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Amlodipine for hypertension
Amlodipine for hypertension
This leaflet is about the use of amlodipine for high blood pressure (which is also called hypertension).
This leaflet has been written specifically for parents and carers about the use of this medicine in children. Our information sometimes differs from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information is usually aimed at adult patients. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
Name of drug
Brand names: Amlostin®, Istin®
Why is it important for my child to take this medicine?
If hypertension (high blood pressure) carries on for a long time, it can lead to damage to various parts of the body, such as the brain, heart and kidneys. Amlodipine belongs to a group of medicines called calcium-channel blockers, which help to lower blood pressure. It opens up blood vessels and so reduces blood pressure. This helps to avoid long-term damage.
What is amlodipine available as?
- Tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg
- Liquid medicine can be ordered specially from your pharmacist
When should I give amlodipine?
Amlodipine is usually given once each day. This is usually in the morning.
Give the medicine at about the same time each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.
How much should I give?
Your doctor will work out the amount of amlodipine (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
Your doctor may suggest that your child has a low dose to start with. They may then increase the dose as your child gets used to the medicine and depending on how your child responds to it.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
How should I give it?
Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet.
You can crush the tablet and mix it with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey or mashed potato. Make sure your child swallows it straight away, without chewing. Crushed tablets can also be mixed into 5 mL to 10 mL of water (one or two medicine spoons). Use an oral syringe or a cup to give the medicine and make sure your child takes it straight away.
Liquid medicine: Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount. Make sure your child takes it all straight away.
When should the medicine start working?
Your child’s blood pressure will start to come down after a few days, although you will not see any difference in your child. It is ok for your child to have high blood pressure for this period, and your doctor will check your child to make sure they have a good response to the medicine.
What if my child is sick (vomits)?
- If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of amlodipine, give them the same dose again.
- If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of amlodipine, you do not need to give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.
What if I forget to give it?
Give the missed dose when you remember during the day, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the next dose is due.
What if I give too much?
It can be dangerous to give your child too much amlodipine because it may make your child’s blood pressure too low (your child will feel dizzy and may faint).
If you think you may have given your child too much amlodipine, contact your doctor or or local NHS services (111 in parts of England; 0845 4647 in parts of England and Wales; 0845 24 24 24 in Scotland) or take your child to hospital.
Take the medicine container or packaging with you, even if it is empty. This will be useful to the doctor. Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.
Are there any possible side-effects?
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).
Side-effects you must do something about
Take your child to hospital or call an ambulance straight away if:
- your child has an irregular or fast heart beat (they may say their heart feels fluttery or is racing)
- your child is short of breath or is wheezing, or their face, lips or tongue start to swell, or they develop a rash, as they may be allergic to amlodipine.
Other side-effects you need to know about
Your child may get some of the following side-effects when they first start taking amlodipine. They are usually mild and should wear off after a few days as your child gets used to the medicine. If they are still a problem 2 weeks after starting, or you are worried, contact your doctor but continue to give amlodipine.
- They may have hot flushing in the face or a headache.
- They may feel physically tired (lethargy) or weak, and they may have problems sleeping, such as difficulty getting to sleep.
- They may feel dizzy or light-headed when they stand up. Encourage them to sit down for a short time after taking the medicine and to stand up slowly and to sit or lie down if they feel dizzy or light-headed.
- Your child may get stomach ache or indigestion and feel sick (nausea).
- Your child may get some swelling of their legs or joints.
There may, sometimes, be other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side-effects to a UK safety scheme at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk.
Can other medicines be given at the same time as amlodipine?
- You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
- Amlodipine should not be taken with some medicines that you get on prescription. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before giving amlodipine.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.
Is there anything else I need to know about this medicine?
Your doctor will check your child’s blood pressure regularly while they are taking amlodipine.
General advice about medicines
- Try to give medicines at about the same times each day, to help you remember.
- Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact a doctor straight away.
- Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
- Make sure that the medicine you have at home has not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.
Where should I keep this medicine?
- Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
- Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
- Keep the medicine in the container it came in.
Who to contact for more information
Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about amlodipine and about other medicines used to treat hypertension.
You can also get useful information from:
- England: NHS 111
- Scotland: NHS 24
- Wales: NHS Direct
Tel 0845 46 47 (2p per minute) or 111 (free)
- Northern Ireland: NI Direct
- Children's Heart Federation
0808 808 5000
- British Heart Foundation
Version 1, August 2013. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild 2011, all rights reserved. Reviewed by: August 2016.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.