AMLODIPINE: Uses, Dosage, Contraindications & Side Effects

Chemical structure: 

Class of medication: Calcium channel blocker

Sub-class: Dihydropyridine

Mode of action:

It reduces peripheral vascular resistance and Blood Pressure by inhibiting the entry of calcium into excitable cells. 

Medicinal forms:

Tablets and ‘on-request’ oral suspensions

Some brands available:

Norvasc, Istin, Amlostin, Amedin

Indications and dose

Hypertension, Prizmental’s Angina and Chronic stable angina

Initially, 5 mg once daily, dose is individualized and may be increased after 1-2 weeks. Maximum is 10mg daily 

May be taken with or without food. 

Contraindications to the use of Amlodipine

·      Cardiogenic shock

·      Significant aortic stenosis

·      Unstable angina 

·      Severe hypotension

Cautions to the use of Amlodipine

·      Peripheral edema

Amlodipine Interactions

·      Increased serum concentration of simvastatin

·      Increased systemic plasma concentration with immunosuppressants

·      Decreased plasma concentration with CYP4503A4 inducers.

Side effects/adverse effects

·      Peripheral edema

·      Thrombocytopenia

·      Bradycardia

·      GI disturbances

·      Headache

·      Arthralgia

·      Myalgia

·      Constipation

·      Diarrhea

·      Vision disturbances

·      Elevated hepatic enzymes

·      Pulmonary edema

PREGNANCY: Can Amlodipine be used in Pregnant women?

It is rated as Category C

Manufacturer advises avoid, but risk to fetus should be balanced against risk of uncontrolled maternal hypertension 

BREASTFEEDING: Can lactating mothers take Amlodipine?

Manufacturer advises avoid

HEPATIC IMPAIRMENT: Can I take amlodipine if I have a liver problem

Yes but it is recommended that you initiate at lose dose and titrate slowly.

MONITORING REQUIREMENTS: What should I look out for when taking Amlodipine?

Monitor pulse, heart rate, BP weight and peripheral edema


·      Nifedipine

·      Felodipine 

·      Verapamil 


Dr. Asantewaa Owusu-Agyei, PharmD

Dr. Asantewaa Owusu-Agyei is a practicing pharmacist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. She loves to read medical journals relating to infectious diseases and also enjoys watching medical movies.

Chief Editor at

MPSGH, MRPharmS, MPhil.

Isaiah Amoo is a practicing community pharmacist in good standing with the Pharmacy Council of Ghana who has meaningful experience in academia and industrial pharmacy. He is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, England, UK and currently pursuing his overseas pharmacy assessment programme (MSc) at Aston University, UK. He had his MPhil degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He has about 5 years’ experience as a community Pharmacist and has also taught in academic institutions like KNUST, Kumasi Technical University, Royal Ann College of Health, and G-Health Consult. He likes to spend time reading medical research articles and loves sharing his knowledge with others.

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