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Amlodipine (as besylate, mesylate or maleate) is a long-acting calcium channel blocker (dihydropyridine (DHP) class) used as an anti-hypertensive and in the treatment of angina. Like other calcium channel blockers, amlodipine acts by relaxing the smooth muscle in the arterial wall, decreasing total peripheral resistance and hence reducing blood pressure; in angina it increases blood flow to the heart muscle (although DHP-class calcium channel blockers are more selective for arteries than myocardium, as the cardiac calcium channels are not of the dihydropyridine-type).

Amlodipine is used in the management of hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

In patients with severe coronary artery disease, amlodipine can increase the frequency and severity of angina or actually cause a heart attack on rare occasions. This phenomenon usually occurs when first starting amlodipine, or at the time of dosage increase.

Adverse side effects of the use of amlodipine may be
  • Very often: peripheral edema in 8.3% of users, fatigue in 4.5% of users
  • Often: dizziness; palpitations; muscle-, stomach- or headache; dyspepsia; nausea - in 1 in 100 users
  • Sometimes: blood disorders, development of breasts in men (gynecomastia), impotence, depression, insomnia, tachycardia, gingival enlargement - in 1 in 1,000 users,
  • Rarely: erratic behavior, hepatitis, jaundice - in 1 in 10,000 users
  • Very rarely: hyperglycemia, tremor, Stevens–Johnson syndrome - in 1 in 100,000 users
The acute oral toxicity (LD50) of amlodipine in mice is 37 mg/kg.
 

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