Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker medication used to treat high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. While not typically recommended in heart failure, amlodipine may be used if other medications are not sufficient for treating high blood pressure or heart-related chest pain.
Amlodipine was patented in 1982 and approved for medical use in 1990. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. It is available as a generic medication.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Amlodipine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure in adults and children 6 years and older. It is also used to treat certain types of angina (chest pain) and coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). Amlodipine is in a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. It controls chest pain by increasing the supply of blood to the heart. If taken regularly, amlodipine controls chest pain, but it does not stop chest pain once it starts. Your doctor may prescribe a different medication to take when you have chest pain.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
How should this medicine be used?
Amlodipine comes as a tablet and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. To help you remember to take amlodipine, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take amlodipine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of amlodipine and gradually increase your dose. Amlodipine helps to control high blood pressure, angina, and coronary artery disease but does not cure these conditions. Continue to take amlodipine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking amlodipine without talking to your doctor.
What is the best time to take amlodipine?
It does not matter what time of day you take amlodipine (morning or evening) but it is best to take it at the same time every day when you are most likely to remember, for more even blood levels and therefore effectiveness. Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker that dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow.
However, amlodipine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.