Off amlodipine now

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Hello all

I have been following your posts with great interest and would like to share my story, in case it is of help.

Following a severe migraine attack in October 2013 I was found to have high bp and was immediately put on amlodipine 5mg.

Up to Christmas 2013, I didn't feel too bad, but in January 2014 I started to feel very ill: chest pains, high heart rate, dull pains on my right side radiating to my back, extreme tiredness, severe anxiety and depression.

- April 2014 - ultrasound scan of the abdomen - results normal.

- All routine blood tests - LFT, KFT, etc - normal.

- April 2014 (perescribed sertraline, but never taken)

Then, last month I was admitted as an emergency to hospital following an upper GI bleed.

Emergency gastroscopy revealed several gastric ulcers and severe duodentitis. Biposy of the stomach further revealed h.pylori infection.

Hospital stopped amlodipine immediately and my BP at hospital was monitored at 133/76 without tablets. I was in hospital for 3 days.

Since leaving hospital I have since been treated with triple action therapy for h.pylori (clarithromycin, matranidazole and PPI) to kill the bacteria. Repeat BP test at GP also had a good reading and he has now permanetly stopped the medicatron.

Following the above treatment, my resting heart rate has settled at between 60 and 72 (much lower than it was before)., I have since that h. pylori can cause raised heart rate (as well as migraines and anxiety!). 

I am due for a cardiology appt. next week (booked back in March) and repeat gastroscopy in about three weeks.    

I am telling my story in case anyone reading has similar symptoms. At no stage has it been suggested that amlodipine was the cause of the problem, but I am pretty sure it didn't help (and it may ultimately have been unnecessary and have exacerbated some underlying health problems). I have never felt as ill as I did over the last few months and attempts to request discontinuation of amlodipine did not work.   

I believe that GPs should conduct more rigorous tests first to see if amlodipine is safe.

If you have these symptoms please don't leave it until you have a severe bleed like I did and lost a lot of blood. I would not like anyone to have to go throiugh this. Insist on an h. pylori test if you think you could be suffering from these symptoms.  

Now I am starting to rebuild my life after a horrendous few months - I am still off work, but am able to think normally and to interact with others again, something I had been unable to do for some time.

I believe amlodipine is a shockingly bad drug for many people and I have reported the side effects via the yellow card system, and asked for a copy to be sent to the GP.  

 

Thanks for listening - sorry for the rant!!!!#

 

 

7 likes, 13 replies

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Totally agree and would urge anyone who has suffered with this drug to do the same as Gerard and report it .

     

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  • Posted

    What journey, Gerard! I expect trials suggest these drugs can be useful but the contraindications can be too severe, as you have experienced. If we are not medically educated, it seems our best option is to accept the knowledge of 'experts' and hope for the best. The body is not a scientific machine though and can react unpredicatably to these powerful chemicals. The frustrating thing about your story is that you were unheard in your request to come off the drugs and you are the expert of your body. I am so glad that at last you have started on the road to recovery. Good luck to you - I hope all goes well.
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  • Posted

    Yes ti makes quite frightening reading when you see what people have posted.  I too was initially put on this dreadful drug last year and have subsequently added posts as to my experiences, not only of amlodopine but the others I was put on after.

    I know that it can take a little while for GPs to find the 'right' BP medicatiion for individuals, but what I object to is their lack of understanding or believing what their patients are telling them about them.  It was not only my GP that I reported my concerns to but also the chemist. Both of them seemed reluctant to accept it was the amlodopine that  was causing all the horrendous side effects I was experiencing.. In the end I had to just say that I refused to take it.  Then began the task of 'trying' out some of the other BP meds. (another stoy).

    I too  put a report in on the yellow card system for amlodopine and some of the others I tried with bad side effects.

    anyway I do hope you continue to improve and get your life back on an even keel.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for taking the time to write what you did, Gerard.  Hope you continue to improve and do well.  I've joined a gym and am exercising vigorously (for me) at least three times a week.   Am not taking Amlopidine and my BP is OK - usually 140 or 145 over 78.  
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  • Posted

    Hi

    Many thanks to you all for your kind replies - I really appreciate them.

    Had cardiology appt. this week - blood pressure without amlodipine is ok, top number in the early 140s and bottom figure well below 90. 

    ECG normal.

    They have arranged echocardiogram - this will help them to see if I still need to take BP medication or if I can stay oiff it permanently.

    I feel great without the amlodipine - so I am hoping they will not put me back on that again.

    Good luck to you all, especially those struggling with this horrible medication.

    Gerard

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  • Posted

    Sorry to read your shocking story and do hope you are continuing to feel much better. I was put on Amlodipine 6 months ago, at first on 5mg then after a month increased to 10mg.  My symptoms of swollen ankles/feet and increasing constant pain in my knee to the extent that my GP suggested referring me to a surgeon for a knee replacement. It seems that Amlodipine "seeks out" any weak spots and makes them very much worse. Since reading this forum I stopped taking the Amlodipine 3 days ago and already notice improvement.

    What is the yellow card system you mentioned?

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear of so many bad effects from this medicine, seems that I am very much in the minority. I was put on the 5mg dose last April after discovering my BP was 212 over 110, I had awful migrains and disturbing heart palpitations. Whithin a day my BP started to come down and now after 5 months and upping the dose to 10mgs I havnt felt this good for ages, no more headaches, no funny heartbeats and no side effects. I am trying to eat a healthier diet, cutting out cakes, bread  salt etc. and have lost half a  stone. So it isnt all bad news, we only seem to hear about it when its bad. My BP is leveling out now and rarely goes above 140-80 at the most, usually much lower, especially after excercise.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for all your replies, and so sorry to be late posting back -  I will get my echgocardoiogram results tomorrow and will post back soon to let you know how the story continues,

      Good luck to all who are struggling with Amlodipine.

      Gerard

       

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    • Posted

      Echocardiogram - normal.

      I assume I am now off amlodipine permanently. Thank goodness.

      Gerard

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  • Posted

    "I believe that GPs should conduct more rigorous tests first to see if amlodipine is safe."

    So do I. See elsewhere on this site fo my more detailed report. I took it for about 5 years. My heartbeat slowed to around 40. The beat was very weak and arrhythmic and after waking I could hear my heart missing one or mor beats. Cardiologist wanted to fit a pacemaker. Missing one is OK. when you miss two you worry . . . I stopped taking amlodipine. After some weeks, the heart returned to normal. I think I'm lucky not to be dead.

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  • Posted

    It's a while since I posted - I've had to go back on bp medication but now take Ramipril 2.5, finding this much better, just a bit tired. Refused to take amlodipine again.

    Hope everyone reading this post is OK?  

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    • Posted

      Hi gerard

      Sorry to read that you are back on a BP medication, it seems that some of us cant manage without.  But glad you have found an effect med, I am taking irbesartan which seems ok for me.

      Took Amlodipine for a total of 4  months, persevered despite side effects making life very difficult.  Gradually reduced my dose and stopped taking Amlo just over 2 weeks ago.  My BP readings DID NOT go up, which I was most scared about - readings seemed to have settled at 140/80 or lower, makes me happy.  Have also make diet and exercise changes and no alcohol for nealry 5 months (personal choice).  Anyway I can only AGREE with so many others here, Amlo is a terrible drug.  My GP refused to let me stop taking it, eventually I will tell him that I have already stopped.  I dont understand why GP's insist on patients taking meds that are NOT very effective and are so awful.  Thanks for all of your posts, take care

            

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