Amlodipine is a drug that treats high blood pressure and angina. It is generally well known under the pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s trade name Norvasc, which is a besylate compound of amlodipine.
Amlodipine is classified as a calcium channel blocker (CCB). Calcium channel blockers block the movement of calcium, which is necessary for vascular smooth muscle and heart muscle to contract, to dilate blood vessels and reduce heart rate and myocardial contractility. Calcium channel blockers can be broadly classified into cardioselective (mainly selectively acting on the heart) blockers and vasodilatory blockers. Amlodipine is a vasodilating calcium channel blocker, which is used to treat hypertension by expanding peripheral blood vessels, and to prevent excessive constriction of arteries in the heart, so it is also used to treat angina.
How does amlodipine work?
Amlodipine is used in the treatment of hypertension and myocardial ischemia caused by angina. It is marketed in the form of a compound with various salts such as amlodipine besylate, amlodipine maleate, amlodipine camsylate, and amlodipine orotate. There is also a form of the enantiomeric S-isomer of amlodipine called S-amlodipine. Among these, amlodipine besylate can be used for the prevention of angina pectoris or coronary revascularization in patients with no heart failure or less than 40% cardiac output among patients whose cardiovascular disease was confirmed by angiography. In addition, amlodipine is used not only as a single drug, but also as a combination drug with other blood pressure drugs to effectively control blood pressure while minimizing side effects, and it is also used with hyperlipidemia treatments to treat hyperlipidemia, which is likely to occur in patients with heart disease.
How to take amlodipine?
In the case of adults, amlodipine is taken 5 mg once a day and can be increased to a maximum of 10 mg a day depending on the patient’s response. For children between the ages of 6 and 17, take 2.5 to 5 mg once a day.
What are the contraindications for amlodipine?
The contraindications to amlodipine are as follows.
- Pregnant women, women who may be pregnant, and lactating women
- Patients with severe liver dysfunction
- Patients with severe aortic valve stenosis
What are the precautions when taking amlodipine?
Precautions for amlodipine are as follows.
- Care should be taken in patients with heart failure, as reports of pulmonary edema have increased when administered.
- Caution is needed in patients with impaired liver function. This is because the half-life of amlodipine is longer in these patients, and the recommended dose has not been established.
- Due to the long half-life, the blood pressure-lowering effect may continue even after the administration is stopped. When amlodipine administration is discontinued and other blood pressure lowering agents are administered, attention should be paid to the dosage and administration interval.
- As the effect is slow, it cannot be used in patients with unstable angina requiring emergency treatment.
What are the side effects of amlodipine?
In general, in patients taking amlodipine, serious side effects that lead to discontinuation of medication do not appear. The most common side effect was edema, and the incidence of side effects increased as the dose increased, and it was more common in women than in men.
Common side effects (reported by 1-10% of users)
- Vascular system: flushing, etc.
- Whole body: fatigue, swelling, etc.
- Cardiovascular system: palpitations, etc.
- Central and peripheral nervous system: dizziness, headache, drowsiness, etc.
- Digestive system: abdominal pain, nausea, etc.
Rare side effects (reported by less than 1% of users)
Boredom, pain, low blood pressure, vasculitis, paresthesia, fainting, taste disorders, erectile dysfunction, gynecomastia, dry mouth, indigestion, high blood sugar, joint pain, muscle pain, insomnia, cough, rhinitis, hair loss, hyperhidrosis, urticaria, hepatitis, jaundice, etc.
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