Amlodipine is a calcium antagonist made by Actavis, and is the generic form of the drug called Istin. It is indicated for angina, and relieves symptoms by easing the passage of blood to the heart. The treatment is also adept at alleviating high blood pressure. These tablets are taken once a day, and are available in two doses. Which one you are issued will be determined by your response.
- Facilitates blood flow to the heart
- Relieves chest pain
- Once a day tablet
Characterised by dull or tight chest pain, angina pectoris involves the inhibition of blood flow to the heart. This is typically caused by stiffened arterial pathways. In some cases, this discomfort can be felt as far as the left arm, back or neck. Attacks usually manifest in response to physical exertion or stress.
The condition falls into two categories, which are stable and unstable angina. In stable cases, symptoms may arise from exercise, but dissipate with rest and treatment. Unstable cases are characterised by less predictable episodes, and may not always be sufficiently managed by periods of inactivity. Because it is an indicator of a sharp decrease in heart function, unstable angina should be considered as a serious health risk, and be treated urgently.
Stable angina is not as hazardous, but still poses a risk to well-being. People with the condition are more likely to encounter problems such as heart attacks or strokes than those who don’t have it. There are a number of lifestyle changes someone who thinks they are at risk of angina can implement to help prevent the condition, including: eating a healthy diet; quitting smoking; and lowering alcohol intake.
Which medication you are issued to get symptoms under control depends on the frequency of attacks, and their severity. Angina pain results from a lack of oxygen being transported to the heart, particularly during periods of physical exertion. The heart needs a healthy supply of oxygen to continue working properly in these conditions. The agent amlodipine is an example of a calcium antagonist, or calcium channel blocker. It works by lessening the effect of calcium on muscles in arterial walls. By doing so, it helps these muscles to relax and causes the arteries to widen, thus encouraging the passage of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Amlodipine medication is not available to purchase from our online pharmacy. If you think you require angina medication, or are looking to renew your prescription, you should attend an appointment at your GP practice.
It is important to follow the directions issued by your prescriber, and to read the patient information leaflet carefully prior to taking this treatment. This will help you to lower the risk of side effects, and get the most out of the medication.
- Take as prescribed.
- In most cases this will be one 5mg or 10mg tablet per day.
- Swallow tablets whole with water.
- Do not take at the same time as drinking grapefruit juice.
- Never exceed the prescribed amount.
- If you miss a dose, do not double up on your next one to compensate. Skip the dose you have missed and take your next one at the scheduled time.
The above is only a summary of the instructions you will need to adhere to when using this product. For more detailed directions, consult the leaflet provided.
It is crucial to be aware of the side effects associated with this treatment, so that you can act appropriately in the event that they occur. Notify your doctor right away if you experience: sudden wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath or other breathing difficulties; swelling of the tongue, eyelids, face or lips; a severe skin reaction including rash, hives, severe itching, blistering, peeling or swelling of the skin; inflammation of mucous membranes; heart attack; abnormal heartbeat; or signs of an inflamed pancreas such as abdominal and back pain.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Headache, dizziness, sleepiness, palpitations, flushing, abdominal pain, feeling or being sick, swollen ankles, or tiredness.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Mood changes, anxiety, depression, insomnia, trembling, taste abnormalities, fainting, weakness, numbness or tingling sensation in the limbs, reduced sensitivity to pain, tinnitus, vision problems, low blood pressure, rhinitis, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, dry mouth, hair loss, increased perspiration, itchy skin, red patches on the skin, difficulty passing urine, increased urinary frequency, inability to obtain an erection, breast enlargement in men, weakness, pain, feeling unwell, joint or muscle pain, muscle cramps, back pain, or weight fluctuations.
Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Lowered white blood cell count, hyperglycaemia, nerve problems, coughing, swollen gums, abdominal bloating, liver inflammation, increased muscle tension, vasculitis, photosensitivity, or movement disorders.
The above is only a summary of the side effects reported with the use of this item. More detailed information can be found in the supplied leaflet.
Taking it with other medicines
Let your prescriber know if you are taking any other treatments. It is particularly important to inform them if you are taking any of the following: ketoconazole or itraconazole; ritonavir, indinavir, or nelfinavir; rifampicin, erythromycin, or clarithromycin; St. John’s wort; diltiazem or verapamil; or dantrolene.
Conditions to look out for
Disclose any information relating to other conditions to your doctor before using this treatment. It should not be used by those who: are in shock; have an obstruction in the heart caused by aortic stenosis; have had heart failure or a heart attack; or have severe low blood pressure.
It may also be unsuitable for those who: have liver problems; are elderly; or have severely increased blood pressure.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant, speak to your doctor before taking this medication.
Driving and using machinery
If you feel dizzy, sick or tired after taking Amlodipine, do not drive or try to use machines, and notify your doctor.
Food and drink
Grapefruit products should be avoided by those taking this medication, as it may increase the risk of side effects.
Can I still drink alcohol?
It is not advisable to do so when taking this treatment, as it may cause a drop in blood pressure.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes, but only if you experience no side effects which may make it dangerous or unsafe to do so. If you do, avoid driving and contact your doctor.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It may not be suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. In either case, you should talk to your doctor before taking this treatment.
How should I store it?
It should be kept in a safe place below 30°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
This drug contains the following ingredients: amlodipine, microcrystalline cellulose, anhydrous calcium hydrogen phosphate, sodium starch glycollate type A, and magnesium stearate.
Do not use it if you are allergic to any of the above.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You can only buy Amlodipine from a UK pharmacy if you have a prescription. You will need to attend an appointment at your GP surgery in order for them to issue you with a prescription.
Is it right for me?
If you think you require angina treatment or are looking to renew your prescription, you should arrange an appointment with your GP service.
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