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Amlodipine - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Amlodipine: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is amlodipine?

Amlodipine is an antihypertensive that belongs to a class of medicines called calcium channel blockers. It is either used alone or in combination with other antihypertensive medications. Amlodipine works by relaxing the blood vessels, improving blood flow, and thereby lowering the blood pressure, effectively relieving the strain on the heart. Regular use helps to reduce the frequency of angina attacks (chest pain) but is not effective in alleviating symptoms during an angina attack. It is safe to use for people aged six years and above. 

What are the uses of amlodipine?

Amlodipine is an antihypertensive medication used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), angina (chest pain), and coronary artery disease (narrowing or blockage of coronary arteries, the major blood vessels of the heart, caused by the buildup of fatty material called plaque). 

Amlodipine works by relaxing the blood vessels, improving blood flow, and thereby lowering the blood pressure, effectively relieving the strain on the heart. Lowering blood pressure helps to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes (damage to the brain resulting from reduced/blocked blood supply).

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What are the side effects of amlodipine?

Amlodipine may cause certain side effects such as nasal congestion, sore throat, headache, nausea, stomach pain, swelling of the hands and lower legs, dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue. 

More severe side effects include rapid heartbeat, fainting, and symptoms of a heart attack such as left arm pain. 

Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction to the drug, though rare, include swelling and rash of the face or throat, breathing trouble, and severe dizziness. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Amlodipine

1. Does amlodipine affect the brain?

Studies suggest that calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine may cause cognitive impairment (decline in mental abilities). This medicine may increase your risk of symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, remembering, learning new things and adversely affect your decision-making abilities. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking this medicine, as inappropriate dosing can harm your mental health.

2. Why is amlodipine given at night?

Taking antihypertensive medicines during bedtime may be more effective in reducing your risk of illness or death associated with heart and blood vessel diseases. Blood pressure follows a daily rhythm and rises during the day and falls at night. Hence, the timing of the medication may play an important role in maintaining blood pressure levels.

However, it is recommended to have your medication regimen personalised by your physician based on your clinical condition.

3. What should you avoid when taking amlodipine?

As a precaution, grapefruit or grapefruit juice should be avoided while on treatment with amlodipine. Grapefruit tends to increase amlodipine levels in the body, resulting in a worsening of amlodipine-related side effects.

4. Does amlodipine affect sleep?

Amlodipine may cause drowsiness (excess sleepiness), dizziness, and lightheadedness. Hence, it is recommended to take this medicine at bedtime. If you experience such symptoms after taking this medicine, avoid performing activities that require mental alertness.

5. Is amlodipine linked to dementia?

High blood pressure may increase the risk of dementia (a group of symptoms that may affect memory, thinking, and other social abilities). Studies suggest that treatment with amlodipine may be associated with a decreased risk of dementia in hypertensive individuals over 60 years of age.

6. Can amlodipine cause sinus problems?

Runny and stuffy nose, sore throat, and cough are a few of the rare side effects of amlodipine that occur in 0.01% to 0.1% of patients. Cough is more common when this medication is taken with other antihypertensives such as ACE inhibitors.

7. Is amlodipine good for stress?

Studies have shown that amlodipine may exhibit an anti-oxidative effect, resulting in low-stress levels. Calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine work by influencing calcium metabolism. It helps to reduce blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels and relieving the strain on the heart. However, the relevance of treatment with amlodipine for the management of stress has not been adequately established.

8. Can amlodipine cause depression?

Anxiety, depression, and insomnia (sleeplessness) are a few of the rare side effects of amlodipine that occur in 0.01% to 1% of patients. High blood pressure, heart, and brain diseases have been associated with an increased risk of depression. However, it remains unclear whether treatment with antihypertensive medicines such as amlodipine decreases or increases this risk of mental health problems.

9. When is the best time to take the blood pressure medicine amlodipine?

It is recommended that taking antihypertensive medicines during bedtime may be more effective in reducing your risk of illness or death associated with heart and blood vessel diseases. It is always best practice to take it at the same time every day for effective management of your blood pressure levels.

10. Can amlodipine cause kidney damage?

Calcium channel blockers like amlodipine are non-nephrotoxic, which means they don't harm the kidneys. On the other hand, amlodipine has a protective impact on the kidneys and is known to reduce the course of renal damage in patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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