Just wanted to share...

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Hi All,

I'm 66 and my doc started me on Amlodipine 5mg six weeks ago for high BP. After three weeks I went back to see him and he increased it to 10 mg because my BP was still slightly high and after the next three weeks he was happy everything was under control. I wasn't aware of any side effects, certainly none that were mentioned but I did have the symptoms of a cold, which I just disregarded. However, shortly after going on to the 10mg dose the symptoms became much worse and I thought I was suffering from hay fever as my nasal passages were constantly blocked. Trying to sleep was a nightmare.

Went to see my GP again and he said he didn't think it would be the meds but looked it up in his book or magic tricks and sure enough found that one of the possible 'side effects' was Rhinitis! So he reduced the Amlodopine to 5mg and also prescribed Ramipril 2.5 mg.

Well I've only been on the new dosage for one day but my symptoms have become much worse. Last night was awful and I was completely blocked. So much so I was quite worried the blockage could spread to prevent me breathing at all and so sat up from 2am till 5am until it slightly subsided.

I know I shouldn't but I intend to take things into my own hands for a while, just to see how things go. I'm stopping the amlodopine completely today and will just take the Ramiprill. I will monitor my BP twice daily just to see how things progress/digress before going back to my GP with the results. After all, this is all they do isn't it? It's all about trial and error from my experience.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my experience.

1 like, 22 replies

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22 Replies

  • Posted

    Good name. I do indeed think you're on course! Taking things into your own hands isn't always a bad idea, especially if you're older and your BP isn't too high.

    To make clear to anyone else reading this, I'm not advocating freelance stopping or reduction of meds to young people suffering from high BP. We've had a few posters on these BP forums reporting values like 200/140 in their 20s. A high BP at that age needs to be taken very seriously. I'm addressing this to the over-60s with slightly raised BP.

    I note your doctor said your BP was still "slightly high" on 5mg of amlopidine. I'd be interested to hear his definition of slightly high. About 25 years ago my mother, then in her mid-70s, was found to have alarmingly high BP and was put on a calcium channel blocker (can't remember at this distance whether it was amlodipine or another one, or what the dose was). It worked a treat, brought her BP way down and she didn't get any side effects. One day she had to see a different doctor at her GP practice - an American, though I don't know whether that's significant. That day her BP was an excellent 130/80. He said nothing above 120/80 was acceptable, upped the dose and she immediately started getting swollen ankles. It took me ages to convince them this was a mistake.

    I'm 72 and my BP isn't fantastic. I have that thing where the systolic goes up a bit (but never above 160) and the diastolic drops to your boots - can be 50 or occasionally less. This is also considered potentially dangerous these days, but I'm lucky enough to have a GP who's prepared to work with me on lifestyle measures rather than just reaching for the prescription pad.

    Have you tried reducing salt? It can have an immediate effect on some people. Cutting back on sugar - in all its forms - also helps. So does losing a bit of weight - but only if you're overweight to start with - and increasing the amount of exercise you do. No need to go to the gym, regular brisk walking will do the trick as well.

    Good luck with your experiments!

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily..

      With regard to what that American Dr. said to your mom about anything over 120/80 was not acceptable. Well, I can tell you one thing, that's not entirely accurate. Your Mom was older, THAT is taken into consideration. Drs here will not necessarily increase medication on elderly people IF their bp is reasonable. They take into account, the patient's quality of life..so by increasing medications, that just increases the liklihood of side effects making the patient feel ill, or dizzy, etc. I know for sure, my Dr. wouldn't be concerned at all with a bp reading of 130/80. 

      Again, doubling the bp dosage increases the liklihood of side effects. Some people on 5mg Amlodipine experience very few side effects, yet their bp hasn't been reduced. The Dr. increases that dosage to 10mg, then next thing we know, the patient has swollen ankles, legs, etc...a VERY common side effect of Amlodipine. I have a relative who's bp was spiking in the afternoons. She was on 5mg Amlodipine. Her Dr. suggested to her that she split the tablet in half. Take one half in the morning, & the other half in the afternoon. That worked like a charm! 

      Of all the negative comments on this site about Amlodipine, I'm quite surprised that people are still being prescribed this medication. There are different qualifications for different countries. I read on this site that someone stated Amlodipine is banned in the Netherlands. 

      Drs may think it's the 'flavour of the day'., but it's not for everyone. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike - just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting my Mum's new doctor doubled her dose because he was American, just speculating as to whether that might be the case. I never lived there myself but having lived in an international expat community for >40 years, I can't help noticing that my US friends and colleagues generally seem to expect more investigations and more medical/surgical treatment than other nationalities!

      I just checked out the Dutch position on amlodipine (I live in that neck of the woods) but can't find any specific prohibition, only general articles about it. Same goes for Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Italy. Don't know about other European countries as the above exhausted my linguistic abilities! I also found that assertion that it was banned, but it was just hearsay on this Patient site. What I did find, however, was that the patent granted to the original manufacturer (who I'm probably not allowed to mention here) expired a while back in several European countries, allowing the generic form to be produced. That may have been what the poster was referring to.

      Whatever - I stay away from all medications as far as possible! Former nurse so I know a bit too much about them.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply Lily65668.

      Yes I could do with losing a little wieght I must admit. As for salt I NEVER add it to my meals but we do use it n our cooking. Don't use sugar either and we have a small holding with horses, sheep, geese, chickens, etc, etc so am quite active 356 days a year.

      I guess I'm just wearing out confused

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    • Posted

      Wow OnCourse - you must be really active. You put me to shame!

      I've never put salt on the table either - no one in our family did - but I used to use a fair amount in cooking, especially in potatoes and green veg. However, I've discovered over the past couple of years that I can cut back quite significantly on the amount I use without noticing any difference. I only use a small pinch in potatoes and veg, and none at all when cooking meat, fish or poultry - with the exception of rabbit, which seems to need a little something. The only food I feel the need to salt fairly heavily is eggs. An omelette just doesn't taste right to me without a good shake of salt in the mix. Either that or grill some bacon and put that in!

      The two things I've found that have made a small change in my BP are mgnesium and chocolate. Not everyone can tolerate the former, as it can cause diarrhoea, but it's often quite effective. I'd been hearing about chocolate for some time but couldn't quite believe it. Sounds like wishful thinking, doesn't it? However, a couple of months ago I started eating a very small portion of 99% cocoa chocolate every day and it really has brought my systolic pressure down noticeably. But it has to be the high-cocoa kind. This is quite expensive, but there's no temptation to eat a lot of it as 99% cocoa chocolate tastes awful!

      Given that you're over 60, if your BP is usually under 160/100, I wouldn't worry too much about experimenting with your dose of medication, as long as you're checking your BP regularly at home. If it's consistently higher than that, it would be better to discuss it with your doctor. But that suggestion only holds good for the over-60s. A young person with a BP of 160/100 needs to follow medical advice strictly, as BP tends to rise naturally with age.

      Yeah - we're all wearing out. Me too. But then again, those of us who stay mentally and physically active are much likelier to stay healthy.

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  • Posted

    Watermelon and prune juice have ingredients like citruilline which lower blood pressure
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    • Posted

      This is all well & good, BUT there will be times when it's not possible to drink watermelon & prune juice. 

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  • Posted

    Hello OnCourse...While I have some opinions about the so-called 'modern' medical society, I do not agree with anyone taking matters into their own hands. 

    Did you look up the side effects of the Rampiril? Rampiril is an ACE Inhibitor, & ACE Inhibitors are known to cause a dry hacking cough. Not everyone gets it, but 1 out of 4 do. The only way to stop the cough is to come off the medication causing it. 

    I do not recommend you stop any bp medication without consulting your Dr. I'm sure your doctor would not be impressed by you doing so either. You've been on the new dosage just one day so be prepared for your Dr. or pharmacist to suggest you 'give the meds a chance'.

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike92384

      Thanks for the reply. The reason why I decided to stop the Amlodopine is because I suspect I am experiencing a allergic reaction rather than a side effect

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  • Posted

    HI OnCourse,

    I heard that rumor about it being banned in the Neterhlands but

    my reseach on google did not turn anything up but rumors.

    If your have any further info on this banning please inform

    us.

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  • Posted

    When my dr. added Amlodophine he did mention swollen ankles.  The problem with sinus I just saw as that sinus.  The joint pain I mentioned as it was new and he said it might be the start of arthritis.  The extreme tiredness where I will sleep for two or three days plus the zombie feeling he passed off stating he wished he could sleep that long.  I was then faced with  cancer so forgot these minor problems.  However nearly three years on and my oncologist changing my cancer med when I told her about my joint pain.  I am having a difficult time walking.  I now have another new doctor who is going to take blood as four other doctors have, he will then sit down and go over each one of my meds.  Who knows, is it the Amlodophine.  All I can say is watch any issues you have and document  it all as we tend to forget.  My sinus problem this year was accompanied with eye dryness which included waking with caked eyelids which turned into an eye infection which is something else to add to the list.  If I had not found this site I would never have questioned the drugs I am taking as I expect my doctors to be aware and inform me
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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear about all your troubles, Margaret. Just a thought... You mention dry eyes, sinus problems and joint pains. All these could be down to various causes - including drug reactions or ageing - but there is an autoimmune condition that can cause this combination of symptoms, as well as others. It's called Sjogren's syndrome. It's not all that rare, but doctors are very reluctant to diagnose it for some reason. Most of us have the symptoms for an average of 10 years before we get a diagnosis. I've had symptoms for 22 years, but only got diagnosed 12 years ago. Dry eyes, with repeated attacks of conjunctivitis as a result, were among my earliest symptoms.

      Other symptoms are dry mouth, peripheral neuropathy (tingling or altered sensation in hands and feet), Raynaud's syndrome (fingers or toes suddenly going white and painful), muscle and tendon pains, to name but a few.

      It can be quite hard to diagnose, but your doctors should make sure they include the full range of inflammation markers and antibodies in your blood tests, just in case. Unfortunately it's a chronic (but not fatal) condition for which there's no specific treatment, except for tiny doses of chemotherapy to damp down the immune system in severe cases. But it can be useful to get a diagnosis, as there's quite a lot of help out there for management of dry eyes. The good news is that it comes and goes, like most autoimmune conditions, and you can get quite long remissions.

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    • Posted

      If you read through the other posts on the forums from over a year ago you will find that the side effects vary on different people. My legs and ankles are still not right 2 years on from stopping Amlipodine. I still have trouble with the rash that also starts with the swollen legs and ankles. I was taken off Amplipodine and was changed to Losartan and given Water Tablets to help reduce the swelling.

      My legs and ankles took months to go down but one of my legs hasn’t gone down to its original size, I am meant to walk as an exercise , but the weakness in my legs doesn’t let me walk very far, so I am using an exercise bike for a cardiac work out, walk up and down the stairs 10 times at one go, which should help make up for the lack of walking.

      I was also given statins by my GP to lower my cholesterol and was told there would be no side effects.

      Just before last Christmas I was sent for fasting blood tests by another GP on another matter, when the test came back I didn't hear anything about them, so I asked for a print out of the test results and found my Total Cholesterol reading was 2.8.

      There was a warning beside my good Cholesterol reading, that it was below the normal range, So I took my self off the Statins for three months. I went to see my GP after that time to say the the aching a weakness in my legs were still there.

      The advice was to stop the statins and wait for a period of time and restart them again and that should sort out the problem.

      When I told the GP I had already stopped them the surgery near took off, so I was sent to have blood test to check my Cholesterol, when they came back the reading was still under 5 so I was not put back on them again.

      The only drug I take now is Lostartan for my blood pressure, but my legs are still messed up through the Ampliopine

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    • Posted

      paul33161...WHEN did you go on the statins??????? If you went on them the same time as the Amlodipine, it may not be the Amlodipine that has caused the problems with your legs. Why I say this is that there are reports galore about statins all but ruining peoples' legs..muscle cramps..the start of wasting, etc. One company is involved in a massive class action suit because of the damage, AND they did not disclose the fact that females in particular could become diabetic as a result of taking the statins. Well, indeed this happened & countless women have become diabetic & will have that horrible disease the rest of their lives. If your cholesteral is fine, why take the statin? I have a friend who's right leg was bothering him. He read about the statin situation, & stopped taking them. Now his leg hardly bothers him at all. By the way, he's diabetic too, but that had nothing to do with taking the Statin. 

      Good luck..let us know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      I have to say I think the practice of across-the-board prescription of statins to everyone of a certain age with certain perceived, but often non-existent, "risk factors" is an absolute disgrace.

      It seems to happen more in English-speaking countries too. Here in Belgium most of our doctors work on the ratio system devised by the Framingham Heart Study (ironically a US initiative, even though the US seems to have the highest cholesterol prescription rate in the world!) Framingham looks only at the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL, regardless of the actual numbers. (HDL cholesterol molecules are the good guys that hoover up the bad stuff in your arteries.)

      A total cholesterol:HDL ratio of 5 for men and 4.4 for women is deemed to indicate the average risk of heart attack or stroke for the general population. If your ratio is higher than these values you're at higher than average risk, if it's lower you're at lower risk. (H@rvard Health publications - The Family Health Guide.)

      Hence, on getting the results of my latest blood work four months ago, my GP was delighted. My total cholesterol was 6.7 and my LDL 3.9 - both well above the normally-stated maximum levels of 5 for total cholesterol and 3 for LDL. I'm sure I'd have been slapped on statins immediately in the UK. But the kicker was my HDL, at 2.3, which is double the normal maximum level of 1.15. This means my total:HDL ratio is only 2.9, well below the 4.4 norm for a woman, so nowhere near the danger level, in spite of the high readings. Needless to say, I'm not on statins and my GP wouldn't dream of prescribing them.

      I realise that these concepts can seem a mite technical at first glance, but it's perfectly simple in fact. I also realise that it might be more difficult for NHS patients to get sight of their results, much less question their doctors as to how they're interpreting them, but that's not impossible either. There's a wonderful, assertive character called RHGB (also answers to the name of Mr. GBH I believe!) who haunts these boards, and he seems to have no problem engaging in productive dialogue with his NHS doctors.

      When dealing with doctors we all need to remember: "My body, my responsibility". Doctors are trained to deal with health matters of course, and I certainly wouldn't recommend DIY brain surgery. Nor would I suggest that we ignore medical advice. All I'm saying is that in this day and age we all have the possibility to educate ourselves about health matters and start having a say in the management of our own bodies. The days of the parent-child relationship between doctors and their patients are numbered.

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    • Posted

      Was put on Ampilopine first as my BP was 190/90 then a couple of weeks later I was put on the stains.

      My Left ankle became very itchy then broke out into a rash, it became as long and wide as my hand. I was given a eczema type moisturiser cream to rub in which made no difference.

      Then Both Ankles began to swell, the left one more than the right, at one point my left was the same size as the top of my leg. The GP stopped the Ampliodipine and gave me Losartin instead with some water tablets to shift the swelling and I kept taking the Statins.

      Most of the swelling went down in a couple of months but the rash stayed the same but I was taken off the water tablets.

      I don't think my Cholesterol was high when I was given the statins, it seems the due to my age and the BP reading you are given Statins automaticity By your GP in the UK as a just in case job.

      I stopped taking the statins in October 2015 and since then my legs are back to normal size and the rash on my ankle  is 80% disappeared.

      The problem now is I have gone from a very active person to one who cant even walk 100 metres. so now I drive every where, which isn't very good  as I am not getting the excise I should be getting

      So two and half years later, I have ended up with a healthy Blood Pressure and Cholesterol reading, but with very weak legs and cant walk anywhere 

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul, I believe you should be able to improve the muscle mass in your legs now you're off the statins. You might not get it back entirely to where it was, but I'm sure steady, regular exercise will make a difference. However, you need to start small and gradually work up from there. You say in another post that you're already using an exercise bike and going up and down the stairs at home as much as possible. That sounds like a very good start. I'm sure if you keep this up, as well as stepping up your exercise levels as much as you can, you'll eventually get results.

      Can you get one or two sessions with a private physiotherapist, for an assessment and advice on the best exercises for you? Expensive, but it might pay dividends in future mobility. I'd advise you to ask your doctor for physio referral, but I know that won't happen in the NHS.

      Apologies for my earlier double post, btw. I've already reported it and asked for the duplicate to be taken down. I don't know what's wrong with this site lately. It posts an error message, saying a post hasn't gone through, I refresh repeatedly then check about 10 mins later. If the post still hasn't appeared I re-post (I always take a copy of long posts before sending) and that one comes up. Then, half an hour or so later, lo and behold, the first one suddenly appears as well!

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    • Posted

      paul33163...I can't believe what I'm reading!!! The Dr.s there put people on statins "just in case"...Say what!!??? If the cholesteral readings are normal, or close to normal, we do NOT...do NOT put people on statins! That's absurd,to say the least, not to mention not necessary.!

      As for the water pills, I'm surprised you were given those as well. Once the Amlodipine is stopped, the swelling stops too. 

      The statins are also not given because of bp issues. I still think the problem with your legs are to be blamed on the statins.

      If you read what I wrote a while ago, there's a statin manufacturer that is facing a mega class action law suit because they didn't warn of the possible problems with the legs, nor did they mention the risk of developing diabetes in females. 

      It's all a money grab with the pharmaceuticals. How disgusting.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike, Glad you posted that at the start of the weekend. That means there's a chance of your post surviving till Monday morning (UK time) before it disappears. Last time I posted a similar remark to your last sentence it didn't last very long at all!

      I can't help wondering whether you've been under a stone for the past few years. It's quite normal for British doctors to prescribe statins across the board these days for large groups of the population, regardless of their cholesterol levels or ratios. And look where they got the idea from! I'm quoting from the Mercol@ site here:

      The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a federal advisory board, has issued a draft recommendation that certain healthy adults should start taking statin cholesterol-lowering drugs as a form of preventive medicine.

      Their guidelines suggest people between the ages of 40 and 75 with at least one risk factor for heart disease and a 10 percent or greater risk of heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years should take statins.

      This advice applies to people who have not had a previous heart attack or stroke,1 and follows similar 2013 recommendations made by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC).

      I'm afraid there's plenty more of this stuff out there from both sides of the Atlantic. Just google "statins" and "preventive". Obviously I share your dismay. As you'll see from my earlier post, I'd be on a hefty dose of statins myself if I lived on the other side of the Channel or the Atlantic.

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    • Posted

      Hi lily65668...No, I do not live under a stone. I live in Canada, & we have different ideas about things, even from the American people.

      Research of late has strongly indicated that cholesteral is not a major cause of heart disease, although a high level of cholesteral is never good, as with other things. You must take into account as well, that a lot of people in the US do not have a Dr, because of cost, or they finally got into ObamaCare & the Dr. they may have doesn't know their history.

      In a lot of ads on tv, it's stated..."tell your doctor if you have...etc.etc.". MY doctor knows exactly what my state of health is, & what I'm taking.

      However, this mega class action suit is really very very serious. Imagine taking something, only to find out you've become diabetic because of it, yet there were no warnings. Those 'victims' are now dealing with a lifetime disease. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike, I'm glad to hear that Canada doesn't blindly follow the US model, as the UK seems to do. It's interesting to speculate as to why this is. It's certainly not down to seeing a different doctor every time in the UK, as they have to stick with the same practice, which is often dictated by their postcode. In fact it's very difficult to change doctors under their system.

      With you all the way on the gravity of this situation. It just makes me wonder how many other disasters are waiting in the wings. The area of psychotropic drugs comes to mind. Well, the disasters aren't just in wait there - think of all the suicides among teenagers a few years back when they were inappropriately prescribed SSRIs. And I have first-hand experience of the damage wreaked by the widespread off-label use of powerful antipsychotics to deal with minor aggression in dementia sufferers. The latter seems to happen all over Europe as well, with frail, elderly people being put straight onto the maximum dose of drugs like olanzapine, clozapine and risperidone by GPs who have no knowledge of their side-effects, and who don't even try a small dose first. I still feel particularly strongly about this, having seen a dear friend die just 10 months ago from the effects of these terrible drugs. Plenty of other categories too. Vioxx anyone?

      I accept that many people are helped by modern medications. It's just that I sometimes wonder who's in charge.

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    • Posted

      Lily

      There is a lot to be said to staying with the same pharmacist, as they keep a computer record of all the drugs you have ever been on (well some do) I was prescribed a drug that conflicts with one I was already taking, the pharmacist flagged it up and said I couldn't have that drug and rung the GP who change it to a drug the pharmacist recommended

      While on heart problems did you know that two commonly prescribed antibiotics in the UK if you are allergic to penicillin cause arrhythmia if used for longer periods than normal.

      And one interacts with warfarin, we have to be so careful and keep asking for information when we a re prescribed something new

      My Granddaughter was prescribed Co-Codamal 8mg/500mg

      mixture of codeine phosphate and paracetamol, these were pick up from the normal pharmistst

      A while later the hospital prescribed Co-Dydramol 30/500 for pain,

      mixture of dihydrocodeine tartrate and paracetamol

      Both these drugs were dispensed from different pharmacy's so no check was made on what she was taking. It wasn't until she got got home that her mum noticed that if she took both these drugs together she would take double the amount per day of paracetamol, which is 8 she would have taken 16, she could of damaged her liver by taking both of these.

      This kind of mistake should not be allowed to happen

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