Amilodipine

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I am a 62 yr old female and I was put on Amlodipine 6 months ago,at first on 5mg, then after a month it was doubled to 10 mg.  I have the start of arthritis in my knee, and ever since starting on the Amlodipine my knee has deteriorated drastically, with constant pain, making it difficult to walk and especially to go up and down steps and stairs.My doctor even suggested that she should refer me to a surgeon for a knee replacement. My ankles have also been constantly swollen and  I have  felt more tired, have been woken at night at first once, then increasingly to three or four times needing to urinate, and also with knee pain. I mentioned this to my Dr. saying I believed the medication was causing the problems, she said that arthritis does deteriorate etc etc. and the medication is not causing it. She said we could try a different medication but that may have different or simiilar side effects. She said that my blood pressure was good on the drug and that the drug was not causing the problems so I said I would stick with it for another month.

Well... since finding this forum and reading of others suffering identical problems while on the medication I stopped taking the tablets 3 days ago and have already noticed my knee improving, no ankle swelling etc. I feel less tired and can again walk around without contant pain. I have a home blood pressure monitor which I have always used and  my blood pressure at present is lower than when I was on the tablets !!

I have since read that this drug is banned in Holland and Belgium and some other countries... why is it still prescribed here, and why do doctors not know of these unpleasant and dangerous side-effects?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Wendy,  I feel you are quite right to stop taking the Amlodipine.  I wish I had been as wise. From reading this forum one is left with the belief that perhaps if you already have the start of arthritis or if maybe a family member suffered from it these chemicals have the ability to stimulate the progress of the disease.  When I complained about the painful joints I was immediately changed to Ramipril and the symptons just got worse.  I am now on steroids as the doctor thinks I might have developed PMR.

    You are too young to be made a cripple by these drugs.  Hope you keep well.   All the best Diana

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  • Posted

    Based on my experience detailed on this forum, I believe that if you already have an inflammatory condition, and take amlodipine which as a side effect, then causes swelling, then that swelling will exacerbate by pressure, other conditions. I am not sure my doctors would agree, based on my suggesting that my symptoms were caused by amlodipine but ceasing it reverted me to normality. Of course I am not suggesting that any underlying hypertension should then be ignored, but the swelling side effect causes its own immense difficulties which itself impairs mobility
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  • Posted

    Hi Wendy and all

    I have been taking amlodipine (AM) for about just over two years now. To cut a very long story short, I started on lisinipril, and a couple of months later, had amlodipine added to the prescription. I started with side effects a few weeks into taking them, but never put it down to the meds as my BP returned to normal and had been taking them for a couple of months without a problem.

    I was dismissed by several GP's at the practice for the first few visits when I stated my case to them, and as I was in my mid fifties at the time and trusting in the doctors (not having had the need to deal with one for several decades before this) I convinced myself the symptoms were down to 'getting older' and to get on with it despite feeling worse with every month that passed.

    Then, in October 2013, I had a hysterectomy, both ovaries removed and ovarian cancer (OC) diagnosed. So I underwent chemo and had all the side effects that that brings with it. However, through all this, I was taking the AM, which had become a ritual I didn't think about, I just did it. I was told to keep taking it as I was already on it. All the symptoms I suffered, I then put down to the cancer and chemo. My joints were so bad I couldn't walk. My ankles and feet swelled up so big I couldn't get shoes on. My calfs swelled and were rock hard. Extreme fatigue but unable to sleep for more than two hours at a time. Massive weight gain that started when I started the AM, I could not control it no matter what I did. Depression and mood swings. Fog brain, so on and so forth. 

    All this was blamed on the cancer and following chemo, which, to be fair, can go hand in hand with chemotherapy.

    My chemo stopped several months ago and since then, the swelling in my legs/ankles/feet and all the other miseries haven't improved. My joints and back, and especially my ankles and feet I mentioned to my GP and the doctors at the hospital as it had gotten so bad, and they advised a doppler fitting (surgical stockings) which I tried with no results. The stockings were so painful I couldn't even get them on properly never mind bear wearing them. I was told to lose weight.........err, hello? Told to mix rest with gentle exercise (err...again...already told them I can't even walk) this is in between elevating my feet and legs above my heart several times a day. Nothing stopped the swelling.

    I've had all the joint and muscle problems others have mentioned on here and was just told it'll take time to recover from the op and treatment.

    I got so down. My poor hubby has gone through hell with me. He forced me to go away for a few days about fortnight ago just to get me out of the house. He said all I had to do was get in the car and he'd do everyhting else. When we reached our destination, I discovered we had forgotten to pack my BP tablets, but feeling as down as I was, I couldn't have cared less and told hubby that a few days without them wasn't going to kill me. 

    It's the best thing that could have happened. 

    By the end of that week, I couldn't believe the difference. Niether could my husband. All of the symptons I'd been blaming on the chemo, improved SO much, it was beyond belief that it was just the break I was on. It slowly dawned on me, that the improvement had started the day I hadn't taken the AM. By the end of the week, my feet and ankles were back to normal! I could actually get a pair of shoes on instead of the oversized flip flops I'd had to wear. I started to sleep longer through the night without waking. My mood lifted so dramatically I actually started laughing again. My energy is now returning, my aches and pains are disappearing rapidly and I am actually enjoying some exercise.... and to top it all, I do believe the weight is starting to go down! I don't feel as heavy or as bloated.

    It's been over 3 weeks now since I took one of those tablets and I know I will never take another. I go back to see my doctor this week and will discuss my BP. I haven't checked it yet because to be honest, I don't really want to know if it's gone up again, not sure I care. 

    I do realise it is going to have to be checked, but one thing is for sure, and that is, if I do need to take medication for it, it will not be amlodipine or anything else that makes me feel remotely like I've felt for the last two years.

    Please don't anyone misunderstand my story. I don't in any way think that Amlodipine is connected with my diagnosis of cancer,or has anything to do with it. That is a separate thing altogether.  But because of it, everything I was experiencing was put down to that and the AM was never brought into question. If it hadn't been for forgetting to take the tablets away with me, I would STILL be taking the amlodipine as a ritual and STILL thinking the misery was due to the effects of the chemo.

    That's what made me come online to do some research which led me here. I've read all the threads on here relating to this drug and I hope others get help from this site in understanding the side effects that AM can have on a lot of people. As I didn't know. And not one doctor has mentioned the AM in all the times I've been back and forth to the hospital and my GP, even though I have to state what medication I'm taking every time I go.  

    And I've just realised that this has turned into some sort of mini novel! Sorry about that, I'm just so pleased to be feeling so well! This drug may work well for some people, which is fine, but I would say that there seems to be plenty of evidence on here that  proves it's not a panacea for HBP for all. I've recently read an article that stated the medical profession got so excited over this drug as it appeared so successful at reducing BP, that the trials were cut short so as to be made available to people in the UK asap. Maybe they shouldn't have been so quick off the mark. 

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    • Posted

      Very interesting to read your post, and so glad you are feeling better.  I am so glad I found this forum and read that so many people are suffering from the same problems while on Amlodipine.  I was beginning to think that my symptoms of fatigue, sleeplessness and increasing pain with the arthritis in my knee were down to getting older and my gp said that arthritis will get worse and that it wasnt due to the medication !! 

      The problem is GP's  (and us patients ) blame existing conditions, whereas it appears that Amliodipine "seeks out" weak spots in our bodies.. such as areas of arthritis or old sports injuries etc.and makes them worse.

       

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  • Posted

    Oh.......PS

    I also don't advocate that anyone else do as I did and stop taking the meds without seeing their doc first. My situation happened by chance and it was totally my choice, but I don't want others to follow it as an example.

    xx

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  • Posted

    Been to the doc's this morn, explained about stopping the AM and lysinopril, about how all the symptoms are more or less disappearing, especially the swollen ankles and feet and she said..........'Mmmmmm, yes that'll be the Amlodipine, it can tend to do that.......'

    What??????

    So why wasn't it mentioned before that it could be a factor? I've been back and forth in agony and practically immobilised for the past 12 months. Not to mention all the other symptoms I presented with. 

    She obviously knows about this drug and the possible side effects but never once has it been mentioned that the AM may have been a contributor to how ill I've felt.

    ​Rapidly losing all faith in doctors.

    Dee

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  • Posted

    Evening Wendy, I have just read your information about Amplodipine. Reading about your legs & knees I have experienced too. Just before Christmas my left knee gave away which left my right knee taking the full impact. This sort of trouble I have never experienced ever. It's just funny this has occurred once I started Amplodipine. My legs ache as well which I will be talking to my pharmacy about. What you had explained Wendy about yourself makes sense.

    Good Luck

    Adrian

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