|Type of medicine||Calcium-channel blocker|
Exforge® (a combination of amlodipine with valsartan)
Sevikar® (a combination of amlodipine with olmesartan)
Amlodipine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and prevent angina (chest pain). It works by relaxing blood vessels which allows blood to circulate more freely around your body. This lowers blood pressure, improves the efficiency of the heart and helps prevent chest pain associated with angina.
Amlodipine may also be used in combination with other medicines used to reduce blood pressure, such as the angiotensin-II receptor antagonists olmesartan or valsartan.
Before taking amlodipine
Before taking amlodipine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver problems.
- If you have any other heart problems.
- If you have angina and have chest pain when you are resting as well as during any exercise.
- If you have porphyria (a rare blood disorder).
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
How to take amlodipine
- Before starting this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack.
- Take amlodipine exactly as your doctor has told you.
- You may take your doses before, during or after food.
- Swallow amlodipine tablets with a glass of water.
- Try to take amlodipine at the same time each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your progress can be monitored.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking amlodipine.
- If you buy any medicines, always check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with your other medicines.
- Suddenly stopping treatment with amlodipine may cause problems. Your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually if this is necessary.
Can amlodipine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Headaches, flushing||These may occur when you first start treatment, but usually go away after a few days. If the headache continues, ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller or discuss the problem with your doctor|
|Pain in the abdomen or feeling sick||Eat little and often. Stick to simple foods|
|Ankle swelling||Take plenty of rest and raise your legs onto a low stool when you are sitting|
|Tiredness, dizziness||Do not drive or use tools or machines while you feel dizzy or tired|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store amlodipine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Amlodipine 5mg/10mg Tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Amlodipine 5mg/10mg Tablets, Sandoz Limited, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2011.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall