Amlodipine side effects

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I have high blood pressure.  My former doctor put me on a medium-low dose of amlodipine but, for me, it had intolerable side effects (I can't remember the exact dosage).  After 2 weeks I stopped taking it and refused to restart.  My new doctor also would like to put me on it but I told him that if he prescribed it I wouldn't take it because I cannot think straight and can barely drive my car due to extreme "spaciness" when I take that drug.  Bad dreams and nightmares also bothered me while I was trying to get used to it.  He seems to not believe me.  He keeps telling me that I'll get past that and everyone gets "dizzy" when their blood pressure starts to drop from too high to normal.  I tried to explain to him that that was not what I was experiencing but he looked at me like I was nuts.

My questions are:  Why do some people have bad side-effects from this drug while others do not?  Do others have reactions to this drug that are similar to what I described?

Thanks!

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi David,

    I also can’t understand why some people have side affects and others  don’t. I’ve been on Amlodopine for 2 years with no side affects whatever and was also put on Perindoprol a year ago and again no side affects. Same with the statin I take. My Dr did say I may develop a cough but thankfully nothing not even any feeling of dizziness. However a friend of mine suffers exactly the same symptoms as you and she has stopped taking it. This forum is very good for people who do have side affects though as so many have similar symptoms. Think the only way Drs would realise these symptoms are ‘real’ is if they experienced them themselves.  If anyone has any theories why some get side affects and some don’t would love  to read your views. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, Angela... I would love to hear more from your friend about her experience with this drug but maybe she is not a member here.

      I appreciate any feedback that helps confirm I'm not "nuts"... at least as far as my episode with amlodipine goes.  wink

      I often wonder if doctors have any idea what their patients go through with some of these drug side-effects.  Someone should come up with a virtual reality app that mimics them so those "in charge" can get a little taste of it.

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    • Posted

      I agree with you Angela...doctors don't really realize those awful side effects of some medications not until they  experienced taking those themselves...They just prescribe medications in a trial and error method,meaning,if it goes well with the patient then the treatment continues and, changes on prescriptions if patient suffers all the unbearable side effects of such...From my experience myself about this "Amlodipine misery",I can say that by sharing our own views to others,we will serve as an eye opener to them...You are indeed one of the luckiest people on earth who haven't experienced any side effects from this drug,maybe it really varies and depends on one's body metabolism...I was lucky thou that I found out shortly the real cause of my pain miseries and had to take it(Amlodipine )off from my system...Thank you...

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  • Posted

    She always felt ‘spaced out’ as she put it whilst she was taking it also suffered from insomnia and dizziness. Have heard of so many people getting a similar reaction to this drug. Sometimes this can happen a long time after taking it so I’m not holding my breath!! My friend Joy is now worried about her BP and is too worried to take other BP medications. 
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  • Posted

    Hi David

    Sorry you experiencing bad side effects with Amlodopine. My side effects didn't happen until I'd been on it for about 7 years when my Dr upped the dose from 5mg to 10mg. Then things got mad, think l got every side effects listed on the information sheet! I came off it and am even now after 4 months still feeling the same problems, swollen feet, bad depression, anxiety, panic attacks, light headed and a mad itch.

    My blood pressure is still not under control. I now take Losarten which has it's own side effects. Also a Betta blocker because l developed a fast heart rate which am convinced came on with the Amlodopine.

    What are you now taking for the blood pressure and is it helping you? Do hope so. Good health.

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    • Posted

      Perhaps the reason I don’t have side affects is maybe as I’m only on 5 mg. I am also taking a 4 mg Perindoprol tablet. Perhaps the combination of two different tablets instead of Amlodopine in the higher dose presents less side affects. It’s just a thought but I’m not writing off ever having those horrid side affects as I’ve only been on them a couple years and as you say yours didn’t happen for 7 years. Best wishes 
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    • Posted

      Hi Angela

      You could be right about the dosage. When l was on the 5mg l seemed fine too, but when it didn't keep my blood pressure down that's when everything went pear shaped. I certainly hope you stay well and no problems occur for you. Thanks for answering my post.

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    • Posted

      Hi Christine,  

      Now that you mention your dosage, I think my former doctor had put me on 10mg to start.  That was in early 2016.  The bad feelings came within days.  It's interesting (and awful!) that you had depression and anxiety while on amlodipine.  That is how I felt, too, which was very alarming since I am also being treated separately for those conditions.  Lexapro (escitalopram) 5mg is very effective for me with very few if any, side-effects but I certainly have no need for taking another drug (amlodipine) that will cause those symptoms to flare up.  I sometimes wonder if these doctors know what they are doing!

      I had been on Losartan 20mg for blood pressure since 2016 (Lisinopril before that) but my new doctor discovered it was causing my kidney function to diminish.  Now that I've been off that for a few months my kidneys are starting to recover but the BP is still a problem so my new doc, after trying to convince me to take amlodipine, placed me on hydrochlorothiazide 12.5mg.  It's just a diuretic but it's doing reasonably well at controlling my BP although he would rather have me taking the amlodipine.  I will resist that to the end!

      Thank you for your input!

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  • Posted

    David 44767, my cardiologist tried me on that drug twice.  It is the nastiest thing I ever ingested.  I tried to tell the doc I "felt like I was dying".  I don't think he believed me.  The second time I took myself off the crap and refuse to take it again.  I am still on Losartan (100 mg).  I heard beets are good for B/P.  I have been eating them daily for about a couple of years.  My last B/P reading last month at the PCP was 112/68.  My cardio doc listed my reaction to Amlo as an allergy.  I found the words felt like dying from another patient on this site who experienced that sensation.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Brenda.  Confirmation stories such as yours are what I've been looking for as well as the previous replies (above) to my post.  Doctors simply don't know until they've tried it themselves and we know that will never happen.

      I appreciate your reference to beets.  The other day while grocery shopping I saw bottles of beet extract in capsule form for sale.  I paused to look but didn't buy.  I think next time I'll pick up a bottle and see what happens.

      Many thanks!

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    • Posted

      David, a couple of points.  One, I buy the canned pickled beets, drain off the juice to avoid extra sugar, and eat them thruout the day.  Two, I discovered the reason I am having such a hard time with my cardio about Amlo.  He takes the med himself and swears by it.  Therefore, he finds it hard to believe what I am telling him.

      Also, if anyone knows what is a good therapy to get rid of the ankle swelling, I would appreciate it.  My primary tells me he will prescribe what I need if he can find out what it is.  Does anyone know?

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    • Posted

      Has your doctor suggested anti-embolism (support) stockings?  I have never had a problem with swollen ankles but I know about the stockings because I used to work at a drug store and we sold quite a few of them.

      For what it's worth...  smile

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  • Posted

    Just recently was given a prescription of this evil drug @ 5mg  I never ingest anything without looking into it first I didn't like what I read and basically as my own Dr since mine has become increasingly useless I started on 2.5mg   instead to ease myself into this as I really had a bad feeling about it as it has horrible reviews.    First dose instant nausea but I could deal with it as I have IBS been there done that.  I also noticed horrible anxiety right away feeling like I was in a panic attack state having lived with Anxiety for at least 20 years this was far worse than anything I've had before.   The same night I woke with a horrible bizarre nightmare very short  but was able to sleep  but then 2 nights later the s**t hit the fan I started having insomnia  waking up after 30 minutes of sleep with a huge snort like sleep apnea and it would repeat over and over  I can never get back to sleep.    I started having trouble with words and shortness of breath.  I had problems with every joint in my body, freezing cold knees to feet.     

    I stopped the medication on 1/19 and I'm still unable to sleep properly 1/23 the snorting awake has stopped but I'm still really struggling to get any sleep.  I've heard this med takes up to 12 days to leave the system.    I hope I can get back to restful sleep soon as it's hard to function like this and bad for my BP as well. 

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    • Posted

      Adam, though not exactly the same side-effects that I had (but pretty close), the intensity of your experience is spot on.  Nightmares of all things!  I would expect that from an SSRI but not a blood pressure med.

      I had forgotten about the joint pain but that feeling of moving through a dream while wide-awake is etched into my memory.  

      Thanks for sharing your experience.  Btw, I am now on a simple diuretic (HCTZ 12.5mg), nothing else... but even the diuretic had some intolerable side-effects for me at the 25mg dose which I had to stop after just one week.

      I'm also experimenting with Beet Root capsules.  Many others swear by it in juice form. 

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