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All about: amlodipine

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Generic Name: amlodipine (am LOE di peen)
Brand Names: Norvasc

What is amlodipine?

Amlodipine is in a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. Amlodipine relaxes (widens) the blood vessels (veins and arteries), making it easier for the heart to pump and reducing its workload.

Amlodipine is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and to treat angina (chest pain).

Amlodipine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about amlodipine?

Do not stop taking amlodipine without first talking to your doctor, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking the medication, your condition could become worse.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking amlodipine?

Before taking amlodipine, tell your doctor if you have

  • liver disease; or
  • another disease of the heart or blood vessels such as sick sinus syndrome, aortic stenosis, heart failure, low blood pressure, or coronary artery disease.

You may not be able to take amlodipine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Amlodipine is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether amlodipine will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether amlodipine passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 65 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from amlodipine. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take amlodipine?

Take amlodipine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water. Do not stop taking amlodipine without first talking to your doctor, even if you begin to feel better. If you stop taking the medication, your condition could become worse. Store amlodipine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an amlodipine overdose include dizziness, weakness, chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, unusually fast or slow heartbeat, coma, slurred speech, and confusion.

What should I avoid while taking amlodipine?

Follow any recommendations your doctor makes about diet or exercise.

Use caution when you stand or sit up from a lying position, especially if you wake up during the night. You may become dizzy when changing positions. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may further lower blood pressure and increase drowsiness or dizziness while taking amlodipine.

Amlodipine side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking amlodipine and contact your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical treatment:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • unusually fast or slow heartbeat;

  • chest pain;

  • severe dizziness or fainting;

  • psychosis;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • swelling of the legs or ankles.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take amlodipine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • fatigue or tiredness;

  • headache;

  • insomnia;

  • vivid or abnormal dreams;

  • flushing;

  • abdominal pain;

  • nausea, diarrhea, or constipation; or

  • increased or difficult urination.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect amlodipine?

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other heart medicines. Amlodipine may compound the effects of other heart medications.

Other drugs may also interact with amlodipine or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about amlodipine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Amlodipine is available with a prescription under the brand name Norvasc. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Norvasc 2.5 mg--white, diamond-shaped, flat-faced tablets with beveled edges

  • Norvasc 5 mg--white, elongated, octagonal, flat-faced, tablets with beveled edges

  • Norvasc 10 mg--white, round, flat-faced, tablets with beveled edges

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.05. Revision Date: 7/21/04 1:31:47 PM.

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