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Understanding Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage of Amlodipine

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker. It decreases blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing the heart to pump more efficiently. Amlodipine uses include treating angina (chest pain) and other coronary artery disease-related symptoms. This medication alleviates chest discomfort by improving the flow of blood to the heart. It regulates chest pain when taken regularly but does not relieve it once it begins. 

If you have chest pain, then your doctor may prescribe a different medication. Amlodipine is also used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children over the age of six. Lowering blood pressure may reduce your risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

How Does Amlodipine Work?

Amlodipine belongs to a class of medicines known as calcium channel blockers. These medications are commonly used to treat comparable symptoms. Preventing calcium from entering vascular smooth muscle cells of arteries, amlodipine helps them relax and allows blood to flow more readily to your heart. As a result, your blood pressure drops, and your chance of having a heart attack or stroke decreases. If you take amlodipine for chest pain, then you are less likely to be hospitalised or undergo surgery.

Amlodipine Uses

Amlodipine is primarily prescribed to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and certain types of chest pain (angina). Amlodipine acts by relaxing and expanding blood arteries, thereby increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Furthermore, by dilating the coronary arteries, it can enhance blood flow to the heart muscle, alleviating angina symptoms.

Amlodipine uses include:

  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Amlodipine is frequently recommended as the first-line treatment for hypertension. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing blood arteries, lowering the risk of hypertension consequences like heart attacks, strokes and renal issues.
  • Angina: Amlodipine can be used to treat both stable and variable angina. It relieves chest pain by improving blood flow to the heart muscle, which may lower the frequency and severity of angina attacks.

Amlodipine may also be prescribed for additional conditions or off-label applications, as evaluated by a healthcare professional. It is critical to take amlodipine exactly as prescribed and to check in with your doctor on a frequent basis to monitor your blood pressure and verify the medicine is working properly.

How Long Does Amlodipine Last?

Amlodipine starts acting immediately after you take your first dose. It may take several days for the medicine to have its full effect on decreasing your blood pressure or relieving chest pain. Its effect typically lasts upto 24 hours when taken on a daily basis.

If your doctor advises you to discontinue it, then the drug will generally remain in your system for around ten days following your final dosage. It is possible to continue to feel the effects of amlodipine after you stop taking it, particularly throughout ten days.

If you have doubts about how long you’ll be taking amlodipine or its long-term effects, then consult your doctor.

Amlodipine Side Effects

Usually, amlodipine marks common and serious side effects that are listed below:

Common Side Effects

The common side effects that can occur with Amlodipine include:

  • Swelling of your legs or ankles
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Hot or warm feeling in your face (flushing)
  • Speedy heart rate (palpitations)

These effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks if these are mild. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any significant side effects, then call your doctor straight away. Serious side effects and symptoms may include the following:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Severe dizziness
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Increased chest pain or a heart attack

In rare situations, when you initially begin taking amlodipine or increase your dosage, your chest pain may worsen, or you may experience a heart attack.

Symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain 
  • Upper body discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chilly sweats
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Nausea 

Conclusion

Amlodipine can be used alone or in combination with other medications to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). High blood pressure increases the workload of the heart and arteries. If this persists for an extended period, then the heart and arteries may cease to operate properly. This can cause damage to the blood arteries in the brain, heart and kidneys, leading to a stroke, heart failure or renal failure. High blood pressure may also raise the risk of heart attack. Controlling blood pressure may reduce the likelihood of these disorders. Amlodipine is also used to treat chronic stable angina (chest discomfort) and vasospastic angina (prinzmetal’s or variant angina). 

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