The active substance is Amlodipine.
what is amlodipine?
- Amlodipine widens your blood vessels and lowers your blood pressure . More oxygen will also go to your heart.
- For high blood pressure and angina pectoris (painful and tight feeling on your chest).
- Amlodipine will slowly drop your blood pressure within 6 weeks. Your other complaints will also decrease.
- Using the drug every day reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease .
- You may experience swollen ankles and lower legs, headache, flushing, dizziness and gastrointestinal complaints. It can also suddenly get very hot, causing you to sweat a lot, for example. This is called a hot flash.
- Most side effects disappear within a few weeks. Do you continue to have problems? Then talk to your doctor.
what is amlodipine used for and what does amlodipine do?
Amlodipine belongs to the calcium blockers . It dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and decreases the oxygen demand of the heart.
Doctors prescribe it for high blood pressure and angina pectoris (painful and tight feeling on your chest) and sometimes for pulmonary arterial hypertension (high blood pressure in the blood vessels of your lungs).
- People with high blood pressure generally do not feel this. High blood pressure is also not a disease, but is more likely to cause cardiovascular disease.
- When the blood pressure is elevated, the blood flows through the vessels too forcefully.
- This is harmful to the blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels increase the risk of a stroke (cerebral infarction or cerebral haemorrhage) and serious heart diseases, such as heart cramps and heart failure.
How it works
- Calcium keeps the wall of the blood vessels under tension. By blocking the calcium, the blood vessels relax and widen. As a result, the blood can flow better and the blood pressure drops.
- Due to the lower blood pressure, there is less risk of cardiovascular disease, such as a stroke.
- In the treatment of high blood pressure, doctors can prescribe various medicines.
- They often start with a water tablet, a beta blocker and / or an ACE inhibitor.
- If these drugs cannot be used, the doctor can prescribe a calcium blocker. Even if your blood pressure does not get low enough with a water tablet, beta blocker or ACE inhibitor, the doctor may decide to prescribe a calcium blocker.
- After three to six weeks, the full effect on blood pressure is achieved. You will not notice much of this yourself.
- You will not know whether it works until you measure your blood pressure. Still, it is important to take amlodipine every day. Only then can this drug optimally protect you against cardiovascular disease.
- Angina pectoris (heart spasm) is a heart condition with attacks of pain or tightness in the chest. This pain can radiate to the arm, jaw, neck or shoulder.
- The pain mainly arises at times when the heart has to work harder: for example during exercise, stress, emotions, a heavy meal or during the transition from heat to cold.
- The main cause of angina pectoris is a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the heart (the coronary arteries).
- As a result, less blood comes to the heart muscle, so also less oxygen. This lack of oxygen causes the complaints.
- If you have more than two attacks of heart cramps per week, your doctor will prescribe medication to treat the symptoms. Usually this is a beta blocker, a drug that reduces the speed and force with which the heart beats to an acceptable level.
- If you cannot tolerate beta-blockers, or if you have a special form of angina pectoris (Prinzmetal), the doctor may prescribe a calcium blocker such as amlodipine.
- Calcium blockers reduce pressure in the blood vessels, reducing the need for the heart to pump. This will reduce the risk of an angina attack.
The effect starts within 1 hour after ingestion and lasts for approximately 24 hours.
- You will notice the effect because you have less chest pain, for example when climbing stairs. However, this does not mean that you should immediately start doing more strenuous activities.
- Your body has to get used to this again slowly. Discuss this with your doctor.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension
Pulmonary arterial hypertension involves abnormally high blood pressure in the lung vessels. This affects the heart function. The blood is no longer being pumped properly. This will make you feel short of breath, tire more easily and may experience chest pain, fainting and fluid in your legs.
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension can be congenital or the result of another condition. For example, a congenital heart defect or scleroderma .
- Scleroderma literally means ‘hard skin’. The hardening is the result of inflammation that leaves scar tissue.
- The underlying tissues can also become infected, such as the organs, for example the blood vessels, kidneys, intestines and lungs. When this hardening occurs in the heart tissue, the heart will no longer be able to contract properly. As a result, the blood can no longer be properly pumped and heart failure occurs.
How it works
- Calcium keeps the wall of the blood vessels under tension. By blocking the calcium, the blood vessels relax and widen. This lowers blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs.
- These effects reduce the pressure on the heart on the blood flowing to the lungs. The heart then has to work less hard. This reduces the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a serious disease. In the past, no treatment was possible and a lung transplant was the only resort. Now there are several drugs, including amlodipine.
- The treatment is not curative yet, but progress has been made in recent years by improving complaints and quality of life.
what is the side effect of amlodipine?
In addition to the desired effect, this can cause drug side effects.
The main side effects are the following.
Sometimes (affects 10 to 30 in 100 people)
- Edema . You will notice this especially on swollen ankles and feet. This is due to too much widening of the blood vessels in the legs. This usually disappears after a few weeks. If you still experience after this, see your doctor.
Rare (affects 1 to 10 in 100 people)
- Headache, feeling of heat, flushing and, very rarely, palpitations . These side effects are also the result of widening of the blood vessels. They usually disappear after a few weeks. If you still experience after this, see your doctor.
- S muscle cramping and very rarely, muscle pain , back pain and joint pain . If you have the muscle disease myasthenia gravis : you may be more prone to this disease. Contact your doctor if you notice this.
- Dizziness , especially when getting up from bed or a chair. This generally resolves when your body has adjusted to the lower blood pressure (within a few days to weeks). If you feel dizzy, do not get out of bed or a chair too quickly. It is best to lie down for a while and put your legs a little higher, for example on a pillow.
- Blurred vision . This usually resolves after a few days to weeks. Does it continue to bother you? Then consult your doctor.
- Drowsiness , tiredness and feeling faint.
- Gastrointestinal complaints , such as nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea or constipation . Very rare stomach acid (reflux) . People with long-term complaints of heartburn may develop more complaints. Then talk to your doctor.
Very rare (affects less than 1 in 100 people)
- Insomnia, depression, mood swings, confusion (confusion) and anxiety.
- Taste changes.
- Dry mouth and gum problems . This allows cavities to develop in your teeth earlier. Brush and floss extra well if you notice that you suffer from a dry mouth or an overgrowth of the gums. If necessary, have the dentist check your teeth and gums more often.
- Trembling hands and numbness or tingling in the limbs.
- Need to urinate more often.
- Breast formation in men and impotence (erectile dysfunction). If you experience this side effect , seek the advice of your doctor. The dose may need to be adjusted or a different medicine may be more suitable for you.
- Runny nose , shortness of breath and ringing in the ears. Consult your doctor if this is a problem for you.
- Hair loss , rash , itching, excessive sweating and skin discoloration. If you have the skin disease psoriasis : the symptoms may get worse. In that case, please contact your doctor.
- Hypersensitivity to this drug. You will notice this from a rash and hives, sometimes a fever also occurs. Consult your doctor in case of these symptoms. Severe hypersensitivity is indicated by breathlessness or a swollen face, tongue, lips, mouth or throat. Very rarely a serious skin lesion can develop, with blisters on the skin or a bright red skin. Warn than a doctor immediately. In all these cases, you should not use this medicine in the future. Therefore, inform the pharmacist that you are hypersensitive to amlodipine. The pharmacy team can then ensure that you do not receive this medicine again.
Consult your doctor if you experience too much of any of the above side effects or if you experience any other side effects that you are concerned about.
Do you suffer from any side effect? Report this to the lareb side effect center. All reports about side effects of medicines in the Netherlands are collected here.
Explanation of frequencies
- Regular : affects more than 30 in 100 people
- Uncommon : affects 10 to 30 in 100 people
- Rare : affects 1 to 10 in 100 people
- Very rare : affects less than 1 in 100 people
when to take amlodipine?
Always check the pharmacy label for the correct dosage .
- The tablets occupy with half a glass of water.
- The drink is used by children. See .
- You may the drug take up at any time of the day.
- Do choose a fixed time , preferably in the morning at breakfast, then you will forget a dose less quickly .
- If you have suffered from dizziness in the beginning, you can also go in the evening before bedtime taking .
- High blood pressure . Treatment for high blood pressure is usually long-term . If this drug works well for you, you will likely need to use it for a lifetime.
- Angina pectoris (painful and tight feeling on your chest). You will likely need to use this drug for a long time . Discuss this with your doctor.
What if I miss a dose?
It is important to take this medicine consistently. If you do miss a dose :
You use amlodipine 1 times a day : it takes more than 8 hours before the next dose assumes normal? Then take the forgotten dose . Does it take less than 8 hours? Then skip the forgotten dose .
Can I drive a car, drink alcohol, and eat or drink anything with this medicine?
driving a car?
- You may feel dizzy for the first few days when you take amlodipine. This is because your body has yet to adjust to the lower blood pressure .
- After a few days that is usually over and driving is no problem. If you remain dizzy or have blurred vision, do not participate in traffic.
- Alcohol dilates blood vessels, just like amlodipine. This may cause dizziness. Try drinking alcohol in moderation at first.
- You can then assess for yourself whether this will bother you a lot. In general, a glass of wine a few times a week is no problem.
- There are no restrictions for this with this medication.
What drugs interact with amlodipine?
This drug interacts with other drugs. The text below only lists the active ingredients of these drugs, not the brand names. You can check whether your medicine contains one of these active substances in your package leaflet under the heading ‘composition’.
The drugs with which the main interactions occur are the following.
- Other blood pressure reducers . The blood pressure may be too low if you start taking amlodipine with other antihypertensives. Your doctor will take this into account and will prescribe a lower dose in the beginning . Depending on the effect, the doctor will gradually increase the dose .
- Certain drugs for an enlarged prostate , namely the alpha-blockers alfuzosin, doxazosin and terazosin. These can lower blood pressure and cause dizziness at the beginning of treatment . Amlodipine enhances this side effect . This trade-off is only important the first few days that you start an alpha blocker. The first few times it is best to take the alpha blocker in the evening , when you are already in bed, in case you get dizzy. If you’re using a delayed-release alpha blocker , you may feel dizzy when you get up the next morning. This will be over after a few days.
- Cimetidine (stomach medicine), clarithromycin and erythromycin (antibiotics), fluoxetine (medicine for depression ) and fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole and voriconazole (antifungals). These drugs can increase the amount of amlodipine in the blood. As a result, amlodipine can cause more side effects, such as headache, flushing and dizziness. Your body can also start retaining too much water ( edema ). In these cases, please contact your doctor.
- Some medicines for HIV (the virus that can give you AIDS) and hepatitis C (a form of liver inflammation). Ask your pharmacist which medicines this concerns.
Not sure if any of the above interactions are of interest to you? Please contact your pharmacist or doctor.
Can I use this medicine if I am pregnant, planning to become or breastfeeding?
amlodipine during pregnancy
- Consult your doctor. You should NOT use this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon.
- Too little is known about the use of this drug during pregnancy. You may be able to (temporarily) switch to a different medication.
- If you want to breast-feed, talk to your doctor. This drug passes into breast milk. It is not known whether this will harm the baby. You may be able to switch to a different medication. A medicine that is known to be safe to use.
- Are you on prescription or over-the-counter medications? Would you like to help increase knowledge about medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
can i just stop taking amlodipine?
- If you are taking this medicine for high blood pressure , you can stop taking this medicine at any time. However, only stop after consulting your doctor.
- If you use it against heart cramps, there is a small chance that you will have an attack. It is therefore wiser to taper off slowly. Consult your doctor about this.
What is another name for amlodipine?
The active substance amlodipine is contained in the following products:
- Exforge HCT
- Amlodipinedrank FNA
Do I need a prescription?
- Amlodipine has been on the international market since 1990. It is available by prescription under the brand name Norvasc and as the unbranded Amlodipine in tablets.
- Amlodipine is also used in combination with other active substances under the brand names Coveram, Exforge, Exforge HCT, Natrixam, Sevikar and Triplixam and as the unbranded Perindopril / Amlodipine, Amlodipine / Valsartan and Amlodipine / Valsartan / HCT.