What is Amlodipine?

In the area of medicine, naming conventions typically follow a similar pattern to make it easier to recognize what they are intended for. Just like the active ingredient in Erectile Dysfunction drugs, for example, all ends in ‘-afil,’ whereas many female-only prescriptions (contraception, morning-after pill, and Hormonal Replacement Therapy treatments) end in ‘-elle’ or ‘-ette’. And the group of high blood pressure medications is no exception, as many of them end in the suffix “-dipine.” Nifedipine, Felodipine, Lercanidipine, and Amlodipine.

All of these drugs belong to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers, and they’re a standard treatment for elevated blood pressure. However, not all calcium channel blockers are created equal, and this classification can be further divided into Phenylalkylamines, Dihydropyridines, and Benzothiazepines. Benzothiazepines affect both the heart and the arteries. Phenylalkylamines affect the heart. Dihydropyridines affect the arteries. 

Amlodipine is a hypertension medication that can be taken with or without other medications. Strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems can all be prevented by lowering blood pressure. Amlodipine relaxes blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely. It is also used to prevent certain kinds of chest pain (angina). It may help in increasing your activity exercises and reduce the frequency of angina attacks. But should not be used in treating chest pain that occurs unexpectedly. As prescribed by the doctor, take other drugs (such as sublingual nitroglycerin) to treat chest pain attacks.

How do calcium channel blockers work?

Calcium channel blockers (also known as calcium antagonists) stop calcium from entering the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, as the drug name implies. Calcium regulates how the muscles in your arteries and heart contract, so lowering the quantity that enters your cells can help you manage a variety of diseases.

Calcium channel blockers not only lessen the strength and speed with which your heart contracts (reducing your heart rate), but they will also enable your blood vessels to relax and thus expand your arteries. Calcium channel blockers can be an effective therapy choice for hypertension, angina, and Raynaud’s disease because of the same dual effects.

What is Amlodipine?

When you delve a bit further back into the category of calcium channel blockers, you will notice that all of the medications ending in “-dipine” fall into the Dihydropyridine category. This suggests that some medications, such as Amlodipine, focus primarily on your arteries (instead of your cardiac cells) to efficiently lower your blood pressure.

Amlodipine is an excellent medication for people with elevated blood pressure simply because the active ingredient relaxes the muscles in your arteries, making them wide, enabling blood to flow through them. This reduces the stress on the heart as well as the long-term consequences of hypertension. Although hypertension normally has no apparent symptoms, it remains untreated, it leads to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke in the future.

What other drugs may interact with amlodipine?

Other prescriptions, vitamins, or supplements you may be taking may interact with amlodipine oral tablets. When a substance alters the way a drug functions, this is known as an interaction. This can be toxic and will decrease the drug’s effectiveness. To avoid drug interactions, your doctor should closely monitor all of your medications.

The types of hypertension

Hypertension is caused by the body’s mechanisms. This condition is considered as Essential hypertension or more commonly known as Primary hypertension. When there is no recognized cause for your high blood pressure, it is referred to as this. This is the most prevalent type of high blood pressure. This sort of blood pressure normally develops over a long period. It’s most likely the outcome of your lifestyle, surroundings, and how your body develops as you get older.

Hypertension that develops as a result of something else is called Secondary Hypertension. This occurs when your high blood pressure is caused by a medical condition or medication. Secondary hypertension can be caused by a variety of factors including sleep apnea, kidney problems, thyroid or adrenal gland problems, and some medications.

What factors contribute to high blood pressure? 

There is a range of conditions that can develop to high blood pressure, some risk factors are manageable, while others are not. Since your blood arteries become less permeable as you age, your risk of high blood pressure inevitably increases. A family history of hypertension may further raise your chance, while other factors including gender and ethnic origin also can influence your risk (men are commonly more likely to suffer from the risk of hypertension than those of an African race).

What factors contribute to high blood pressure?

Although the direct origin of high blood pressure are unknown, several other factors may contribute including:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Inadequate physical activity
  • An excessive amount of salt in one’s diet.
  • Too much intake alcohol (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Genetics
  • High blood pressure runs in the family
  • Kidney failure 
  • Thyroid and adrenal disorders
  • Sleep Apnea

Hypertension can take place in the presence of other underlying health problems. High blood pressure is associated with high cholesterol in 50% of people. While diabetic patients or people suffering from sleep apnea are also more inclined to acquire high blood pressure.

However, many of the causes (including the most prevalent) can be avoided entirely. Being obese or overweight causes additional strain on your heart and could make pumping blood throughout the body more difficult. A sedentary lifestyle or poor nutrition are usually directly linked to this, and while the two latter points will relate to overweight and obese people, they can also extend to individuals with a healthy weight. So it’s essential to maintain a healthy way of living, even if you don’t gain weight.

Generally, smoking is an unhealthy, terrible habit. But did you realize that it can also promote high blood pressure? Tobacco use impacts us in two ways: it constricts blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, causing your heart to pump quicker to counteract. Another habit that can substantially elevate your blood pressure and lead to heart disease includes drinking alcohol.

What is the best way to take Amlodipine?

Amlodipine is a medication that needs a prescription before you can purchase it, and you will need a medical diagnosis of hypertension before you can begin taking it. Once you have got it, take one pill per day or as prescribed by the doctor.

Amlodipine is marketed in two dosages, namely 5mg and 10mg tablets. You will usually begin with the low dosage and then be pushed up to the higher dose if necessary.

Take the pills whole with a glass of water, but not with grapefruit juice or other grapefruit-related products. Grapefruit should not be consumed with any calcium channel blocker since it raises the number of drugs in your system and may lead your blood pressure to drop too low.

Drug interactions can also cause your prescriptions to perform differently or put you at risk for dangerous adverse effects. Make a list of everything you use (including prescription and nonprescription medications, as well as herbal supplements) and discuss it with your doctor and pharmacist. Without your doctor’s advice, do not begin, stop, or modify the dosage of any medications.

Some products contain ingredients that can raise blood pressure. Discuss to your pharmacist about the different products you are currently using and how to take them safely. Some of the notable medicines described here are for cough and cold remedies, dietary supplements, and NSAIDs such as naproxen and ibuprofen).

If you’re using a calcium channel blocker, do not consume any alcohol. Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of the medicine and increases the risk of side effects.

What will happen in Missed Doses?

If you forget to take the pill, do so as soon as you remember. If the next dose is coming shortly, skip the delayed one. Take your next dose at the same time every day. To catch up, do not increase the dose.

How to properly store it?

Keep the pills protected from sunlight and moisture. Store it at room temperature and keep it out of the bathroom. All pills should be secured out of reach of children and pets.

Liquid forms of medicines should be stored in the refrigerator, away from direct sunlight. Do not freeze. Unless otherwise directed, do not flush or pour medications down the toilet or into drainage. Discard the medication properly once it has expired or is no longer useful. For more information, contact your pharmacist or a local waste disposal company.

What are the precautions needed to be aware of when taking Amlodipine?

If you are allergic to amlodipine or other dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, or if you have any other sensitivities, notify your doctor or pharmacist before consuming it. Inactive chemicals may be included in this product, causing adverse reactions or other issues. For further information, speak with your pharmacist.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, especially if you have a structural heart problem (aortic stenosis), often quite low blood pressure, or a chronic liver disease before taking this medication.

This prescription has the potential to make you dizzy. You may become dizzy if you consume this with alcohol or marijuana (cannabis). Refrain from driving a vehicle, operate machinery, or perform any activity requiring attentiveness until you can do so safely. Furthermore, limit your alcohol intake and if you are using marijuana, speak to a doctor.

Before you undergo any surgery, inform your doctor or dentist about all the medications you are currently using (that includes prescribed medication to over-the-counter drugs and any herbal supplement).

The effects of this medicine, particularly dizziness, may be more pronounced in older persons.

This medication can only be used if strictly necessary during pregnancy. Consult your doctor about the dangers and advantages. This medication is excreted in breast milk. Before you start breastfeeding, talk to your doctor.