Amlodipine side effects

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I have been on 5mg Amlodipine for years now to keep my BP down - it does work too, I  have experienced most side effects, the most troublesome of late is the irregular heart beat and "fluttering" pulse. Often at night when lying down and trying to sleep. GP sent me for a 48 hr ambulatory heart monitor, specialist has written back to say monitoring shows a normal heart rhythm, but with extra beats in the upper and lower chambers. Suggested if it bothered me even after reassurance to see my GP with a view to going on low dose of beta blockers. I'm 72 now and wondering if this irregular heart beat is cos I'm getting older. Anyone else experiencing this irregular heart beat on Amlodipine??

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  • Posted

    The Bradycardia and irregular heart beat is caused by the Calcium Channel Blocker, Amlodipine.  Unfortunately the damage, called AV block is not reversible.  I am 75 and when I wore the monitor it showed my heart stopping for up to 8 seconds at rest/sleep.  Beta blockers also cause the same issue after long term use.  In my case it developed after two years of use.  I found the symptom myself, when in the evening I did not feel quite right and check my pulse and it was missing many beats and was very slow at less than 25 BPM.  I required an emergency pace maker within two days after the doctor got the findings on the 24 hour monitor.  There are excellent reports on the Mayo Clinic site as well as others.  Search on the internet for Amlodipine and Bradycardia and you will be overwhelmed with info on the drug and its effects.

    The issue with the missing beats in an issue any time you are at rest or sleeping.  You could die in your sleep if the heart misses too many pings.  When awake, the heard beat is naturally faster so no issue.  The extra beats are just the opposite of the normal problem which is missing beats.  It does, however, indicate that there is a problem with the electrical path the signal takes when going to the heart muscles. In short, there is a problem with the sinus rhythm.

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  • Posted

    Hi Derek25832

    It was discovered during a visit to A & E just after Christmas that my Wife had a irregular heart beat.

    There are many other factors that will give you an irregular heart beat. Long term use of two antibiotics and being dehydrated are just two.

    After CT scans, and X-rays and ECG my wife was sent to have a echocardiogram (cardiac echo) and also was fitted with a Holter monitor for 24 hours.

    My wife unfortunately can become dehydrated very quickly due to another condition she has.

    After stopping one of the antibiotics she was taking and once she was rehydrated, the irregular heart beat disappeared.

    I am not saying this is your problem and you must continue with your GP, but it is always worth checking another things that are going on with your medication and your lifestyle before diving in to more heart drugs.

    The best place to give you advice is a local pharmacist, as this was how we got the information about the long term use of an antibiotic created a irregular heart beat


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  • Posted

    In my case I developed Afib when I was increased from 5mg to 10mg.  This is not just an issue when you are resting or sleeping, I passed out while just sitting and now have a pace maker.  If you're beginning to show irregular heart beats you need to have it properly diagnosed.
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  • Posted

    Hi derek25832...Usually, a 'fluttering' pulse/heartbeat is what is known as Premature Ventricular Contractions. I have those, & have been told they are not an indication of heart disease. A GP in the Emergency Department told me so, & I wore a holter monitor for 48 hrs at the request of a Cardiologist. The results of my Nuclear Medicine testing were normal, & on the notes, the Cardiologist said

    there were PVC's showing on the holter monitor results. He did not make any other notations regarding this, so I know I'm safe in thinking that if those PVC's

    were something to be concerned about, he'd have written something, or I would have been counselled about it.

    By the way, the GP in the Emergency Dept. was rather youngish, & told me that he himself experiences the same thing. He saw them happening on my monitor, & knew each & every time I was experiencing one. 

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