Drugs Q & A

Can Amlodipine Be Crushed?

Amlodipine is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure in adults and children 6 years and older. It is also used to treat certain types of angina (chest pain) and coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). Amlodipine is in a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so the heart does not have to pump as hard. It controls chest pain by increasing the supply of blood to the heart. If taken regularly, amlodipine controls chest pain, but it does not stop chest pain once it starts. Your doctor may prescribe a different medication to take when you have chest pain.

High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.

How should amlodipine be used?

Amlodipine comes as a tablet and suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. To help you remember to take amlodipine, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take amlodipine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.

Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of amlodipine and gradually increase your dose.

Amlodipine helps to control high blood pressure, angina, and coronary artery disease but does not cure these conditions. Continue to take amlodipine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking amlodipine without talking to your doctor.

Can amlodipine be crushed?

Yes, you can cut or crush amlodipine tablets, you can also dissolve the tablets in a glass of water, but you must drink it all straight away if you do this. Nevertheless, the best way to use this medication is to swallow amlodipine tablets whole with a drink of water.

You’ll usually take amlodipine once a day. You can take it at any time of day, but try to make sure it’s around the same time every day. You can take amlodipine tablets and liquid with or without food. Swallow amlodipine tablets whole and have a drink of water with both the tablets and the liquid.

However, do not take amlodipine either whole or crushed with the medications listed below:

Heart medication

Taking diltiazem with amlodipine can increase the level of amlodipine in your body. This may cause more side effects.

Antifungal medications

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:

•        ketoconazole

•        itraconazole

•        voriconazole

Antibiotic

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:

•        sildenafil

•        tadalafil

•        avanafil

•        vardenafil

Cholesterol medication

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:

•        cyclosporine

•        tacrolimus

You can find more information on: Do Not Crush Medication List

Is amlodipine bad for my heart?

Amlodipine is not bad for your heart, and even for folks with heart failure, amlodipine is a reasonable option to lower your blood pressure.

Is amlodipine good if I have diabetes?

In a study done on hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes, amlodipine (and thiazide diuretics) was more effective than any other antihypertensive drug class. Amlodipine is in fact fine to use if you have diabetes.

Is amlodipine bad for my kidneys?

Amlodipine is largely broken down in the liver (not the kidneys) and used by folks with kidney disease who do not need to adjust the dosage. So, amlodipine is not bad for your kidneys.

Does amlodipine increase my cancer risk? 

Amlodipine made news a while back when a small study on breast cancer found a relationship between breast cancer and those who took amlodipine for more than 10 years. However, several larger studies have found that amlodipine does not increase your risk for cancer, regardless of how long you’ve been taking it.

Can I get amlodipine combination medications?

You can get amlodipine combination medications. Amlodipine comes in several different combination medications, including amlodipine/benazepril (Lotrel) and amlodipine/valsartan (Exforge), as common examples.

Can I take amlodipine with my cholesterol medication?

Yes, in fact, amlodipine comes with a statin in the combination medication, amlodipine/atorvastatin (Caduet). Amlodipine/atorvastatin is available as a generic, and taken once daily, it reduces blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. This works just as well as taking the two medicines separately. Also, people taking the combination pill tend to stick to their treatment longer compared to those taking two separate pills.

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