessels as the heart beats; this force is how blood is sent to different areas of the body.

However, hypertension, or high blood pressure, occurs when your blood consistently pushes against the walls of your blood vessels too forcefully for an extended period of time.

The condition is dangerous but it causes an increased workload for the heart and blood vessels, which causes them to work less efficiently over time and requires more effort to provide the tissues and organs with the blood they need to function.

If not controlled or treated with lifestyle changes or medication, hypertension can cause a narrowing of the blood vessels by creating microtears in the walls of the arteries.

This narrowing further prevents the blood from reaching the different areas of the body and causes the blood pressure to rise even more.

The majority of high blood pressure cases have no obvious causes, such as medications or medical conditions, and are primarily influenced by lifestyle factors and genetics.  

How Does Amlodipine Work?

Like other medications in its class, amlodipine works by blocking calcium from entering the heart and arteries.

Our bodies use calcium to cause the heart and arteries to contract more strongly, but for people with high blood pressure or angina, this makes the problem worse.

Calcium channel blockers are effective at lowering blood pressure because when calcium is blocked from entering the heart and arteries, the blood vessels are able to relax and open.

As a byproduct, some calcium channel blockers, including amlodipine, also cause the heart rate to slow down, which further lowers blood pressure, can help control an irregular heartbeat, and helps relieve pain associated with angina.

What Are the Benefits of Amlodipine?

Amlodipine has been around since the 1990s and has developed a reputation as a reliable, effective drug for treating high blood pressure and angina. Use of amlodipine has several benefits:

Are There Any Risks Associated With Amlodipine?

Although there are many benefits associated with amlodipine, as listed above, taking the medication also poses some risks. Risks associated with amlodipine include:

  • Patients with liver problems may see amlodipine build up in their systems, which can cause an increased risk of experiencing side effects. According to drug information, patients with severe liver problems may need to take a lower dosage of the medication.
  • Patients with heart problems may experience lower blood pressure, increased chest pain, or a heart attack after starting or increasing their dose of amlodipine.

What Dose of Amlodipine Do I Take?

The recommended dosage for amlodipine will depend on the condition being treated, the age of the patient, and several other factors.

To treat hypertension in adults, doctors will typically start patients out on a dose of 5 mg taken once per day through oral administration.

If the patient does not have their blood pressure under control within 7 to 14 days of starting treatment, the doctor may increase their dose.

The maximum dosage for amlodipine when treating hypertension is 10 mg taken once per day. Children between the ages of 6 and 17 and seniors over the age of 65 will take 2.5 mg by mouth once per day for hypertension.

While children can bump up to a 5 mg dose if needed to control high blood pressure, seniors process drugs more slowly and should use a lower dosage if possible. 

The typical starting dose for the treatment of angina in adults is 5 mg of amlodipine taken once per day, with a maximum dosage of 10 mg per day.

Amlodipine is not authorized for the treatment of angina in children. Senior citizens over the age of 65 should take 5 mg by mouth once per day for the treatment of angina.

Overall, be sure to follow the medical advice of your doctor including informing them about any missed doses and storing the medication at room temperature. 

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Amlodipine?

Side effects associated with amlodipine are categorized as either common or serious. Common side effects associated with amlodipine that usually do not need medical attention include:

  • Swelling of the legs or ankles
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Hot or warm feeling in the face/flushing
  • Very fast heart rate (arrhythmia)
  • Abnormal muscle movements
  • Tiredness or extreme sleepiness
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)
  • Tremors

As long as these common side effects are mild, they should go away within a few days or weeks. If side effects persist or an allergic reaction occurs, talk to your doctor. This is not a complete list of side effects.

Some side effects of amlodipine do require medical attention. Check with your health care provider immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects while taking amlodipine:

Is Amlodipine Safe for Women Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Limited research has been done on the safety of amlodipine for pregnant women. It is recommended that the medication be used during pregnancy only when clearly needed and when the benefits outweigh the risks to the unborn baby.

If you are pregnant, speak with your doctor about taking amlodipine during pregnancy.

Not enough clinical trials have been done about the effects of Amlodipine on nursing infants to determine conclusively if the medication is safe for use by breastfeeding mothers as it may pass through breast milk.

Thus far, studies indicate that use of amlodipine while breastfeeding has not caused adverse effects in breastfed infants. Nursing mothers should speak to their doctors regarding the use of amlodipine while breastfeeding.

Who Should Not Take Amlodipine?

If you are allergic to amlodipine or other calcium channel blockers,  including nisoldipine or nifedipine, you should not take amlodipine.

It’s important to make your doctor aware of your complete medical history and any prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that you currently take, particularly if you have a history of any of the following:

  • Aortic stenosis, a structural heart problem
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney problems, kidney disease, liver problems or liver disease

Taking amlodipine can make you feel dizzy.

The use of alcohol or marijuana can increase these feelings because of drug interactions.

You should not drive or do anything that requires alertness until you know how amlodipine affects you. 

References, Studies and Sources:

apa.org/helpcenter/lifestyle-changes

drugs.com/amlodipine.html

medically reviewed and fact checked
Sesame Care

Find the best price for great doctors and specialists

  • Thousands of doctors and specialists
  • $13,000,000+ saved by patients
  • 95% patient satisfaction
  • 4.3 on TrustPilot
     

Popular Destinations

Health

Medication

Telehealth Reviews

Shop

Pharmacist Membership

About Us

Pharmacy Near Me

Recent Articles

Hypertensive Heart Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

High blood pressure is a common problem in the U.S. Hypertensive heart disease, or high blood pressure that affects the heart, is one of the most serious problems you can face. The condition impacts one in three U.S. adults and puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Find out more about hypertensive heart disease: what it is, what causes the condition, how it's treated, and the best methods for prevention. 

Read More »
doctor checking phone for prescription

Amlodipine side effects: What are they?

Over 108 million people, or 45 percent of American adults, are currently dealing with hypertension, or high blood pressure, whether they know it or not. Because high blood pressure doesn’t always cause symptoms and just so happens to be the most common cause of cardiovascular disease-related deaths in the United States, it’s known as the “silent killer” – many people have no idea they are affected until it’s too late. Lifestyle factors like poor diet, high-stress levels, not getting enough exercise, and not getting enough sleep all play a role in causing high blood pressure, but the condition can also be caused by other factors, such as medical conditions and certain medications. Lifestyle changes won’t control high blood pressure for everyone, and although they’re an important first step, sometimes treatment with medication is necessary.  One medication commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure is amlodipine.

Read More »

Share On:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

What Is Lisinopril Used For?

Lisinopril is a first-line treatment drug recommended for hypertension, but it also has other less well-known uses.

Amlodipine side effects: What are they?

Over 108 million people, or 45 percent of American adults, are currently dealing with hypertension, or high blood pressure, whether they know it or

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

If you’re one of the one in two Americans struggling to keep their blood pressure at a manageable level, you may be looking for

What Is Losartan Potassium?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimatesthat about 45 percent of American adults, or 108 million people, currently suffer from high blood pressure, also

What is Normal Blood Pressure?

According to the American Heart Association, nearly one in two American adults, or about 103 million people, suffer from high blood pressure. This “silent

Losartan Potassium Side Effects: What Are They?

If you’re one of the 108 million American adults (about 45 percent of the adult population) currently suffering from high blood pressure, you’re definitely

Can a Garlic Supplement Prevent Heart Disease?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America due to many different risk factors. The use of garlic supplementation may help reduce

What is Metoprolol tartrate?

If you’re one of the more than 100 million American adults struggling to manage your high blood pressure, your doctor may have spoken to

Lisinopril Side Effects: What Are They?

One hundred million American adults are struggling to manage their high blood pressure, and if you’re one of them, you’ve likely been told by

Does Aspirin Lower Blood Pressure?

Aspirin, a common medication that is known to reduce the risk of heart attack, has been studied to see whether or not it might

When To Take Lisinopril

Need to know when to take lisinopril? Learn why it’s important to take it at the right time of day.

Does Timing Matter for Blood Pressure Medications?

Uncontrolled blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major burden in the United States that contributes to high heart disease rates, heart attacks, and stroke.

Can Potassium Help Manage High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about half of all adults living in the United States. Preventing and controlling blood pressure through healthy habits

What are Foods to Avoid with High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is heavily influenced by a number of lifestyle factors, which means there are lots of different ways to manage your condition.

What is Lisinopril?

Today, one of the first-line treatments for high blood pressure is lisinopril. Exactly what is lisinopril and what is it used for?

Losartan Potassium Side Effects: What Are They?

Losartan potassium is a commonly prescribed high blood pressure medication that can help lower high blood pressure in hypertensive patients when used in conjunction

How to lower your blood pressure?

Picture yourself and two coworkers. You’re all pretty healthy, right? Appearances can be deceiving. The American Heart Association estimates that about 103 million people,

How Does Lisinopril work?

Drugs within all of these classes are commonly prescribed for cardiovascular problems and some of these names might be familiar to you. Each of

What is Low Blood Pressure?

We often hear about the dangers of high blood pressure, but is it possible for your blood pressure to be too low? With high

What does Amlodipine do?

About 45 percent of the American adult population, or 108 million people, struggle with hypertension, or high blood pressure. This “silent killer” is so