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How long does it take for amlodipine to work?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on May 16, 2022.

Official answer


Amlodipine can take more than 8 hours to start working, because it takes a long time to be absorbed. This means it is not a good choice for lowering blood pressure quickly, and other agents, such as hydralazine, clonidine, and nifedipine XL (which work within 1 to 2 hours) are preferred.

Even though amlodipine starts working within 8 hours, it can take 3 to 4 weeks before the full effects are seen. This is because levels of amlodipine accumulate in the blood with repeated, regular dosing, and based on the half-life of amlodipine (which is 30 to 50 hours), it can take 5 to 10 days before blood levels of amlodipine reach steady state (when levels stop fluctuating widely).

  • Faulkner JK, McGibney D, Chasseaud LF, Perry JL, Taylor IW. The pharmacokinetics of amlodipine in healthy volunteers after single intravenous and oral doses and after 14 repeated oral doses given once daily. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1986;22(1):21-25. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.1986.tb02874.x
  • Using Amlodipine Responsibly in Hospitalized Patients. ClinCalc.

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