late onset swollen ankles /can amlodipine cause kidney problems?

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I have been on Amlodipine for a long time - three years at least..  About 10 months ago I started to have swollen ankles - the left being much worse than the right.  After checking side effects of all my meds I read swollen ankles were common with Amlodipine, so I asked my doctor (of 30 years) and he just scoffed and said it couldn't be,  and he said I had poor circulation caused by smoking  I quit 25 years ago) and I had to wear compression socks), and he said to keep taking  amlodipine.  Then I had several wounds that appeared on my right ankle that each took months to go away. For the last wound I went to a wound care clinic to for treatment, and it healed,  I'm sure the wounds were caused by the stretched skin from swollen ankles, yes, they were on the left ankle.

Still had swollen ankles, so I went to a vascular doctor and he found I had leaky veins - he injected something into those veins to close them, he announced I was healed an after I asked he said I could wear the compression socks 'if I wanted to.  Hell, who WANTS to wear them?  Only people like me who (still) had swollen ankles.  Neither the wound care specialist doctor or the vascular surgeon attributed it to my meds, of course they both had a list of all my meds.  I continued to wear the compression socks battling these swollen ankles - the left still much worse than the right.  I stopped taking amlodipine just a few days ago, and they have already improved greatly, and I pray they will become normal again.

Now I am wondering - my blood tests show I have kidney problems…I just saw a specialist and he ordered lots of tests.  I am hoping the kidney problem is also a side effect that will clear with time!

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  • Posted

    Holly, although I had swollen ankles leading to a diagnosis of varicose eczema caused by Amlodipine, you shoukdn’t just stop taking it without speaking to your Dr - perhaps a different one in the practice?  Kidney disease and heart disease can also cause swollen ankles as they lead to fluid retention.  It can help to cut out all salt from your diet, drink plenty of water, walk regularly and raise your feet when sitting.  There are loads of other BP pills to try.  I suggest you get to the bottom of what is ailing your kidneys first and then go from there.
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  • Posted

    Hi Holly

    Yes, it does cause swelling. Typical of your doctor to say it wasn’t the meds, yet he will tell you it’s the smoking. You have to question these doctors at times, that was an answer from him based on assumption. There are several reasons as to while someone’s ankle can swell, but if it only started after meds, especially meds that are linked to causing swelling, then it obviously has to be them. I have swelling in my left ankle and sometimes my calf. Mines isn’t linked to meds as I wasn’t on any when this started. The pharmaceutical companies are worth billions of pounds, they don’t want to hear about it when people have serious side effects from meds, too much money to be made, its sweep it under the carpet, the less people know about meds, the better. Be wary of Bp meds, some people are ok on them, but the vast majority end up with some serious side effects. I was on Ramipril for High Bp, I was nearly crippled with pain in my legs and feet. I have vascular problems with the veins in my legs, the doctor wasn’t supposed to have me on Ramipril, I only found out because I did some research on it. I came of it and I’m now on a natural supplement called Nattokinase, this is fermented soya, great for reducing BP naturally, great for circulatory problems, and I can truly say, the swelling has going in my ankle. I’ve only been on it for 4 days, I’ll check how my BP is in a couple of weeks. It can also dissolve blood clots. 

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    • Posted

      Nattokinase?  Does it thin the blood, Gillian?  I suspect the answer is “Yes” if it dissolves blood clots.  Just asking this so that anyone looking in who is also taking blood thinning medication such as Warfarin is aware not to risk anything that would be contraindicated.  
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    • Posted

      Yes it is a blood thinner. The reason I  didn’t elaborate on this is because you didn’t mention being on blood thinners. I’m sure anyone reading would realise if it dissolves blood clots, it’s a blood thinner. It’s always good to thoroughly check out any supplements etc that anyone mentions, just to be on the safe side. 👍😁

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying, Gillian.  No, I'm not on blood thinners myself but know many people who are.  I'm interested in the supplement you mention myself, especially having a bit of a circulatory problem in my one leg due to varicose veins, not to mention the varicose eczema side effect left over from the Amlodipine.  I will first check it out for any contraindications with kidney disease though which I do have and, of course, my present BP medication.  Apart from researching this on known reliable sites such as the Mayo Clinic and Drugs.com, I always believe in checking such things out with a good pharmacist - they know so much more about drugs/contraindications etc than GPs!

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    • Posted

      Have you tried Horsetail for your kidneys? It helps increase the urine output, hence flush the kidneys. You would have to check though for C.I. ‘s. Did they tell you what the problem with your kidneys was? 
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    • Posted

      No, Gillian, I haven’t tried horsetail.  Will check it out.  Only have a sole kidney which served me very well for many decades after the removal of the other when entering my teens.  Probably damaged some 12 years ago due to either an undiagnosed inflammatory illness or Ibuprofen or a combination of the two.  Now the high BP is no doubt also taking its toll.  I’m under a renal consultant (stage 3b CKD) who is trying to treat the BP but unfortunately the BP meds are another ball game either causing horrid side effects or further lowering the kidney function.  Catch 22 situation!  So you can see I’m fully au fait with the kidney v BP situation (well as much as I can be!) but many thanks for your input and suggestions - that is very kind of you.
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    • Posted

      That’s terrible, I thought I had problems as well. Hope you can get control of your Bp and that’s a shame about the kidney situation. Poor you 😔. What a time you must be having, hope someone somewhere can help you to get back on the mend. Good luck, and I wish you all the best with your health for the future. 💖x

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    • Posted

      Aah!  Gillian, what a kind and thoughtful message, thank you.  Whenever the battle to protect what function I have gets me down, I jerk myself into thinking about all those children/young people who are waiting for transplants, and how lucky I have been to have had such a healthy sole kidney for so very many years.   Lots of good luck wishes for your own health, too. xx 
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    • Posted

      Hi Gillian,

      I was wondering of you could point me to any peer reviewed studies, blind trials or other actual data on Nattokinase and Horsetail? All I can find is a load of people trying to sell it to me telling me how great it is.

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    • Posted

      I'll assume that's a no then

      I'm always amazed when I read statements like 

      The pharmaceutical companies are worth billions of pounds, they don’t want to hear about it when people have serious side effects from meds, too much money to be made, its sweep it under the carpet, the less people know about meds, the better. Be wary of Bp meds, some people are ok on them, but the vast majority end up with some serious side effects

      and yet you advocate untested alternatives that you have to pay for and in civilised countries you have to pay a lot more than the prescription drugs will cost you and yet you claim "Big Pharma" are just out to make money from you. Well what about the purveyors of snake oil? are they just dong it out of some misguided attempt to rewrite medical science?

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  • Posted

    Evening Holly, after reading your notice about the Amplodipine you have been taking. Swollen ankles are for sure. Be careful with your knees too they may be sore too. 5mg per day should be ok. But the of this you take the worste you will feel.

    Good Luck ADRIAN

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  • Posted

    Get your potassium levels --- IF you kidneys are not functioning well, they will not have the ability to remove potassium and amlopodine will cause fluid retention esp if your GFR is under 20

     

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