Amlodipine | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More

Generic Name:

amlodipine, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Norvasc
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Highlights for amlodipine

Oral tablet
1

Amlodipine is an oral drug that’s used to treat high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and angina.

2

The starting dose for adults is 5 mg taken by mouth once per day. Your doctor may increase your dose based on your response to the medication.

3

Common side effects include swelling of your ankles or legs, sleepiness, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, a hot or warm feeling in your face (flushing), irregular or fast heart rate, and problems with muscle movement.

4

Amlodipine is processed by your liver. If you have severe liver problems, your doctor may give you a lower dose.

5

If you have heart problems, such as narrowing of your arteries, this drug may increase your risk of health problems. You may have low blood pressure, worse chest pain, or a heart attack after starting or increasing your dose of amlodipine.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Liver problems

Amlodipine is processed by your liver. If you liver isn’t working well, more of this drug may stay in your body longer. This puts you at risk for more side effects. If you have severe liver problems, your doctor may give you a lower dose.

Heart problems

If you have heart problems, such as narrowing of your arteries, this drug may increase your risk of health problems. You may have low blood pressure, worse chest pain, or a heart attack after starting or increasing your dose of amlodipine. If this happens, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.

Breastfeeding risk

It isn’t known if amlodipine passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause serious side effects in a child who is breastfed. You and your doctor may need to decide if you’ll breastfeed or take this medication.

Drug features

Amlodipine is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Amlodipine is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Amlodipine may be taken in combination with other heart medications.

Why it's used

Amlodipine is used to lower your blood pressure. It can be used alone or in combination with other heart medications.

More Details

How it works

Amlodipine belongs to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly.

More Details

Why it's used

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.

How it works

Amlodipine belongs to a class of drugs called calcium channel blockers. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They 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 helps lower your blood pressure. It also reduces your risk for heart attack or stroke. If you’re taking amlodipine for chest pain, this reduces your risk of hospitalization and surgeries due to chest pain.

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amlodipine Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with amlodipine include:

  • swelling of your legs or ankles

  • tiredness or extreme sleepiness

  • stomach pain

  • nausea

  • dizziness

  • hot or warm feeling in your face (flushing)

  • irregular heart rate (arrhythmia)

  • very fast heart rate (palpitations)

  • abnormal muscle movements

  • tremors

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

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • low blood pressure. Symptoms include:

    • severe dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
  • more chest pain or a heart attack. When you first start taking amlodipine or increase your dose, your chest pain may get worse or you may have a heart attack. Symptoms include:

    • chest pain or discomfort
    • upper body discomfort
    • shortness of breath
    • breaking out in a cold sweat
    • unusual tiredness
    • nausea
    • lightheadedness
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Amlodipine may cause extreme sleepiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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amlodipine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Amlodipine can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Heart medications

These drugs can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • diltiazem

Antifungal medications

These drugs can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • ketoconazole
  • itraconazole
  • voriconazole

Antibiotics

These drugs can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • clarithromycin

Antidepressants

These drugs can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • nefazodone

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) medications

These drugs can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • ritonavir
  • saquinavir

Seizure medications

These medications can lower the level of amlodipine in your body. This may affect how well the drug works for you.

These drugs include:

  • carbamazepine
  • phenobarbital
  • primidone
  • phenytoin

Tuberculosis medications

These medications can lower the level of amlodipine in your body. This may affect how well the drug works for you.

These drugs include:

  • rifampin

Medications for erection problems

Taking these drugs together may increase your risk of low blood pressure (hypotension).

These drugs include:

  • sildenafil

Cholesterol medications

Taking these drugs together may cause the levels of the cholesterol medications to increase in your body. This may lead to more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • simvastatin

Drugs that control your immune system

Amlodipine may cause the levels of these medications to increase in your body. This may lead to more side effects.

These drugs include:

  • cyclosporine
  • tacrolimus

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with liver problems

Amlodipine is processed by your liver. If your liver isn’t working well, more of this drug may stay in your body longer. This puts you at risk for more side effects. If you have severe liver problems, your doctor may lower your dose.

People with heart problems

If you have heart problems, such as narrowing of your arteries, this drug may increase your risk of health problems. You may have low blood pressure, worse chest pain, or a heart attack after starting or increasing your dose of amlodipine. If this happens, call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.

Pregnant women

Amlodipine is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Amlodipine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if amlodipine passes into breast milk and causes side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors

As you age, your organs (such as your liver, heart, or kidneys) may not work as well as they did compared to when you were younger. More of this drug may stay in your body longer. This puts you at risk for more side effects.

For children

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6 years.

Allergies

Amlodipine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

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How to Take amlodipine (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High blood pressure (hypertension)

Brand: Norvasc

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg

Generic: amlodipine

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth once per day
  • dose increases: Your doctor may change your dose based on your blood pressure goals. If your blood pressure is still not under control after 714 days, your doctor may increase your dose.
  • maximum dose: 10 mg per day
Child dosage (ages 0–5 years)

This medicine hasn’t been studied in children and shouldn’t be used in children younger than 6 years.

Child dosage (ages 6–17 years)

2.55 mg taken by mouth once per day. Doses above 5 mg haven't been studied in children and shouldn’t be used.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
  • The recommended dose is 2.5 mg taken by mouth once per day.
  • Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of amlodipine to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose.
Special considerations

Liver disease: The recommended dose is 2.5 mg taken by mouth once per day. Amlodipine is processed by your liver. If your liver isn’t working well, more of this drug may stay in your body longer. This puts you at risk for side effects. If you have severe liver problems, you may need a lower dose or a different dosing schedule.

Coronary artery disease and angina

Brand: Norvasc

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg

Generic: amlodipine

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • starting dose: 5 mg taken by mouth once per day
  • maximum dose: 10 mg per day
Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)
  • The recommended dose is 5 mg taken by mouth once per day.
  • Older adults may process drugs more slowly. A normal adult dose may cause levels of amlodipine to be higher than normal. If you’re a senior, you may need a lower dose.
Special considerations

Liver disease: The recommended dose is 5 mg taken by mouth once per day. Amlodipine is processed by your liver. If your liver isn’t working well, more of this drug may stay in your body longer. This puts you at risk for side effects. If you have severe liver problems, you may need a lower dose or a different dosing schedule.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Amlodipine comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you don’t take it at all or stop taking it

If you don’t take amlodipine or stop taking it, your blood pressure or chest pain may get worse. This could lead to serious problems, such as a stroke or heart attack.

If you skip or miss doses

If you skip or miss doses, your blood pressure or chest pain may get worse. This could lead to serious problems, such as a stroke or heart attack.

What to do when you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s been more than 12 hours since you missed your dose, skip that dose and take the next dose at your regular time.

If you take too much

If you take too much amlodipine, you may experience the following:

  • dangerously low blood pressure. Symptoms include:
    • dizziness
    • lightheadedness
    • fainting
  • very fast heart rate
  • shock

There is no antidote for this medication. If you take too much, you’ll be treated for whatever side effects you have.

If you think that you’ve taken too much amlodipine, call your doctor or poison control center, or go to the emergency room right away.

How to tell this drug is working

If amlodipine is working, your blood pressure will be lower and you’ll no longer have chest pain.

Amlodipine is a long-term drug treatment.

This drug must be stored at the right temperature

  • Store amlodipine at room temperature between 59°F (15°C) and 86°F (30°C).
  • Store this drug in its original container and keep it tightly closed.
  • Keep it away from light.
  • Keep it away from high temperature.
  • Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify the medication. Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling.
  • Don’t leave this medicine in the car, especially when the temperature is hot or freezing.

Self-management

You may need to check your blood pressure at home. You should keep a log with the date, time of day, and your blood pressure readings. Bring this diary with you to your doctor appointments.

Your doctor may ask you to purchase a blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure between office visits.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting and during your treatment with this drug, your doctor may check your:

  • blood pressure
  • liver function: These blood tests will help your doctor decide if amlodipine is safe for you to start and if you need a lower dose.

Some pharmacies may not stock the brand Norvasc

Most pharmacies should have the generic form of amlodipine in stock, but they may not have the brand Norvasc available. Call ahead if your doctor prescribes Norvasc.

Hidden costs

You may need to purchase a home blood pressure monitor to keep track of your blood pressure. These are available at most pharmacies and medical supply stores.

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription for brand name Norvasc.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does amlodipine Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for amlodipine

Publix $0.01
Kmart $3.00
Walmart $7.11
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for amlodipine on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for amlodipine on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on August 31, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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