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AmLODIPine

Medically reviewed on Nov 15, 2018

Pronunciation

(am LOE di peen)

Index Terms

  • AmLODIPine Bes+SyrSpend SF
  • Amlodipine Besylate

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral:

Norvasc: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg

Generic: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Norvasc

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antianginal Agent
  • Antihypertensive
  • Calcium Channel Blocker
  • Calcium Channel Blocker, Dihydropyridine

Pharmacology

Inhibits calcium ion from entering the “slow channels” or select voltage-sensitive areas of vascular smooth muscle and myocardium during depolarization, producing a relaxation of coronary vascular smooth muscle and coronary vasodilation; increases myocardial oxygen delivery in patients with vasospastic angina. Amlodipine directly acts on vascular smooth muscle to produce peripheral arterial vasodilation reducing peripheral vascular resistance and blood pressure.

Absorption

Well absorbed (Meredith 1992)

Distribution

Mean Vd:

Children >6 years: Similar to adults on a mg per kg basis; Note: Weight-adjusted Vd in younger children (<6 years of age) may be greater than in older children (Flynn 2006)

Adults: 21 L/kg (Scholz 1997)

Metabolism

Hepatic (~90%) to inactive metabolites

Excretion

Urine (10% of total dose as unchanged drug, 60% of total dose as metabolites)

Clearance: May be decreased in patients with hepatic insufficiency or moderate to severe heart failure; weight-adjusted clearance in children >6 years of age is similar to adults; Note: Weight-adjusted clearance in younger children (<6 years of age) may be greater than in older children (Flynn 2006)

Onset of Action

Antihypertensive effect: Significant reductions in blood pressure at 24 to 48 hours after first dose; slight increase in heart rate within 10 hours of administration may reflect some vasodilating activity (Donnelly 1993)

Time to Peak

Plasma: 6 to 12 hours

Duration of Action

Antihypertensive effect: At least 24 hours (Donnelly 1993); has been shown to extend to at least 72 hours when discontinued after 6 to 7 weeks of therapy (Biston 1999)

Half-Life Elimination

Terminal (biphasic): 30 to 50 hours; increased with hepatic dysfunction

Protein Binding

~93%

Special Populations: Hepatic Function Impairment

AUC may increase ~40% to 60%.

Special Populations: Elderly

AUC may increase ~40% to 60%.

Special Populations Note

Moderate to severe heart failure: AUC may increase ~40% to 60%.

Use: Labeled Indications

Chronic stable angina: Treatment of symptomatic chronic stable angina. May be used alone or in combination with other antianginal agents.

Hypertension: Management of hypertension.

Stable coronary artery disease with ongoing ischemic symptoms: To reduce the risk of hospitalization secondary to angina and to reduce the risk of a coronary revascularization procedure in patients with documented coronary artery disease (CAD).

Vasospastic angina (previously referred to as Prinzmetal or variant angina): Treatment of confirmed or suspected vasospastic angina. May be used alone or in combination with other antianginal agents.

Off Label Uses

Raynaud phenomenon

Based on the European Society for Vascular Medicine guidelines for the diagnosis and management of Raynaud phenomenon, amlodipine is a reasonable alternative to nifedipine for the management of this condition.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to amlodipine or any component of the formulation

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Hypersensitivity to other dihydropyridines; severe hypotension (SBP <90 mm Hg); breastfeeding

Dosing: Adult

Hypertension: Oral: Initial: 2.5 to 5 mg once daily; titrate every 1 to 2 weeks as needed based on patient response; maximum: 10 mg/day (ACC/AHA [Whelton 2018]); antihypertensive effect attenuates with higher doses and adverse effects may become more prominent (Mann 2018). Note: Initial therapy with a combination of antihypertensive medications may be necessary for patients >20/10 mm Hg above goal. Recommended combinations with a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker (eg, amlodipine) include an ACE inhibitor (eg, benazepril), ARB (eg, valsartan), or thiazide diuretic (eg, chlorthalidone) (ACC/AHA [Whelton 2018]). Some experts preferentially recommend an ACE inhibitor or ARB in combination with a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker (Jamerson 2008; Mann 2018). For patients <20/10 mm Hg above their goal and who have minimal or no response to the initial agent chosen for monotherapy, some experts recommend a sequential monotherapy strategy (Mann 2018); however, over time, many patients will require more than one agent.

Raynaud phenomenon (off-label use): Oral: 5 mg once daily; gradually increase dose based on patient response and tolerability; maximum dose: 20 mg/day (ESVM [Belch 2017]; Wigley 2018)

Stable coronary artery disease (CAD) with ongoing ischemic symptoms or chronic stable angina (alternative agent): Oral: 5 to 10 mg once daily. Note: Preferentially, a beta-blocker should be prescribed as initial therapy; calcium channel blockers may be added if there are contraindications, unacceptable adverse effects, or ongoing symptoms with beta blockade (Fihn 2012).

Vasospastic angina: Oral: 5 to 10 mg once daily. Note: Used alone or in combination with nitrates (Fihn 2012).

Dosing: Geriatric

Dosing should start at the lower end of dosing range and be titrated to response due to possible increased incidence of hepatic, renal, or cardiac impairment. Elderly patients also show decreased clearance of amlodipine.

Hypertension: Oral: Initial: 2.5 mg once daily

Stable coronary artery disease (CAD) with ongoing ischemic symptoms or chronic stable angina (alternative agent); vasospastic angina: Oral: Initial: 5 mg once daily

Dosing: Pediatric

Hypertension: Children ≥6 years and Adolescents: Oral: 2.5 to 5 mg once daily

Dosing: Renal Impairment

No dosage adjustment necessary (Doyle 1989; Kungys 2003).

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) on dialysis: Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis do not enhance elimination; supplemental dose is not necessary (Kungys 2003).

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

Coronary artery disease (CAD) (chronic stable angina, vasospastic angina, angiographically documented CAD without heart failure or ejection fraction <40%): Initial: 5 mg once daily; titrate slowly in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Hypertension: Initial: 2.5 mg once daily; titrate slowly in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Extemporaneously Prepared

A 1 mg/mL oral suspension may be made with tablets and either a 1:1 mixture of simple syrup and 1% methylcellulose or a 1:1 mixture of Ora-Plus® and Ora-Sweet®. Crush fifty 5 mg tablets in a mortar and reduce to a fine powder. Add small portions of the chosen vehicle and mix to a uniform paste; mix while adding the vehicle in incremental proportions to almost 250 mL; transfer to a calibrated bottle, rinse mortar with vehicle, and add quantity of vehicle sufficient to make 250 mL. Label “shake well” and “refrigerate”. Stable for 56 days at room temperature or 91 days refrigerated.

Nahata MC, Morosco RS, and Hipple TF, "Stability of Amlodipine Besylate in Two Liquid Dosage Forms," J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash) 1999, 39(3):375-7.10363465

Administration

Oral: Administer without regard to meals.

Storage

Store at 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

Alfuzosin: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Alpha1-Blockers: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Amifostine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Amifostine. Management: When amifostine is used at chemotherapy doses, blood pressure lowering medications should be withheld for 24 hours prior to amifostine administration. If blood pressure lowering therapy cannot be withheld, amifostine should not be administered. Consider therapy modification

Amphetamines: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Antifungal Agents (Azole Derivatives, Systemic): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Specifically, itraconazole may enhance the negative inotropic effects of verapamil or diltiazem. Antifungal Agents (Azole Derivatives, Systemic) may decrease the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Fluconazole and isavuconazonium likely exert weaker effects than other azoles and are addressed in separate monographs. Management: Concurrent use of felodipine or nisoldipine with itraconazole is specifically contraindicated. Frequent monitoring is warranted with any such combination; calcium channel blocker dose reductions may be required. Exceptions: Fluconazole; Isavuconazonium Sulfate. Consider therapy modification

Antihepaciviral Combination Products: May increase the serum concentration of AmLODIPine. Management: Reduce amlodipine dose by at least 50% and monitor for increased amlodipine effects (eg, hypotension) if an antihepaciviral combination product is initiated. Consider therapy modification

Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]): Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Antipsychotic Agents (Second Generation [Atypical]). Monitor therapy

Aprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

ARIPiprazole: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of ARIPiprazole. Management: Monitor for increased aripiprazole pharmacologic effects. Aripiprazole dose adjustments may or may not be required based on concomitant therapy and/or indication. Consult full interaction monograph for specific recommendations. Monitor therapy

Atosiban: Calcium Channel Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Atosiban. Specifically, there may be an increased risk for pulmonary edema and/or dyspnea. Monitor therapy

Barbiturates: May increase the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Monitor for decreased therapeutic effects of calcium channel blockers with concomitant barbiturate therapy. Calcium channel blocker dose adjustments may be necessary. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates concomitant use with phenobarbital. Monitor therapy

Barbiturates: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Benperidol: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Bosentan: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Brigatinib: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Brigatinib may enhance the bradycardic effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Bromperidol: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Bromperidol. Bromperidol may diminish the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Avoid combination

Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine): Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may enhance the hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine). Calcium Channel Blockers (Nondihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

Calcium Salts: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

CarBAMazepine: May increase the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Management: Consider calcium channel blocker (CCB) dose adjustments or alternative therapy in patients receiving concomitant carbamazepine. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates concurrent use with carbamazepine. Consider therapy modification

Ceritinib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Use of ceritinib with a narrow therapeutic index CYP3A substrate (eg, alfentanil, cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, tacrolimus) should be avoided when possible. Exceptions are discussed separately. Monitor therapy

Clopidogrel: Calcium Channel Blockers may diminish the therapeutic effect of Clopidogrel. Monitor therapy

Conivaptan: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

CycloSPORINE (Systemic): Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of CycloSPORINE (Systemic). CycloSPORINE (Systemic) may increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Moderate): May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inducers (Strong): May increase the metabolism of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Consider an alternative for one of the interacting drugs. Some combinations may be specifically contraindicated. Consult appropriate manufacturer labeling. Consider therapy modification

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Moderate): May increase the serum concentration of AmLODIPine. Monitor therapy

CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Strong): May increase the serum concentration of AmLODIPine. Monitor therapy

Dabrafenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Seek alternatives to the CYP3A4 substrate when possible. If concomitant therapy cannot be avoided, monitor clinical effects of the substrate closely (particularly therapeutic effects). Consider therapy modification

Dapoxetine: May enhance the orthostatic hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Diazoxide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Dofetilide: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Dofetilide. Monitor therapy

DULoxetine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of DULoxetine. Monitor therapy

Duvelisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Efavirenz: May decrease the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Enzalutamide: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Concurrent use of enzalutamide with CYP3A4 substrates that have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Use of enzalutamide and any other CYP3A4 substrate should be performed with caution and close monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Flibanserin: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Flibanserin. Monitor therapy

Fluconazole: May increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Fosaprepitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fosnetupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Fosphenytoin: Calcium Channel Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Fosphenytoin. Management: Monitor for phenytoin toxicity with concomitant use of a calcium channel blocker (CCB) or decreased phenytoin effects with CCB discontinuation. Monitor for decreased CCB therapeutic effects. Nimodipine Canadian labeling contraindicates use with phenytoin. Consider therapy modification

Fusidic Acid (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Herbs (Hypertensive Properties): May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Herbs (Hypotensive Properties): May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Hypotension-Associated Agents: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Hypotension-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Idelalisib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Avoid combination

Ivosidenib: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Levodopa: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Levodopa. Monitor therapy

Lomitapide: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Lomitapide. Management: Patients on lomitapide 5 mg/day may continue that dose. Patients taking lomitapide 10 mg/day or more should decrease the lomitapide dose by half. The lomitapide dose may then be titrated up to a max adult dose of 30 mg/day. Consider therapy modification

Lormetazepam: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Lovastatin: AmLODIPine may increase the serum concentration of Lovastatin. Monitor therapy

Macrolide Antibiotics: May decrease the metabolism of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Consider using a noninteracting macrolide. Felodipine Canadian labeling specifically recommends avoiding its use in combination with clarithromycin. Exceptions: Azithromycin (Systemic); Fidaxomicin; Roxithromycin; Spiramycin. Consider therapy modification

Magnesium Salts: Calcium Channel Blockers may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Magnesium Salts. Magnesium Salts may enhance the hypotensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers. Monitor therapy

Melatonin: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

Methylphenidate: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

MiFEPRIStone: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Minimize doses of CYP3A4 substrates, and monitor for increased concentrations/toxicity, during and 2 weeks following treatment with mifepristone. Avoid cyclosporine, dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, sirolimus, and tacrolimus. Consider therapy modification

Mitotane: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Doses of CYP3A4 substrates may need to be adjusted substantially when used in patients being treated with mitotane. Consider therapy modification

Molsidomine: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Naftopidil: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Netupitant: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Neuromuscular-Blocking Agents (Nondepolarizing): Calcium Channel Blockers may enhance the neuromuscular-blocking effect of Neuromuscular-Blocking Agents (Nondepolarizing). Monitor therapy

Nicergoline: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Nicorandil: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

NiMODipine: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of NiMODipine. Monitor therapy

Nitroprusside: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Nitroprusside. Monitor therapy

Obinutuzumab: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Management: Consider temporarily withholding blood pressure lowering medications beginning 12 hours prior to obinutuzumab infusion and continuing until 1 hour after the end of the infusion. Consider therapy modification

Palbociclib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Pentoxifylline: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Phenytoin: Calcium Channel Blockers may increase the serum concentration of Phenytoin. Phenytoin may decrease the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. Management: Avoid use of nimodipine or nifedipine with phenytoin. Monitor for phenytoin toxicity and/or decreased calcium channel blocker effects with any concurrent use. Consider therapy modification

Pholcodine: Blood Pressure Lowering Agents may enhance the hypotensive effect of Pholcodine. Monitor therapy

Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Pimozide: CYP3A4 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of Pimozide. Avoid combination

Pitolisant: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Combined use of pitolisant with a CYP3A4 substrate that has a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided. Other CYP3A4 substrates should be monitored more closely when used with pitolisant. Consider therapy modification

Prostacyclin Analogues: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

Quinagolide: May enhance the hypotensive effect of Blood Pressure Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy

QuiNIDine: Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may decrease the serum concentration of QuiNIDine. Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of QuiNIDine. QuiNIDine may increase the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine). Monitor therapy

Rifamycin Derivatives: May decrease the serum concentration of Calcium Channel Blockers. This primarily affects oral forms of calcium channel blockers. Management: The labeling for some US and Canadian calcium channel blockers contraindicate use with rifampin, however recommendations vary. Consult appropriate labeling. Consider therapy modification

Sarilumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Siltuximab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Simeprevir: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Simvastatin: AmLODIPine may increase the serum concentration of Simvastatin. Management: Avoid the concurrent use of amlodipine with simvastatin when possible. If used together, avoid doses of simvastatin greater than 20 mg/day (for adults). Consider therapy modification

St John's Wort: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Management: Consider an alternative for one of the interacting drugs. Some combinations may be specifically contraindicated. Consult appropriate manufacturer labeling. Consider therapy modification

Stiripentol: May increase the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Use of stiripentol with CYP3A4 substrates that are considered to have a narrow therapeutic index should be avoided due to the increased risk for adverse effects and toxicity. Any CYP3A4 substrate used with stiripentol requires closer monitoring. Consider therapy modification

Tacrolimus (Systemic): Calcium Channel Blockers (Dihydropyridine) may increase the serum concentration of Tacrolimus (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Tocilizumab: May decrease the serum concentration of CYP3A4 Substrates (High risk with Inducers). Monitor therapy

Yohimbine: May diminish the antihypertensive effect of Antihypertensive Agents. Monitor therapy

Test Interactions

May lead to false-negative aldosterone/renin ratio (ARR) (Funder 2016).

Adverse Reactions

>10%:

Cardiovascular: Peripheral edema (2% to 11% dose related; female 15%; male 6%; HF patients 27% to 28% [Packer 1996; Packer 2013])

Respiratory: Pulmonary edema (HF patients 7% to 15% [Packer 1996; Packer 2013])

1% to 10%:

Cardiovascular: Palpitations (≤5%, dose related), flushing (≤3%, dose related, more frequent in females)

Central nervous system: Fatigue (5%), dizziness (1% to 3%, dose related), male sexual disorder (≤2%), drowsiness (1%)

Dermatologic: Pruritus (≤2%), skin rash (≤2%)

Gastrointestinal: Nausea (3%), abdominal pain (2%)

Neuromuscular & skeletal: Muscle cramps (≤2%), weakness (≤2%)

Respiratory: Dyspnea (≤2%)

<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Abnormal dreams, acute interstitial nephritis (Ejaz 2000), angioedema, anorexia, anxiety, arthralgia, atrial fibrillation, back pain, bradycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, chest pain, cholestasis, conjunctivitis, constipation, depersonalization, depression, diaphoresis, diarrhea, difficulty in micturition, diplopia, dysphagia, epistaxis, erythema multiforme, erythematous rash, exfoliative dermatitis, extrapyramidal reaction, eye pain, female sexual disorder, flatulence, gingival hyperplasia, gynecomastia, hepatitis, hot flash, hyperglycemia, hypersensitivity angiitis, hypersensitivity reaction, hypoesthesia, increased serum transaminases, increased thirst, insomnia, jaundice, leukopenia, maculopapular rash, malaise, myalgia, nervousness, nocturia, nonthrombocytopenic purpura, orthostatic hypotension, osteoarthritis, pain, pancreatitis, paresthesia, peripheral ischemia, peripheral neuropathy, phototoxicity, purpura, rigors, syncope, tachycardia, thrombocytopenia, tinnitus, tremor, urinary frequency, vasculitis, ventricular tachycardia, vertigo, visual disturbance, vomiting, weight gain, weight loss, xerostomia

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Angina/MI: Increased angina and/or MI have occurred with initiation or dosage titration of dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. Reflex tachycardia may occur resulting in angina and/or MI in patients with obstructive coronary disease, especially in the absence of concurrent beta-blockade.

• Hypotension: Symptomatic hypotension can occur; acute hypotension upon initiation is unlikely due to the gradual onset of action. Blood pressure must be lowered at a rate appropriate for the patient's clinical condition.

• Peripheral edema: The most common side effect is peripheral edema; occurs within 2 to 3 weeks of starting therapy.

Disease-related concerns:

• Aortic stenosis: Use amlodipine with extreme caution in patients with severe aortic stenosis; may reduce coronary perfusion resulting in ischemia.

• Heart failure: With the exception of amlodipine, calcium channel blockers should be avoided whenever possible in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). Amlodipine may be used for the treatment of hypertension or ischemic heart disease in patients with HFrEF, but has no effect on functional status or mortality (ACCF/AHA [Yancy 2013]).

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; may require lower starting dose; titrate slowly in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

• Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) with outflow tract obstruction: Use amlodipine with caution in patients with HCM and outflow tract obstruction since reduction in afterload may worsen symptoms associated with this condition (ACCF/AHA [Gersh 2011]).

Special populations:

• Elderly: Initiate at a lower dose in the elderly.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Titration: Peak antihypertensive effect is delayed; dosage titration should occur after 7 to 14 days on a given dose.

Monitoring Parameters

Heart rate, blood pressure

Hypertension: The 2017 Guideline for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults (ACC/AHA [Whelton 2017]):

Confirmed hypertension and known CVD or 10-year ASCVD risk ≥10%: Target blood pressure <130/80 mm Hg is recommended.

Confirmed hypertension without markers of increased ASCVD risk: Target blood pressure <130/80 mm Hg may be reasonable.

Diabetes and hypertension: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) guidelines (ADA 2018):

Patients ≥18 to ≤65 years: Goal of therapy is SBP <140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg.

Patients ≥18 to ≤65 years and at high risk of cardiovascular disease: Goal of therapy is SBP <130 mm Hg and DBP <80 mm Hg (if can be achieved without undue treatment burden).

Patients ≥65 years (healthy or complex/intermediate health): Goal of therapy is SBP <140 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg.

Patients ≥65 years (very complex/poor health): Goal of therapy is SBP <150 mm Hg and DBP <90 mm Hg.

Pregnancy Considerations

Amlodipine crosses the placenta. Cord blood concentrations were approximately one-third of maternal serum at delivery, and concentrations in the newborn were below the limit of quantification (<0.1 ng/mL) when measured in eight infants within 48 hours of delivery (Morgan 2017). Information related to the use of amlodipine in pregnancy is limited (Ahn 2007; Nahapetian 2008; Vigil-De Gracia 2014; Yu 2015). Due to pregnancy induced pharmacologic changes, amlodipine pharmacokinetics may be altered immediately postpartum; large individual patient variability was observed (Naito 2015b).

Untreated chronic maternal hypertension is associated with adverse events in the fetus, infant, and mother. If treatment for hypertension during pregnancy is needed, agents other than amlodipine are preferred (ACOG 2013).

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience fatigue, loss of strength and energy, flushing, nausea, or abdominal pain. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), severe dizziness, passing out, angina, tachycardia, abnormal heartbeat, shortness of breath, excessive weight gain, muscle rigidity, tremors, abnormal movements, or swelling of arms or legs (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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