Amlodipine: precautions and side effects

The amlodipine It is an active principle that is used in the treatment of high blood pressure and of angina pectoris. It can be used alone or combined with other medications.

What is blood pressure and hypertension?

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the heart on the arteries so that they carry the blood. Its value is variable, and there may be large differences in the same person throughout the day.

The maximum or systolic pressure, known as "high", measures the strength of blood in the arteries when the heart contracts. But nevertheless, the Minimum or diastolic pressure, known as "low", measures the strength of blood in the arteries when the heart is relaxed.

High blood pressure is a rise in blood pressure sustained over time. Hypertension is considered when the blood pressure values ​​are higher than 140/90 mmHg.

When left untreated, it can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. The damage caused can give rise, among other problems, to a heart attack, as well as kidney and heart failure.

How does amlodipine work?

Amlodipine belongs to the group of antihypertensive drugs that act by blocking calcium channels. Thus inhibits the inflow of calcium ions into vascular and cardiac smooth muscle.

The amlodipine decreases blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels so that the heart works more efficiently.

On the other hand, the action of the amlodipine it also results in dilation of the arteries and coronary arterioles. For this reason, the contribution of oxygen to the myocardium increases in patients with spasm of the coronary arteries, as is the case of people suffering from angina.

In hypertensive patients, a daily administration of amlodipine significantly reduces blood pressure.

You may also be interested: 5 exercises for a patient with hypertension

Posology, method of administration and special precautions

The amlodipine is administered as a tablet, which can be shaved in half. In adults with hypertension or angina, the initial dose is usually 5 mg, once a day. It can be increased to a maximum dose of 10 mg per day.

To facilitate the monitoring of the treatment, it is advisable to take it every day at the same time. Also, when using amlodipine Caution must be exercised in a series of population groups such as:

Patients with heart failure

Patients with heart failure should be treated with caution. Calcium channel blockers, including amlodipine, should be used with caution in patients with congestive heart failure, since they can increase the risk of future cardiovascular events and mortality.

Liver failure

In the patients affected by this pathology, the time it takes the amlodipine to be eliminated is prolonged. Consequently, treatment with this drug should be initiated at the lowest dose.

However, it should be used with caution, both at the beginning of treatment and when the dose is increased. In patients with severe hepatic impairment, a slow dose elevation is required and careful monitoring.

Patients with renal failure

When there is renal failure, amlodipine can be administered at normal doses. But nevertheless, Variations in blood concentrations of amlodipine do not correlate with the degree of renal involvement.

Read also: Recommendations for the diet of a patient with renal insufficiency

What side effects does amlodipine have?

When amlodipine is administered, some of the side effects that may occur are:

  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or legs.
  • Headache.
  • Upset and stomach pain
  • Dizziness or nausea.
  • Sleep and excessive fatigue.

In addition, some side effects can lead to serious consequences for health. For this reason you should see your doctor if there is an increase in the frequency or intensity of chest pain.

You should also see the doctor if the heart rate is irregular, there is a strong heartbeat or fainting.


In addition to taking medications to control blood pressure, you must make changes in lifestyle.

These changes include following a diet low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising at least half an hour almost every day. it is better not to smoke and consume alcohol in moderation.