Amlodipine and wine

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The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Medications

If you take any medication—even over-the-counter (OTC) products—you should know that drinking alcohol might affect how your meds work. Mixing alcohol and medication can also be dangerous. The combination can lead to serious health consequences, including overdose and even death.

Here is what you need to know about the possible unsafe interactions between alcohol and common prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Why Medications and Alcohol Don't Mix

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), there are several reasons that it can be harmful to mix medications and alcohol. The ways that drugs and alcohol interact in your body can go both ways: Alcohol can change how a medication works, and certain drugs can change how you feel the effects of alcohol.

Alcohol can make some medications less effective by interfering with how they are absorbed in the digestive tract. In some cases, alcohol increases the bioavailability of a drug, which can raise the concentration of the medication in your blood to toxic levels.

Additionally, drinking alcohol can also make the side effects of a medication worse or even cause new symptoms. This is especially true if you are taking a medication that makes you sleepy or causes sedation. The mixture of opiates and alcohol, for example, can cause your breathing to stop and is a common cause of death.

The label on your medication may not specifically warn against consuming alcohol while you are taking the drug, so it's important not to assume that the absence of a warning means it is safe to mix the two.

If you take prescription medication or use a specific medication every day, ask your doctor if it is OK for you to drink alcohol. You may be able to consume a limited amount safely, as long as you follow certain rules (for example, waiting at least four hours after taking your daily dose before having an alcoholic drink). And be honest about your drinking habits. If you minimize the amount of alcohol you consume on a regular basis, your doctor can't accurately judge the risk and benefits of prescribing a particular medication.

Additionally, if you have an underlying health condition like heart disease or high blood pressure (hypertension), mixing alcohol with your medications can put you at risk for complications.

When the interaction between the substances goes the other way, certain drugs can change how your body responds to an alcoholic beverage. For example, some OTC products can make the effects of alcohol (such as drowsiness) more intense. More intense side effects mean you might be more impaired after having one drink than you would typically be.

Other symptoms that can occur if you mix medications with alcohol include:

  • Blood pressure changes
  • Changes to your moods, emotions, and behavior
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting

In some cases, mixing alcohol with medications can lead to an overdose or alcohol poisoning—both of which are potentially life-threatening medical emergencies.

The effects of mixing alcohol with medication also depend on certain individual factors. For example, women can experience the effects of mixing alcohol and medications more severely than men because of differences in metabolism.

Older adults (especially those who take more than one medication) are also more likely to experience problems, as the ability to clear both alcohol and drugs from the body is reduced with age.

How Alcohol Metabolism Works

Medications That Interact With Alcohol

There are hundreds of medications that interact with alcohol. Here is a short list of the most common prescription and OTC drugs that can pose a risk to your health if mixed with alcohol, as well as what can happen if the substances are combined.

It's important to note that this list is not exhaustive and may not include every medication you are taking. If you are not sure if you can safely drink alcohol while taking a certain medication, read the label carefully and consult with your pharmacist or doctor.

Allergy, Cold, and Flu Medications

You should avoid drinking alcohol if you are taking allergy medications or any multi-symptom cold and flu formulation.

Drowsiness and dizziness are common side effects of medications used to treat allergies, colds, and the flu. These symptoms are also common when you drink alcohol. When the substances are combined, the effect is intensified, and your judgment and focus will be further impaired.

The risks associated with drowsiness caused by medication or alcohol are serious, which is why you should never drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of any substance.

Avoid alcohol if you are taking:

  • Alavert (loratadine)
  • Allegra (fexofenadine) or Allegra-D (fexofenadine/pseudoephedrine)
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Clarinex (desloratadine)
  • Claritin (loratadine) or Claritin-D (loratadine/pseudoephedrine)
  • Dimetapp Cold and Allergy (brompheniramine/phenylephrine)
  • Sudafed Sinus and Allergy (chlorpheniramine/phenylephrine)
  • Triaminic Cold and Allergy (brompheniramine/phenylephrine)
  • Tylenol Cold and Flu (acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine)
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)

Angina Medications

Angina (ischemic chest pain) is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. If you have angina, you might be prescribed a medication called nitroglycerin.

If you drink alcohol while you are taking nitroglycerin, it can cause a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), sudden changes in blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting.

Avoid alcohol if you are taking any brand of nitroglycerin, including:

  • Nitrostat
  • Nitromist
  • Nitroquick
  • Nitrolingual
  • Nitro-Dur
  • Minitran
  • Nitro-Bid
  • Nitinol

Anti-Anxiety, Anti-Seizure, and Epilepsy Medications

Mixing anti-anxiety and epilepsy medications with alcoholic beverages can cause slowed breathing, impaired motor control, abnormal behavior, and memory loss.

If you are being treated for an anxiety disorder or epilepsy, avoid alcohol if you take any of the following medications:

Antibiotics

Alcohol might affect how well some antibiotic medications work. It's possible that if you use them together, antibiotics may be less effective at clearing up the infection that you are being treated for. 

The research on mixing alcohol with antibiotics is somewhat limited and unclear, but the combination has been associated with symptoms such as tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), sudden changes in blood pressure, gastrointestinal upset, headache, flushing, and liver damage.

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol while taking an antibiotic called Flagyl (metronidazole) can cause a severe reaction, making you extremely sick with nausea and vomiting. You will want to avoid alcohol for three days before you start and after you stop Flagyl.

Other antibiotics that should not be mixed with alcohol include:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Flagyl (metronidazole)
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole)
  • Nydrazid (isoniazid)
  • Tindamax (tinidazole)

Antidepressants

In addition to worsening the side effects of antidepressant medications, mixing these drugs with alcohol can also make symptoms of depression worse.

If you are being treated for depression or another mental health condition such as an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or obsessive- disorder, you may need to limit or completely avoid alcohol if you take one or more of the following medications:

Anti-Nausea Medications

Medications that are prescribed to treat nausea can make you feel drowsy, dizzy, and may impair your motor control—symptoms that can also be caused by alcohol. Some drugs (often antihistamines) used to prevent and treat motion sickness can also be purchased over-the-counter.

If you mix any type of anti-nausea drug with alcohol, the side effects of the medication can become more intense.

Avoid combining alcoholic beverages with medications used to treat nausea, such as:

  • Antivert (meclizine)
  • Atarax (hydroxyzine)
  • Dramamine (dimenhydrinate)
  • Phenergan (promethazine)

Certain types of anti-nausea medication can be used to help someone who is trying to stop drinking alcohol. When used under medical supervision, the combination can be an effective way to treat alcohol withdrawal.

Arthritis Medications

If you take medications for arthritis, it is important to know that mixing them with alcohol can increase your risk for stomach ulcers and bleeding in the stomach, as well as liver problems.

You should avoid alcohol if you are taking medication to treat arthritis, including:

  • Celebrex (celecoxib)
  • Naprosyn (naproxen)
  • Voltaren (diclofenac)

Blood Thinners

If you have a medical condition (such as atrial fibrillation) that puts you at risk for developing a blood clot, your doctor might prescribe anticoagulant medications to "thin" your blood. While these drugs make it less likely your body will form blood clots, they also make you bleed more easily.

If you take a blood thinner, even an occasional drink can increase your risk of internal bleeding. Drinking often or heavily increases this risk and can also counteract the medication’s blood-thinning effects. If your body is forming blood clots, it increases your risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.

You might not need to completely avoid alcohol if you are taking a blood thinner. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your intake to no more than one or two occasional drinks if you are on anticoagulant therapy.

However, your doctor might have a different recommendation. Be sure to talk to them before having a drink if you are taking anticoagulant medication, such as:

  • Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Heparin
  • Lovenox (enoxaparin sodium)

Cholesterol Medications

Medications prescribed to lower cholesterol levels (known as statins) can cause flushing, itching, stomach bleeding, and liver damage. Combining these drugs with alcohol can make the risks and side effects worse, especially if you have liver disease. 

Mild liver inflammation can occur in about 2% of people who take statins for a long time. While it typically gets better after stopping taking the medications, there has been concern that alcohol (which is metabolized by the liver) could potentially make liver inflammation worse.

Some research has found that alcohol does not appear to worsen liver inflammation in certain people who take medication for their cholesterol. A 2006 Harvard study found that moderate alcohol use did not have a significant negative effect on the livers of men taking statins after heart surgery.

That said, mixing alcohol and statins could still make the medication’s side effects more intense. You may want to limit your alcohol use if you are taking a cholesterol-lowering medication such as:

  • Advicor (niacin extended-release/lovastatin)
  • Altocor (lovastatin)
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • Mevacor (lovastatin)
  • Niaspan (niacin extended-release)
  • Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin)
  • Zocor (simvastatin)

Cough Suppressants

As with cold and flu remedies, combining alcohol with medications used to treat a cough can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and motor impairment. The effects of the mix can be especially serious—if not deadly—when the cough medicine also contains alcohol.

One ingredient in some cough suppressants called dextromethorphan (DXM) can be especially dangerous because it can cause extreme sedation and respiratory depression. This combination can cause an overdose which may be fatal.

You should not drink alcohol if you are taking:

  • Robitussin A-C (guaifenesin/codeine) or Robitussin Cough (dextromethorphan)
  • Delsym (dextromethorphan)

Diabetes Medications

If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels. Drinking alcohol with the medications you take to manage your diabetes can have the same effect, and the mix can also cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heartbeat, and sudden changes in your blood pressure.

You should not drink alcohol if you take medications to treat diabetes, including:

  • Glucophage (metformin)
  • Micronase (glyburide)
  • Orinase (tolbutamide)

Heartburn Medications

Using alcohol with medications used to treat heartburn, both prescription and over-the-counter, can cause tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and sudden changes in blood pressure. These drugs can also make the effects of alcohol more intense, leading to impaired judgment and sedation.

Use caution and consider limiting your alcohol intake if you take medications for heartburn, including:

  • Axid (nizatidine)
  • Reglan (metoclopramide)
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Zantac (ranitidine)

Hypertension Medications

Combining alcohol with medications used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) can cause dizziness, fainting, drowsiness, and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

You should avoid drinking alcohol if you take medications to treat high blood pressure, such as:

  • Accupril (quinapril)
  • Capozide (captopril/hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Cardura (doxazosin)
  • Catapres (clonidine)
  • Cozaar (losartan)
  • Hytrin (terazosin)
  • Lopressor HCT (metoprolol/hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Lotensin (benazepril)
  • Minipress (prazosin)
  • Vaseretic (enalapril/hydrochlorothiazide)

Muscle Relaxants

If you have an injury or medical condition that causes pain or spasms in your muscles, you might be given medications to relax them. Muscle relaxants are commonly used to treat back and neck pain, as well as certain kinds of headaches.

Muscle relaxants and alcohol both suppress your central nervous system, which controls the functions of your heart, lungs, and brain.

Combining these medications with alcohol can cause serious side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, slowed or impaired breathing, abnormal behavior, memory loss, impaired motor control, and seizures.

While this is not an exhaustive list, you should not drink alcohol if you take any of the following medications:

  • Atarax (hydroxyzine)
  • Antivert (meclizine)
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
  • Soma (carisoprodol)

Opioid Pain Medications

One of the deadliest combinations is alcohol and narcotic pain medications. On their own, opioids can cause drowsiness, dizziness, slowed or impaired breathing, impaired motor control, abnormal behavior, and memory loss.

Mixing these medications with alcohol intensifies the side effects and increases the risk of a fatal overdose.

Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) is an opioid agonist—a medication that can help counteract the effects of opioid medications such as morphine, oxycodone, and heroin. Naloxone can rapidly reverse opioid overdose by quickly restoring normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped due to mixing opioid pain medications with alcohol.

You should never mix alcohol with narcotics, including:

  • Darvocet–N (propoxyphene napsylate/acetaminophen)
  • Demerol (meperidine)
  • Fiorinal (butalbital/aspirin/caffeine)
  • Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen)
  • Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)

Prostate Medications

Having an alcoholic drink while you are taking medications to treat prostate conditions can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.

Limit or avoid your alcohol consumption if you take any of the following prostate medications:

  • Cardura (doxazosin)
  • Flomax (tamsulosin)
  • Minipress (prazosin)

Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

The dangers of mixing alcohol with prescription drugs are well known. When you pick your prescription up at the pharmacy, chances are the label or package insert will come with a warning if it is not safe to consume alcohol while you are taking the medication.

However, even medications that don't require a prescription can be unsafe when mixed with alcohol. For example, OTC painkillers (including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause a range of symptoms from gastrointestinal upset to bleeding and ulcers in the stomach to tachycardia (racing heart).

Taking OTC painkillers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) in high doses, or taking these medications regularly over a long period, has been associated with liver damage.

Both the short-term and long-term side effects and risks associated with taking OTC painkillers are intensified when you mix these drugs with alcohol. If you are taking an OTC painkiller, be sure to read the label carefully. Some OTC pain relievers do not generally pose a major risk when small amounts are combined with occasional alcohol use.

However, serious interactions can occur between alcohol and other pain relievers—particularly if people have underlying medical conditions that change how their body metabolizes drugs and alcohol.

Be aware of your alcohol use and consult the drug’s label before taking any of the following: 

  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Aleve (naproxen)
  • Excedrin (acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine)
  • Motrin (ibuprofen)
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen)

Be especially careful with any drug or multi-symptom remedy containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

If you had an alcoholic beverage and are not sure if you should take an OTC pain reliever, you can ask your local pharmacist or primary care provider if it is safe to do so.

Sleep Aids

Medications used to treat insomnia or help you fall and stay asleep should never be mixed with alcohol. The sedating effect of these drugs can be increased by alcohol, leading to slowed or impaired breathing, impaired motor control, abnormal behavior, memory loss, and fainting.

In some cases, a fatal overdose can occur if sleep aids are mixed with alcohol because both substances affect the body’s central nervous system (which controls your breathing, heart rate, and brain function).

Do not consume alcohol if you are taking any of these medications to help you sleep:

  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Lunesta (eszopiclone)
  • Prosom (estazolam)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Unisom (doxylamine)

A Word From Verywell

There are hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are not safe to mix with alcohol. The dangers of mixing alcohol with medications can range from increased side effects to potentially life-threatening symptoms, overdose, and even death.

Always read the label and package insert of any medication you are taking, whether it has been prescribed by your doctor or purchased over-the-counter. If you are not sure if it is safe to drink alcohol while you are taking medication, call your local pharmacy or talk to your doctor about the potential interactions. 

Understanding the Dangers of Alcohol

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Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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  2. Weathermon R, Crabb DW. Alcohol and medication interactions. Alcohol Res Health. 1999;23(1):40‐54.

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  4. University of Rochester Medical Center. Alcohol and Older Adults. Updated January 2020.

  5. Finnell J. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine - Concepts and Clinical Practice E-Book. 8th ed. (MJ, Hockberger R, Walls R, eds.). Elsevier Health Sciences; 2013:2391.

  6. Mergenhagen KA, Wattengel BA, Skelly MK, Clark CM, Russo TA. Fact versus fiction: A review of the evidence behind alcohol and antibiotic interactions. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2019;64(3). doi:10.1128/AAC.02167-19

  7. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Metronidazole: MedlinePlus Drug Information. Updated December 15, 2017.

  8. Jones A. Handbook of Drug Interactions. (Mozayani A, Raymon L, eds.). Totowa, N.J: Springer Science & Business Media; 2004:435. 

  9. Shapiro M. Alcohol Drug Interactions, Side Effects For OTC and Rx Drugs. Updated December 2015.

  10. American Heart Association (AHA). A Patient’s Guide to Taking Warfarin. Updated September 30, 2016.‌

  11. Harvard Health Publishing. On call: Do alcohol and statins mix?. Updated August 6, 2019.

  12. Mukamal KJ, Smith CC, Karlamangla AS, Moore AA. Moderate alcohol consumption and safety of lovastatin and warfarin among men: The post-coronary artery bypass graft trial. Am J Med. 2006;119(5):434-40. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2005.09.038

  13. ME May, National Poison Control Center. Dextromethorphan. Updated August 2019.

  14. Johns Hopkins University. Mixing Alcohol with Your Diabetes. Updated May 2012.

  15. National Institute of Health (NIH). LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2012-. PMID:31643176.

  16. American College of Cardiology. Tamsulosin. Updated December 15, 2010.

  17. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of the Commissioner. Acetaminophen: Avoiding Liver Injury. Updated June 2009.

Sours: https://www.verywellmind.com/mixing-alcohol-and-medication-harmful-interactions-67888

Drinking Wine & Taking Blood Pressure Medication

Do not drink wine, or any other alcoholic beverage, while on blood pressure medication.

Image Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a condition that afflicts a third of the American population and two-thirds of people over 65, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Being hypertensive means your average blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg. Hypertension increases your risk of stroke and heart disease if left untreated. The consumption of alcoholic beverages, such as wine, is generally considered unhealthy despite any alleged health benefits.

Hypertensive Medications

Medications such as hydrochlorothiazide, clonidine and amlodipine are examples of the many types of hypertensive medications available, according to a 2009 article in "The New York Times Health Guide," a medical reference accredited by the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission. Hypertension medications lower your blood pressure differently depending on their class. Diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide, lower blood pressure by helping your kidneys purge excess salt and water from your body. Vasodilators, such as clonidine, lower your blood pressure because they help open your blood vessels by relaxing the muscles in the blood vessel walls. Calcium-channel blockers, such as amlodipine, also help relax blood vessels in order to lower blood pressure.

Wine and Blood Pressure Medications

Consuming wine, or any alcoholic beverage, while you are taking any medication is not recommended. Red wine impairs your digestive tract's ability to properly absorb your medication. Drinking wine with medications will increase their effects and elevate their concentrations in your body, which increases the risk of adverse reactions and toxicity. Moreover, drinking wine with blood pressure medications elevates the risk of dose dumping, Drugs.com says. Dose dumping is when your body metabolizes medications prematurely, greatly increasing the risk of adverse reactions and even toxicity.

Other Adverse Reactions

Mixing wine with blood pressure medications will cause you to feel dizzy and sleepy, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse explains. Drinking wine while on blood pressure medications increase your risk of losing consciousness. Furthermore, alcohol in the wine combined with hypertensive medication often causes the heart to beat erratically.

Affect Adverse Reaction Severity Factors

The severity of the adverse reactions caused by the interaction between wine and blood pressure medications is affected by factors such as your gender and age, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse says. Other factors that affect severity are the ingredients of the medication and the time you took the medication. Women are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol because their bodies have less water than men.

Your body's ability to break down alcohol becomes impaired as you age. This means your risk of adverse alcohol interactions grows progressively higher as you age. Different types of medications peak at different rates. So even if you took the medications hours prior to drinking wine the possibility of experiencing adverse reactions remains.

Sours: https://www.livestrong.com/article/489446-drinking-wine-taking-blood-pressure-medication/
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Amlodipine

1. About amlodipine

Amlodipine is a medicine used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

If you have high blood pressure, taking amlodipine helps prevent future heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

Amlodipine is also used to prevent chest pain caused by heart disease (angina).

This medicine is only available on prescription. It comes as tablets or as a liquid to swallow.

2. Key facts

  • Amlodipine lowers your blood pressure and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body.
  • It's usual to take amlodipine once a day. You can take it at any time of day, but try to make sure it's around the same time each day.
  • The most common side effects include headache, flushing, feeling tired and swollen ankles. These usually improve after a few days.
  • Amlodipine can be called amlodipine besilate, amlodipine maleate or amlodipine mesilate. This is because the medicine contains another chemical to make it easier for your body to take up and use it. It doesn't matter what your amlodipine is called. They all work as well as each other.
  • Amlodipine is also called by the brand names Istin and Amlostin.

3. Who can and cannot take amlodipine

Amlodipine can be taken by adults and children aged 6 years and over.

Amlodipine is not suitable for some people.

To make sure amlodipine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to amlodipine or any other medicines in the past
  • are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or you're breastfeeding
  • have liver or kidney disease
  • have heart failure or you have recently had a heart attack

4. How and when to take it

Take amlodipine exactly as your doctor has told you, and follow the directions on the label. If you're not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

It's usual to take amlodipine once a day. You can take amlodipine at any time of day, but try to make sure it's around the same time every day.

How much to take

Amlodipine comes as 5mg and 10mg tablets.

Depending on why you're taking amlodipine, the usual starting dose is 5mg once a day.

If the starting dose isn't working well enough (your blood pressure doesn't lower enough, or your angina isn't controlled), you may need to increase your dose to 10mg.

To decide the correct dose for you in the longer term, your doctor will check your blood pressure to make sure it's not too high or too low. They'll also ask if you're getting any side effects from the medicine.

Doses may be lower for children.

How to take it

You can take amlodipine with or without food.

Swallow amlodipine tablets whole with a drink of water. If it's easier, you can dissolve the tablets in a glass of water, but you must drink it all straight away if you do this.

Do not eat or drink lots of grapefruit or grapefruit juice while you're taking this medicine. Grapefruit can increase the concentration of amlodipine in your body and worsen side effects.

If you're taking amlodipine as a liquid, it'll come with a plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure out the right dose. If you don't have one, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount of medicine.

Do not mix the liquid with food or other drinks before taking it.

Important

Take amlodipine even if you feel well, as you'll still be getting the benefits of the medicine.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take a dose of amlodipine, take it as soon as you remember that day and then carry on as normal.

If you forget to take the dose for the whole day, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal the next day.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten one.

If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you.

You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

What if I take too much?

If you take too much amlodipine by accident, contact your doctor or go to your nearest hospital straight away.

An overdose of amlodipine can cause dizziness and sleepiness.

The amount of amlodipine that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person.

Urgent advice: Call your doctor or go to A&E straight away if:

  • you take too much amlodipine

If you need to go to an A&E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.

Take the amlodipine packet or leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.

7. Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Amlodipine is not normally recommended in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.

If you're trying to get pregnant or you're already pregnant, talk to your doctor about the benefits and possible harms of taking amlodipine. There may be other medicines that are safer for you.

For more information about how amlodipine can affect you and your baby during pregnancy, read this leaflet on the Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPS) website.

Amlodipine and breastfeeding

Small amounts of amlodipine may get into breast milk, but it's not known if this is harmful to the baby.

Talk to your doctor as other medicines might be better while you're breastfeeding.

Non-urgent advice: Tell your doctor if you're:

  • trying to get pregnant
  • pregnant
  • breastfeeding

8. Cautions with other medicines

If you take other medicines that lower blood pressure, such as ramipril or lisinopril, at the same time as amlodipine, the combination can sometimes lower your blood pressure too much.

This may make you feel dizzy or faint. If this keeps happening to you, tell your doctor as your dose may need to be changed.

Some medicines can interfere with the way amlodipine works.

Tell your doctor if you're taking any of these medicines before starting amlodipine:

  • the antibiotics clarithromycin, erythromycin or rifampicin
  • medicines for high blood pressure, including diltiazem and verapamil
  • the antifungals itraconazole or ketoconazole
  • medicines to treat HIV or HCV (hepatitis C virus)
  • the anti-epilepsy medicines carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital (phenobarbitone) or primidone
  • medicines to suppress your immune system, such as ciclosporin or tacrolimus
  • more than 20mg a day of the cholesterol-lowering medicine simvastatin

Mixing amlodipine with herbal remedies or supplements

St John's wort, a herbal medicine taken for depression, is thought to interfere with the way amlodipine works.

Talk to your doctor if you're thinking about taking St John's wort.

Important: Medicine safety

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines, vitamins or supplements.

9. Common questions

Sours: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/amlodipine/
Amlodipine and Alcohol

Can I drink alcohol while taking amlodipine?

Although alcohol doesn't directly affect the medicine itself, blood pressure lowering medicines like amlodipine can make some people feel dizzy, sleepy or tired. If you are affected in this way it's best to avoid drinking alcohol because it may make these side effects worse. Also remember that if you have high blood pressure you should minimise the amount of alcohol that you drink, because alcohol can increase blood pressure.

Can I drive while taking amlodipine?

As amlodipine can occasionally make some people feel dizzy or tired you should make sure you know how you react to it before driving or operating machinery. Avoid doing these potentially hazardous activities if affected.

Do I need to avoid any food or drinks while taking amlodipine?

It's usually recommended that you avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while you're taking amlodipine. This is because grapefruit juice could potentially increase the amount of amlodipine in your blood and so increase the risk of you getting side effects. In reality, this is less of a problem with amlodipine than with other similar calcium-channel blocker medicines, but if you seem to be getting a lot of side effects with amlodipine and you are also a big consumer of grapefruit, then this could be the cause.

Other than this, there are no foods or drinks you specifically need to avoid while taking amlodipine. Just make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet to help your blood pressure.



What else should I be aware of while taking amlodipine?

You may get a headache or feel flushed when you first start taking amlodipine. This usually goes away after a few days, so persevere with taking it. If it continues or becomes troublesome, you should let your doctor know.

If you feel dizzy while taking amlodipine you should lie down until the symptoms pass. If you frequently feel dizzy you should tell your doctor.

If you get any chest pain soon after taking a dose of amlodipine you should not take a further dose until you have consulted your doctor.

Don't take amlodipine to treat an angina attack - chest pain like this needs to be treated with your glyceryl trinitrate medicine.

Your doctor will want to regularly check your blood pressure while you are taking amlodipine.



More information about amlodipine

Last updated: 26.03.2019

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