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

What is amlodipine?

Amlodipine is in a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers. Amlodipine relaxes (widens) blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Amlodipine is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) or chest pain (angina) and other conditions caused by coronary artery disease. This medication is for use in adults and children who are at least 6 years old.

Amlodipine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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

Before taking amlodipine, tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure or liver disease.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of amlodipine.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

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Amlodipine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Tell your doctor about all other heart or blood pressure medications you are taking.

Your chest pain may become worse when you first start taking amlodipine or when your dose is increased. Call your doctor if your chest pain is severe or ongoing.

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

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to amlodipine.

To make sure you can safely take amlodipine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a heart valve problem called aortic stenosis;

  • congestive heart failure; or

  • liver disease.

If you are also taking a beta-blocker drug (such as Betapace, Blocadren, Corgard, Coreg, Inderal, InnoPran, Lopressor, Normodyne, Tenoretic, Tenormin, Toprol, Trandate, Zebeta, and others) do not suddenly stop using the beta-blocker without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Stopping a beta-blocker too quickly can cause serious heart problems that will not be prevented by amlodipine.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether amlodipine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether amlodipine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking amlodipine.

How should I take amlodipine?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Amlodipine is usually taken once daily. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Your chest pain may become worse when you first start taking amlodipine or when your dose is increased. Call your doctor if your chest pain is severe or ongoing.

Amlodipine is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and other medications. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include rapid heartbeats, severe dizziness, and fainting.

What should I avoid while taking amlodipine?

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of amlodipine.

Amlodipine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest; or

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • dizziness, drowsiness;

  • tired feeling;

  • stomach pain; or

  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect amlodipine?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin); or

  • any other heart or blood pressure medications.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with amlodipine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about amlodipine
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01. Revision Date: 2011-11-29, 11:45:52 AM.

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