Do you the drug or medication called amlodipine? You might, and also might not have heard about it. Or are there theories or speculations that you have heard about this drug and you wanna verify? Amlodipine is in a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. This drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agencies in some regions of the world but is still banned in certain regions. This article tells you what this drug is, its uses, and its side effects, and why amlodipine been banned in Canada or not.
What is amlodipine?
Amlodipine is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension), some types of angina and other conditions caused by coronary artery disease.
Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker that works by changing the movement of calcium in the heart and blood vessel cells. This widens the blood vessels which increases the blood and oxygen supply to the heart and also lowers blood pressure.
Uses of Amlodipine
Amlodipine is used to lower your blood pressure. It can be used alone or in combination with other heart medications.
Amlodipine is also used to help blood flow more easily to your heart when the arteries in your heart are blocked.
Amlodipine is also used to treat coronary artery disease and angina (chest pain).
How it works
Amlodipine belongs to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Amlodipine blocks calcium from entering certain tissues and arteries. This makes it easier for them to relax so that blood can flow more easily to your heart. This in turn helps lower your blood pressure, and reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke. If you’re taking amlodipine for chest pain, this drug reduces your risk of hospitalization and surgeries due to chest pain.
Amlodipine may interact with other medications
Amlodipine oral tablet can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with amlodipine are listed below.
Taking diltiazem with amlodipine can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.
Taking amlodipine with these drugs can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects. Examples of these drugs include:
Taking clarithromycin with amlodipine can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.
Medications for erection problems
Taking amlodipine with these drugs can increase your risk of low blood pressure (hypotension).
Examples of these drugs include:
Taking simvastatin with amlodipine can cause the levels of this cholesterol medication to increase in your body. This may lead to more side effects.
Drugs that control your immune system
Taking amlodipine with these drugs can cause the levels of these medications to increase in your body. This may lead to more side effects. Examples of these drugs include:
How to use Amlodipine BESYLATE
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking amlodipine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, check the manufacturer’s information or ask your pharmacist for specific directions. Some brands of the liquid form should be shaken before use, while other brands do not need to be shaken before use. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick.
If used for angina, this medication must be taken regularly to be effective. It should not be used to treat angina when it occurs. Use other medications (such as sublingual nitroglycerin) to relieve an angina attack as directed by your doctor. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (for example, your blood pressure readings remain high or increase, chest pain continues or worsens).
Amlodipine side effects
Amlodipine oral tablet may cause extreme sleepiness. It can also cause other side effects.
More common side effects
The more common side effects that can occur with amlodipine include:
- swelling of your legs or ankles
- tiredness or extreme sleepiness
- stomach pain
- hot or warm feeling in your face (flushing)
- irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)
- very fast heart rate (palpitations)
- abnormal muscle movements
If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:
- Low blood pressure. Symptoms can include:
- severe dizziness
- More chest pain or a heart attack. When you first start taking amlodipine or increase your dosage, your chest pain may get worse or you may have a heart attack. Symptoms can include:
- chest pain or discomfort
- upper body discomfort
- shortness of breath
- breaking out in a cold sweat
- unusual tiredness
Why is Amlodipine banned in Canada
Are you wondering if Amlodipine is banned in Canada or not. The answer is No, Amlodipine isn’t banned in Canada. Amlodipine is not on Canada’s list of prohibited substances. The reason why it is rumoured to have been banned is that a study alleged that women who took Calcium Chain Blockers (CCB) like Amlodipine were prone to certain types of breast cancer after a long period (10years), including the most common type, invasive ductal breast cancer.
Another large population study found significant evidence that CCB use does not raise the risk of cancer.
Much public health and regulatory authorities throughout the world have expressed worry about this research with contradictory results.
Another study on a bigger population contradicted this notion, showing that Calcium Chain Blockers did not raise the risk of cancer, with convincing evidence. Another reason is that it was recalled by the FDA in February 2020 due to faulty bottles.
Despite these issues, amlodipine is not banned in Canada or listed as prohibited substances. With a valid prescription, you can buy amlodipine in Canada, and border health officials will let you in with enough medication for a single course of therapy or a 90-day supply, whichever is less, of both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Before taking amlodipine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (such as nisoldipine, nifedipine) or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain structural heart problem (aortic stenosis), very low blood pressure, liver disease.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug, especially dizziness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
This drug must be stored at the right temperature:
- Store amlodipine at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
- Store this drug in its original container and keep it tightly closed.
- Keep this drug away from light.
- Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.