Confused by benefits and side effects?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone new here so please be patient found this site while reading up on the side effects of Amlodipine.  I have an irregular heartbeat which was always kept controlled by a Beta Blocker. However just before Xmas I had an episode of chest pain and breathlesness and B.P. shot up. I saw a new GP at our practice who took me off the Beta Blocke ( Bisoprolol) as I am slightly asthmatic and prescirbed Amlodipine in its place.

I have been fine untill a couple of months ago ( apart from the ankle swelling and needing to get up to the loo every 2 hours at night) However I started to feel palpitations and chest pain around 5 weeks ago and my BP had dropped quite low. I  returned to Docs who did ECG and am now on Warfarin and the Beta blocker has been added back to the mix.

Am now totally confused as reading the side effects of Amlodipine  they cause a lot of the things I suffer from and are supposed to help.  Such as the chest pain, palpitations, feeling dizzy, sweaty and trembling hands am getting all these at the moment.   Current G.P is gradually reducing dosage was 15mg , down to 10mg and now back to 5mg.

Sorry for such a long first post just hoping someone has some views re the benefits (if any) vs the side effects - Totally confused mysel  neutral

Probably confused you all too - Sorry . Chris

1 like, 20 replies

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20 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    I would definitely discuss this with your MD if these side effects continue. They could very well be from the amlodipine. Chest pain and trouble breathing were a couple of side effects I had; in addition to others.

    Again, I reiterate people react differently to drugs and their side effects differ. I was feeling so bad from the drugs they had me on that I told my MD I would rather die then to feel the way I was. You know your body better then anyone else. There are other alternatives to amlodipine.

    Good luck.


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    • Posted

      Thanks Sharon .  I did mention yesterday and that added to the fact my B.P is still too low is why she reduced the dose further. So I suppose will have to see how goes from here.  Just confuses and concerns me that they were prescribed in the first place for the Chest pains, breathlesness etc and yet it seems they can cause the exact same things.  Never going to get any better if thats the case.
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  • Posted

    Those symptoms are very similar to mine.  I switched from 5mg to 10mg of amlodipine.  I began getting palpatations and my bloodpressure dropped. I had no endurance.  Even after I stopped taking it my symptoms continued.  Evenually my pulse dropped so low I passed out and had to go to the emergency room.  I now have a pacemaker.  I hate amlodipine and my recommendation is you get off of it and pray the symptoms end. 

    As for the warfarin, if you can afford it with your insurance I suggest you ask your doctor for one of the newer blood thinners.  I'm taking Pradaxa, but there are others.  The newer ones don't have the adjustment issues of warfarin.  The new ones have some severe bleeding warnings, but I've found it's not as bad as it sounds for minor cuts.

    Good luck to you.

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    • Posted

      Hope you go forward ok.

      I am waiting for a hospital referral for possible Ablation ( lazering of the extra nerve causing irregular heart beat)

      Think I'm definately going insist on coming off the Amlodipine seems to be causing more than its curing.

      G.P. says there is no alternative to Warfarin? maybe thats just in UK?


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  • Posted

    Hi Chris. Sorry you're having such a confusing time. I too am slightly asthmatic so your comment about bisoprolol was interesting. I'm currently on 5mg of amlodipine (reduced from 10) & swollen ankles much improved. Still suffering from going to the loo a lot at night & also stiffness. Sometimes I walk as if I've been riding a horse for hours! My BP has increased slightly since reducing dosage of amlodopine so will speak to my gp about changing medication. Won't be bisoprolol though.



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    • Posted

      Good Luck definately talk it through and research I think is the answer.  Only when you start looking do you realise just how much worse the side effects can be than the symptoms sometimes.  sad I used to have the odd episode  of chest pain and breathlesness while was on the Bisoprolol but always seemed to settle quicker than it has  this time on the Amlodipine

      The most satisfactory easing/return to  normal I've had  was while on Bisoprol and was just given a course of Steroids seemed to clear up quickly, unfortunately our health centre is a teaching centre and G.P. registrars come and go and each has their own way of treating.

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  • Posted

    Hithere chris 17

    Same here! I was put on amlodipine last july & was fine with the medicine untill the ending of march this year when the Thursday before last I took my self to hospital because I had a bright red burning rash very warm to hot to the touch & when I stood up on my feet my bone in my left lower leg felt like it was about to snap scary it was I had before this a swelling on my left foot at the front & round the left side of my left ankle but no burning rash at the time & the doctor I saw at the time said it can be the amlodipine I'm also on 5mg she said she didn't want to take me off them yet but about a week later I get an uncomfortable sore feeling which I thought nothing much of it as I thought being on my feet for a while might of been the cause! I was told not to go back on them by the hospital & when i saw another GP he said he doesnt want to change them but stay off them untill the results of the next blood test comes back which checked for bone density but strangly came back clear/normal anyway the swelling went down while I was off the amlodipine the hard part is knowing what actually caused this burning rash because at the same time I was on prednisolon & antibiotics aswell as other medication such as levothyroxine & salbutamol & seretide for copd & now I'm back on the amlodipine again same 5mgrms my ankles have swollen a little especially my left ankle but no burning rash as yet! It is differcult & I fully sympathise with you I hope get an answer to your symptoms as I'm still watching my symptoms wandering whats next please let me or us on this forum how you get on I shall aswell meanwhile keep well!

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  • Posted

    Sorry about the way the long sentences came out I'll have to be carefull to break up the sentences next time I looked at what I wrote & thought wow what a muddle.

    I hope it made sense though & hope you get the answers you need!  


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    • Posted

      Hi Karen   Thanks for taking time to reply.  Yeah makes sense to me lol

      My feet and ankles swell too and I have the exact same feeling with the bone in lower leg just mine is right leg lol I thought mine was from work but have been off 6 weeks now and it has got worse not better.I also get terrible cramp in my legs.

      I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat about 4 years ago and have had occasions before when  my BP has raised but it has always been kept under control with medication and I have never  suffered the chest pain that I have experienced this time nor half of the other symptoms I'm getting all of which seem to be attributable to Amlodipine. Have had the dosage reduced again today and have to go back to see my G.P.  in a weeks time so will see what happens then.


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  • Posted

    Morning chris 17

    I think maybe we might have to come off the amloipine why is it that some doctors insist that we take the same medicine thats making us feel ill just because it keeps the blood pressure down this time though I agreed togoing back on the amlodipine as I'd been on it since last July i I remember rightly & I was fine with it up untill I started taking prednisolon which I cant stand the effects are horrible so thought it was that causing my legs to swell with the burning rash but also at the same time as being on prednisolon i was on ciprofloxacin aswell as my other medicines I feel like a walking disasterous chemist ready to explode don't you? 

    I don't much like the sound of the chest pains you have been getting not good at all it seams like you definatly need a change from what your already taking I've looked at the leaflet inside the box the medicine comes in & it is frightning when the burning rash & bad sore throat appeared I couldn't help but think of steven johnson syndrome a very serious skin condition & am going back to ask for a change of medication if possible anyway I hope you get yourself seen to asap you shouldn't have to suffer like that ouch please leet us know how you get on Medicines we are dammed if we don't take them & dammed if we do......

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    • Posted

      Morning Karen.

        Yeah I'm definately convinced its the Amlodipine causing most of my symptoms.  I'm with you on why do Docs insist we take medication that makes us feel worse, thing is my B.P is too low now for me - my usual reading is around 150/100 give or take at the mmoment its averaging around 90's/70's.  Thats why GP reducing dose trying get it back to my "normal".

      So hoping to come off it altogether.

      Like you I feel like walking chemist I also take Bisoprolol. Ramipril, Soluble Asprin,  and 4mg and 5mg of Warfarin on alternate days.

      Am waiting for a hospital appointment to come through to see if need Ablation  sad  Some days I feel like Just shoot me now!!

      We are supposed to go on Holiday in 5 weeks I keep asking for advice on that and if I'm ok to fly all I get is "we'll see"  sad

      Never heard of Steven Johnson syndrome so dont know what that is but have seen the red rash symtomps you describe in the Amlodipine side effects.

      Hope you get yourself sorted too Karen it's horrible when can't get any proper answers we only get a 10 min appointment at our Doc's - no time at all to discuss properly.  Hope you have more luck

      Take Care


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    • Posted


      Now that you've mentioned the low blood pressure, it lines up even more with my situation.  My progression went as follows:

      Blood pressure dropped to the range you're describing.  My blood pressure monitor showed heartbeat in the 90s, which was apparently was picking up extra beats from fibrilation.  I stopped amlodipine and went to my doctor who diagnosed the Afib.

      I dropped amlodipine without adding anything else.  I was taking ziac as well.  Blood pressure remained OK.

      Over the next couple month I noticed weakness when I walked up hill.  I would have to stop and rest and had some dizzyness.  Strangely, if I did hard exersize like mowing our hilly lawn with a walk behind mower I was fine.  I think there was a level to get through with the Afib that made the start work working.

      About three months after it started I went on vacation to a remote area in Alaska.  The second day there my weakness started becoming severe.  I couldn't walk 50' without stopping to catch my breath.

      When I got back to Anchorage I passed out from the low heartbeat and wound up in the emergency room.  Thank God that didn't happen while in the remote area.  From there I went home and had the pacemaker installed.  That seems to have solved my weakness problems.

      The blood pressure did rise again and I have added a diuretic pill  and Metoproal Tar since then as well as the ziac.  My blood pressure seems fine.

      All that said, since you seem to be headed down the same road as I went, I would recommend the following.

      1.  Keep a close watch on your pulse rate.  If it gets down into the 40s, get to your doctor right away.  My pulse rate had dropped into the 30s when I passed out.

      2.  If you go on vacation before you get this under control, be sure you go where there is good medical care.

      I am very upset that Afib is not listed as a side effect for amlodipine.  From this forum it seems obvious that it is a severe complication that they don't tell you about. 

      I hope you get through this just fine and have a great vacation five weeks from now.


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    • Posted

      Hi CPW

      We do sound very similar I too have problems walking up a slight hill get breathless and tight chest. I'm fine once on the level.

      My pulse has been anywhere between 68 - 115 seems to have leveled out now in the high 70-  low 90's.

      Thanks for your good wishes for our holidday we are off to Tunisia ( yeah ) I do have hopefully good  insurance - it is one thing I won't skimp on.

      As you say seems so wrong they can medicate us with a drug that causes the exact symptoms we need treating and not even warn us.

      Hope you remain healthy and under control.

      Take care


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    • Posted

      Afternoon Chris 17

      Thank you your welcome! Did you manage to see the doctor about this amlodipine? If you did I hope you got the answers you need, I have even managed to get an appointment! call at eight in the morning they say but when you do it's engaged & when you finally get through no appointments are left it's happening in a lot of area's widspread it is! I'm hoping to get an appointment tomorrow if not I might have to go to the walk in clinic where now it's so buissy that you could be sitting there for hours on end where will it all end hey!.......eek 

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris 17 

    I mean I haven't managed to make an appointment since the last appointment, just correcting my mistake!frown

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    • Posted

      Hi Karen. 

        Yes I have been tonight we can book appointments on-line ourselves at our practice its good if you know in advance that you need to see a particular doctor..  Do know what its like trying to get an appointment on the day though  sad

      My symptoms seem to have settled some since she reduced the dosage last week.  I have got a hospital appointment come through for 12th May ( just to see consultant to consider ablation)  so she asked me if I would carry on till been for that and then would talk again if I still not happy.   So I've agreed to that.

      Hope you manage to get in and get some answers  smile

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