It's important to take all your doses of amlodipine to keep on top of your blood pressure. That's why it helps to have an easy way to reorder.
Complete a short assessment with Zava and request a repeat of your medication. Your online doctor will check a repeat is the right thing for you, and if it is, we'll send your medication by post to your door, with no delivery fees.
How does it work?
Amlodipine works by reducing the amount of calcium entering the cells of the heart and blood vessels. Calcium is needed by the muscles to help them contract. The calcium channel blockers stop the calcium entering pores on the surfaces of the muscles of the heart and blood vessels. This means that the blood vessels relax and the heart receives more blood which is oxygenated (has oxygen in it) and it is this which helps to lower your blood pressure.
How quickly does it work?
How quickly will my blood pressure go down? You should start to notice a difference in your blood pressure measurement between 4 and 10 days after starting to take amlodipine. The normal starting dose for amlodipine is 5mg per day but this may be increased if your blood pressure does not reduce enough. If this is the case, your GP may increase your dose to 10mg per day.
Most people don’t experience any side effects when they take amlodipine. However, common side effects may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Ankle swelling
If you feel like you are experiencing side effects and they last for more than a week then you should consult your GP.
In case of an emergency – if there is an emergency such as if you or someone you know is suffering from chest pain or collapses you should dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Amlodipine works by making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body. It could be a good medication for you:
- If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or angina
- To reduce the health risks of your high blood pressure or angina
- If a doctor thinks it’s the right medication for you
If you have been prescribed amlodipine by your GP, then it is probably a good medication for you to take. Your GP will be aware of any other medications you take and will know if you fit into the category for taking amlodipine.
High blood pressure health risks - the health risks for having high blood pressure without treatment to keep it under control include:
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Aortic aneurysms
- Kidney disease
- Vascular dementia
- Eye damage
Amlodipine for your high blood pressure - amlodipine can be prescribed to people with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension:
- Blood pressure is simply the pressure of blood flowing through your arteries, these are the vessels that carry the blood from the heart around the body
- If you have high blood pressure your heart is under more strain to pump blood around your body
- Generally, having high blood pressure isn’t something you can detect through symptoms
- The way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to get it measured – having a blood pressure test
There are 2 measurements when your blood pressure is taken; systolic pressure and diastolic pressure:
- Systolic pressure is the larger number. It measures the force at which your heart is pumping blood around the body.
- Diastolic pressure is the smaller number and measures the resistance of blood flow through your arteries.
- Normal blood pressure usually lies between a range of 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
- If your blood pressure is 120/80mmHg, you may hear your GP say that your blood pressure is “120 over 80”.
Amlodipine may not be suitable for everyone - even if you have high blood pressure it might not be right for you. You should tell your GP if you:
- Have had an allergic reaction to amlodipine or any other medication in the past
- Want to get pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding
- Have recently had a heart attack
- Have heart failure
- Have liver disease
- Have kidney disease
If you’re reordering your medication – once your GP has diagnosed you with high blood pressure and your blood pressure control has been established, you can reorder from us:
- You will need to have regular blood pressure check ups
- Medication does have an expiration date so only order as much as you need
- When you order amlodipine from us you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire
- Your answers will be reviewed by one of our doctors
- They will then be able to determine if you are suitable to take amlodipine based on the answers you gave in the questionnaire.
- If it is right for you, your order will be processed and we’ll send your medication to your door
If you need a first time prescription – you should visit your GP. If they confirm that you have high blood pressure they may prescribe you amlodipine (and/or other medications). Once your blood pressure is properly controlled, you will then be able to reorder online or with your GP.
How do I know if I need amlodipine - you will only need amlodipine for blood pressure if you get a diagnosis of high blood pressure and your doctor has recommended this for you. So first you need to get your blood pressure checked.
You can have your blood pressure tested in places other than just your GP. Some places include:
- Pharmacies – many offer a free blood pressure check
- NHS Health Check appointment
- Your workplaces – some workplaces also offer health checks including blood pressure
- Health events
Having one blood pressure reading which is high does not necessarily mean you have high blood pressure or that you need treatment. If you do get a high reading you should see your GP so they can confirm if you have high blood pressure or not. To try to confirm if you do, your GP may test your blood pressure over a period of 24 hours. This might be by using a home blood pressure monitor or by wearing a 24-hour monitor which will monitor it throughout the 24-hour period. Monitoring your blood pressure in this way will help your GP to see if it is continually high.
How do I know if I should get my blood pressure checked? If you are over the age of 40 with no major health problems, you should have your blood pressure tested at least once every five years. You will be more likely to be at risk of getting high blood pressure if:
- You have a family history of high blood pressure
- You are older
- The risk of having high blood pressure increases with age
- You are of African or Caribbean descent
- You eat a high salt diet
- You don’t get a lot of exercise
- You are overweight or obese
- You drink alcohol regularly
- You are a smoker
- You suffer from sleep deprivation
Will I feel anything?
- When you begin taking amlodipine you shouldn’t feel any different, just as you probably didn’t feel like you had high blood pressure
- The best way to tell if amlodipine is working is to have regular blood pressure check-ups with your GP
- You may even want to invest in an automatic blood pressure machine to use at home, so that you can measure your own blood pressure
Can you make amlodipine work faster? You cannot speed up the effect of amlodipine, but you can improve your blood pressure by making some lifestyle changes. These changes could include:
- exercising regularly
- quitting smoking
- drinking less alcohol
- de-stressing – you could try things like yoga or pilates
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
Can lifestyle changes replace my medication? Making lifestyle changes is a good idea. But they can take some time to put in place, so they won’t protect you from the immediate risks of having high blood pressure.
Eventually, if your blood pressure is under control for a long time your doctor may agree that you can try out not using medication to see if your blood pressure is under control without it.
Taking extra medication will not help your blood pressure go down faster and will increase your risk of getting side effects.
Amlodipine is an example of a calcium antagonist or calcium channel blockers.
There are other medications that are the same type as amlodipine.
There are also some different types of blood pressure medication.
Other examples of calcium channel blockers like amlodipine include:
- lercanidipine hydrochloride
- nicardipine hydrochloride
Calcium channel blockers are not the only type of medication used to lower blood pressure. Other examples include:
- diuretics – these help the kidneys to eliminate excess salt and water from the tissues in the body and blood
- angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors – ACE is an enzyme which converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II but ACE inhibitors stop this
- angiotensin II receptor antagonists – activates angiotensin receptors
- beta blockers
If you feel you would like to switch from your current high blood pressure medication – you should consult your GP. Your GP will be able to talk through your concerns and discuss any side effects you may be experiencing with your current medication. Your GP will be able to decide if you would be a suitable candidate for amlodipine.
Chobanian, A. V. et al (2003). Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, And Treatment of High Blood Pressure. Hypertension.
Pepine, C. J. et al (2003). A calcium Antagonist vs a Non-Calcium Antagonist Hypertension Treatment Strategy for Patients With Coronary Artery Disease. JAMA: 290.
In order to avoid related health risks, your blood pressure needs to be kept within the normal range. Because of this, you shouldn’t miss doses of your blood pressure treatment if possible. You reorder your treatment quickly and conveniently from Zava, to avoid running out.