The slow build up of side effects- anyone had the same?

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I was prescribed amlodipine 5mg and then, very quickly, 10 mg about 1 year ago. My high bp was detected by my optician via an eye test (!). I have only just discovered this site and wish I had done so earlier.

I am 64, married, semi-retired/work part-time, am fairly active ( e.g. do a lot of walking; go to gym regularly). My bp was taken by the nurse last week and was defined as \"absolutely normal\"; my own readings at home now average 130/80. I had been a heavy smoker for 50 years but gave up a year ago, i.e. as soon as I was put on this awful medication, simply by \" \"going cold turkey\".

My diet is extremely healthy because my wife has to eat very carefully and sensibly for medical reasons.I am a big believer in medical self-help/ alternative treatment and I am personally averse to taking any pills on a long term basis without attempting alternative treatments. I'm not trying to depict myself as a \"health/lifestyle angel\"- I like a drink and good food, like a laugh, go to football, love rock music gigs.

However, my relationship with my GP is not what one would call a \" \"partnership\". One of the most recent NHS policy straplines in terms of patients' rights ( and, boy, how I hate these types of weazel words) is \" \"no decision about me, without me\". Well, folks, even in the first few weeks of taking amlodipine and of being bumped from 5mg to 10 mg my GP was strongly inferring that I would be on bp medication \" for life\". And, when I complained about weight gain, he said he was not concernd \"as long as my bp came down\".

What I have realised, especially after reading this site, is that the side effects of amlodipine can also build up very slowly over a long period of time, i.e. as opposed to being more of a sudden or \" allergic\" body reaction. The danger of this \"gradual accumulation\" of symptoms is that the patient can come to accept these side effects as normal. In my own case, I guess I have up to now been thinkng that they were all to do with natural ageing , smoking cessation, etc. Indeed, my contact with my GP is so minimal that it's a wonder I think of the amlodipine at all.

The main side effects for me are:

-weight gain ( and, I suspect ,fluid retention); for 30 years I could have sent anybody to, say, M&S with a note of my size for a shirt, a suit, jeans, etc. Now, after 1 year of amlodipine, I have 5 business suits which no longer fit and a new, larger suit purchased as a stop gap in July which does not fit. And ditto with dress shirts. And so on.

-calf cramps during the night;

-exacerbated pain in what ,previously , were weak spots/ old sports injuries ( hip, back, knee);

- significantly reduced intellectual/ creative energy;

-\"doing the same amount of activity ( walking, gardening,etc) takes more and more effort/ makes me more and more tired\"- in other words, I still try to do the same length of walk, amount of gardening but it takes longer and takes more out of me; and no- I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT I CAN SIMPLY HAVE AGED THIS MUCH IN 12 MONTHS!

I have paid for acupuncture, which has yielded good benefits; I am about to purchase the RespeRate breathing machine ( has anybody else out there used this/ found a benefit from it?) plus some Cumel natural herb tablets.

However, my huge, huge concern is that my realisation, after reading this site, that amlodipine's side effects can also be gradual and can literally \" \"creep up on you\" if there is no real dialogue with your GP will fall upon the deaf ears......of......my GP.

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  • Posted

    Hi. My BP last year at around this time was 213/176! I was put on this awful drug just one week ago because my bp would not go low enough. I only took 5 because it made me very ill. I was confused :? , disorientated, exhausted etc etc. My bp had only gone down a few points and not worth the exhausted disfunctional feeling. My husband said today, if I had insisted on giving it a longer trial, he would have hidden them from me as it scared him! :x I had been using the Lloyds pharmacy version of resperate for about a month with good results, reducing my average bp to 156/98. Doc said not low enough and could not increase the Lisinopril as I was on the maximum dose. So I was put on Amlodopine. Anyway after reading some of these blogs I thought I would add Omega 3 Fish Oil 1000mg to my medicine and my breathing machine (resperate). Today (first day on Omega 3) it is down already to 140/85. Just a bit to go now. So in answer to your question, GO FOR IT. The Lloyds chemist version is half the price of ResPerate and you can get it from your local Lloyds or on line. I think it was around £50 - £60. Hope that helps you. :wink:
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    • Posted

      Are you saying that the Omega3 helped reduce your bp??? This is what I got after reading your post. I have been on Amlodipine for over a year now (5mgs), along with Coversyl Plus, & 25mgs 2/day of Atenolol. BP 

      is not really controlled however I am suffering with burning sensations in my feet/legs. No pain or swelling. My doctor thinks it's the Amlodipine because I had a sensitivity to it in the past (while taking 10mgs). He suggested I come off it, but I didn't want to do that at the time because I was going away on Holiday. He said I could try coming off for a week to see if the burning stopped. THAT would likely prove the Amlodipine is the culprit, BUT Im nervous of stopping the Amlodipine in case the bp sppikes. Any suggestions?

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  • Posted

    I have been on 10mg Amlodipine for over a year now. Overall the side effects aren't too bad. I do find that if I take the full 10mg every day, I get a mild pain in my lower left abdomen and back. If I reduce the dose to 5mg, it becomes less. If I stop taking it, the pain goes away after a couple of days. I also take Hawthorn, Co0Q10 and Omega fish oil every day.
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  • Posted

    Hi every poor sucker on Amlodapine.I have been on this drug for many years plus Dozaxosin and have tried all ways of reducing it just to bring my life back to what it was 5yrs ago.My family doesnt recognise me anymore.I wish I had never started taking them and took my chances with my BP.OMEGA 3 does reduce my BP a lot.I wish I had taken it years ago.Dont drink or smoke ,what a life.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I am a 62 year old man and I have been on this 5mg tablet for about two and a half years. The side effects do creep up on you and you think everybody else is trying to irritate you, to wind you up, until it got to a point when my Wife was in tears, my 92 year old Mother was in tears and eventually I broke down in tears. I had no energy, I had no life any more and I just could not take any more.

    Then thank god, I visited this site and read all these comments. I stopped the tablet and within 48 hours my life changed, I was smiling again, I was a really nice person to know again, I was back from the edge.

    Have been off the tablet now for a month, and nobody can upset me anymore, I started taking Omega 3 liquid and my BP is stable at or arround 131/83 Going to visit Docs to tell him what I think of his Damn medication and suggest he visits this site.

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  • Posted

    RespeRate machine? Is this for sleep apnoea?

    I have a ResMed machine for sleep apnea and apart from not looking too good in bed (ruins your love life) I find it very good and gives me a good night's sleep.

    As for Amlodipine, thats another matter. And doctors who listen can you find me one? I am seventy and was put on Amlodipine (5mg) about three years ago for \"slight\" high blood pressure, at the beginning no problems.

    Then over time I found my feet becoming red and I was experiencing a strong burning sensation. This burning got steadily worse and developed into a prickly sensation like hot needles piercing the skin. This has now progressed up my lower leg and the symtoms were getting worse.Furthermore I was now experiencing itching and feeling as if something was crawling all over my body.

    I also began to find it difficult to get to sleep and when I did I would waken after just 1 to 2 hours and be unable to go back again.Then on the 13th Dec this year I decided (without Dr consent) to stop taking the tablets. After 1 day, feet still red but burning sensation eased.Day 2 prickly feeling almost gone though feet still hot.Day 3 getting to sleep easier and sleeping longer.Day 4 itching/crawling feeling gone.Although I did it,and feel a lot better, I would not recommend others to try it. I have a BP machine and have been taking readings before and after taking the tablets - NO CHANGE??

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    • Posted

      I too am having problems while being on Amlodipine..since the end of January/2014..I started with a burning sensation in my feet, then the burning progressed up to my knees. Sometimes, the skin would flush a pinkish colour. It was not painful...just BURNING. It's best described as being like a sunburn. My doctor really insisted that I persevere with it, because he felt my body would adjust. No such luck. As of this writing, I have visited him yet again, & he now feels the Amlodipine is the culprit because I've had a sensitivity to it in the past, & the best way to find out for sure would be for me to come off it for a week or so, then we'd see. Unfortunately, I'll be seeing my Nephrologist in 3 weeks...& when I first saw him in August, he didn't want to change my medications at that time. (I'm taking Amlodipine, Coversyl Plus HD & Atenolol). You can be sure that I will be telling the Nephrologist about my struggle with burning feet & legs. The burning is now spreading to my arms...& parts of my back. This is becoming a nightmare for me, & I'm wondering if I'll ever feel good again.
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    • Posted

      Further to your posting...

      NO CHANGE? If you're referring to your bp readings...I'd assume that by stopping the Amlodipine, there's no change in the readings. At least they're not worse!!!!!!!!!

      You're feeling better..that's #1. I'm hoping to get some resolve...soon.

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  • Posted

    I have experience a build-up of "side effects" from taking 10mg amlodipine daily for several years, the most debilitating of which was insomnia and constant tiredness. I have also experienced severe joint pain, "foggy" brain, depression, blurred vision, thinning hair, dry eyes, dry mouth and lots of others. I am 53 years old, female and I live an active life - I walk 5 miles a day and do a martial art twice a week. I also eat a mainly organic diet and do not smoke. Until I found sites like this one, I had put all of these down to my age. I stopped taking the tablets three days ago and have had the best two nights' sleep I have had in a long time. I am also thinking more clearly, although I am still tired. My vision has improved slgihtly and I am feeling much better in myself. My blood pressure is slightly elevated, but I believe that it will normalise in time once I am back to normal. I will never take these tablets again.
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  • Posted

    I have read somewhere this drug has been banned in Holland."Amlodipine"

    I am 67. male

    I was given this by the hospital and after 3 days I stopped taken it. I was experiencing most of the symptons that folks here have. I was also taking ramapril 5mg.Im now on 10mg of ramipril

    and BP is at a reasonable level, I think. I have my own monitor at home and find when I visit my GP or the hospital my BP seems to increase to 150/90, yet, at home its normal 120/80 or there abouts. We have come to the conclusion that Subconsciously I suffer from "White Coat Syndrome".Then again maybe my BP monitor is duff.Was`nt cheap though.

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  • Posted

    Wow and then some. A little over a year ago I was prescribed 5 mg of Amlodipine for my HPB. After being on the med for a few weeks I started to get swollen feet so I switched to taking it at night before bed instead of in the a.m. and that seemed to alleviate the problem...for a while. A couple of months ago my GP changed my prescription to 10 mg and this is where the real problems started. My feet swell up again and did not go down even after she prescribed a diuretic. Then I got a huge abscess on my gums and the dr. insisted that it was a dental issue. She gave me antibiotics though and it went away. A few weeks later the abscess returned so I went to an endodontist who took x-rays and informed me that he couldn't see anything wrong with my teeth. Again I was given antibiotics which I took for 7 days. The abscess went away again and after 10 days it has returned. Suddenly it dawns on me that none of this happened until after my meds were doubled in dosage. Sure enough I go online and find out that swollen gums is a side effect of this medication.

    And then I kept reading and I discovered that other problems I was having were likely related to Amlodipine. Lately I have been having severe muscles pains in my shoulders, tingling in my feet and arms and I have felt for weeks now as if my head were in a fog. I find that I have to concentrate much harder than before and i keep losing my train of thought. Well I am done. I will not take another pill. I will contact my doctor tomorrow to discuss other options.

    Thanks to all of you for posting. Reading your testimonials has been a real eye-opener.

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  • Posted

    Does anyone know if it is ok to just stop taking Amlodipine 5mg, to avoid all these most unpleasant side effects, and using Resperate machine and omega3 liquid as others are doing to control mild hypertension 155/80, and monitoring bp at home to keep a check on the bp?
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    • Posted

      Yes, it's ok to simply STOP the Amlodipine.Weaning isn't necessary, but don't do so without consulting your Physician. You may need an alternative medication.
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    • Posted

      Yes, I stopped mine. I'm checking bp regular, exercising and eating right. I'm trying to lose weight also and doing what I can to limit my stress. I think I'm gonna invest in Omega 3. Good luck !

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    • Posted

      Hi, I recently requested my doctor change my BP medication from Amlodipine to Lisinopril (5mg) because of all the side effects from the Amlodipine.   Amlodipine affected the left side of my body and I am now wondering if the Amlodipine was causing my left eye to water and both eyes stay red. Other side effects included gastrointestinal discomfort, burning in stomach/intestine, cramping, pain in shoulder left side, neck, back.  I did not realize until this year that my problems were possibly  the result of the Amlodipine. At one point, I thought I was having heart problems but Doctor did heart cath and found no problem. Now, I have been off for about a week and feel like I'm no longer living in a fog as well. The symptoms were gradual so I did not realize it was the Amlodipine. I'm suppose to take statins but I have muscle cramps so I do not take them. Oh...by the way, I stopped taking the Amlodipine and most symptoms started to subside in a couple of days. When I told my doctor, she agreed to make the change. I know everyone is different, but I've noticed that there are similar symptoms in most reviews about Amlodipine. I hope this helps and you find your pathway to better health. 

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