Amlodipine belongs to the family of medications known as calcium channel blockers. Amlodipine is used to treat high blood pressure and angina (chest pain). It works to control blood pressure and reduces the number of angina attacks by widening and relaxing blood vessels.
ratio-Amlodipine is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under amlodipine. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
The recommended adult starting dose of amlodipine is 5 mg taken once daily. Depending on the effectiveness of this medication for your condition, and how well the medication is tolerated, your doctor may suggest a dose between 2.5 mg and 10 mg taken once daily.
For children ages 6 to 17 years, the recommended dose is 2.5 mg to 5 mg once daily.
Amlodipine can be taken with or without food.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones above, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is less than 12 hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not take amlodipine if you:
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Chest pain/heart attack: Rarely, this medication may worsen angina (chest pain) or precipitate a heart attack when it is first started or when the dose is increased. People with severe heart disease seem to be more at risk. If you experience worsening chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack (e.g., chest pain, pressure, or heaviness; nausea; shortness of breath; cool, clammy skin; anxiety) while taking this medication, get immediate medical attention.
Grapefruit juice: Grapefruit juice may increase the effects of amlodipine. Avoid grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver disease or decreased liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may recommend a lower dose.
Low blood pressure: Like other medications for blood pressure, amlodipine may cause a lowering of blood pressure when rising from a sitting or lying position, or a racing heart rate, especially during the first few weeks of treatment. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded or feel your pulse is racing, and this feeling does not go away after a few minutes, call your doctor. If you have heart disease (e.g., heart failure, heart attack) or are taking other medications that lower blood pressure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if amlodipine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of amlodipine have not been established for children less than 6 years of age.
Seniors: Seniors may be more sensitive to the side effects of amlodipine. Your doctor may suggest a lower dose.
There may be an interaction between amlodipine and any of the following:
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.
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