Amlodipine (Norvasc) Side effects (Effect on Brain, Heart, GI, Lungs, & Skin)

Amlodipine is a commonly used blood pressure lowering medicine. It belongs to the class of medicines called dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers. Like all medicines, amlodipine can cause side effects, some which can be serious enough that necessitates treatment discontinuation.

Amlodipine lowers blood pressure and has anti-anginal effects as it relaxes the smooth muscles of the blood vessels. Amlodipine side effects are more common during the first few weeks of treatment initiation. Side effects often improve as your body gets used to the medicine.

Edema is a common side effect of amlodipine. Other side effects include fatigue, flushing, and palpitations. These side effects are common in over 1 in 100 people. These side effects are usually mild and temporary.

Amlodipine Side effects that require immediate medical attention [Ref]

Along with its needed effects, amlodipine may cause some unwanted effects. These side effects are not always serious, but they can be severe enough to require medical attention.

If you experience any of these side effects while taking amlodipine, consult your doctor immediately.

Common side effects of amlodipine:

  • The swelling of the feet or ankles

Less common side effects of amlodipine:

  • Difficulty breathing and chest tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid, irregular, pounding or racing pulse
  • Warmth and redness in the neck, face, arms, and, occasionally, the upper chest

Rare Side effects of amlodipine:

  • Bleeding from the gums, in urine, and stomach can result in black or tarry stools.
  • Skin peeling, blistering, or loosening (Steven Jhonson syndrome)
  • Blurred vision
  • Itching, burning, crawling, itching or tingling sensations
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Chills, cold sweating, and hypotension resulting in shock (it may be noticed as cold and clammy skin)
  • Confusion
  • Cough
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness after getting up from a sitting or lying position and fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Large, hive-like swellings on the face, eyelids and lips, eyes, lips, tongue, throat or sex organs.
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers, face, or toes
  • Pain in the arms, legs or lower back, particularly pain in the calves and heels after exertion
  • Urination can be painful or difficult
  • Cold hands and feet (can be pale, bluish, or a combination of both)
  • Spots of reddish or purple skin
  • Red and itchy eyes, redness in the neck, face, arms and, occasionally, the upper chest
  • Redness, itching or soreness of the skin
  • Shakiness in the legs or arms, hands, feet, or feet
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Sore throat
  • Sores, ulcers, and white spots around the mouth or lips
  • Sores, welting or blisters
  • swollen glands
  • Trembling or shaking hands or feet
  • Unsteadiness or awkwardness
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Legs with weak or absent pulses
  • Symptoms of weakness in the arms and hands, legs, feet, or legs
  • Weight gain
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Amlodipine Side effects with the incidence not known:

  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Speaking is difficult
  • Drooling
  • Headache
  • Appetite loss
  • Balance control lost
  • muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness
  • nausea
  • Rash
  • Walking in a shuffle
  • Twisting movements of the body
  • Uncontrolled movements, particularly of the neck, face, and back
  • Bad breath smell
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Amlodipine (Norvasc) Side effects that do not require immediate medical attention.

Side effects of amlodipine that are not usually serious and should not be taken seriously are listed below. These side effects can disappear as your body adjusts to the medication. Your health care provider may also be able to tell you how to reduce or prevent some side effects.

If any of these side effects persist or become bothersome, consult your doctor immediately.

Less common side effects of amlodipine:

  • You can have an acid or sour stomach
  • Belching, indigestion, heartburn, stomach discomfort, or pain
  • Loss of strength, muscle cramps
  • Redness in the neck, face, arms, and, occasionally, upper chest
  • Sleepiness

Rare Side effects of Norvasc:

  • Abnormal dreams, anxiety, and nervousness
  • Back pain
  • Bad, unusual, or unfavorable taste and smell
  • bleeding gums and epistaxis
  • Itching, reddening, blistering, crusting, irritation, itching or itching of the skin
  • Bloating, burning sensation in the stomach or chest, constipation
  • Burning sensation while you urinate
  • Eyes that are burning, dry, itchy, or red
  • Changes in the color of treated skin
  • Vision changes, eye pain, and double vision
  • Continued ringing, buzzing, or other unexplained sounds in the ears
  • Skin that is cracked, dry or scaly
  • Reduced sexual performance and desire
  • Depression
  • Moving is difficult
  • Having trouble swallowing
  • Excessive tearing
  • Dry mouth and dry skin
  • Excessive gas or air in the stomach and intestines
  • Excessive muscle tone
  • Feeling of constant movement within oneself or in the surrounding environment
  • Feeling of being out of control
  • Feeling unusually cold
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Fruity-like breath smell
  • Feeling of being full
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Hair loss or hair thinning
  • Headache, hearing impairment
  • Increased appetite, hunger, and thirst
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased desire to urinate at night
  • irritability
  • Inability to feel or express emotions
  • Loose stools
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle stiffness or pain, weakness
  • Pain
  • Pains in the abdomen, stomach, or side may radiate to the back
  • passing gas
  • Memory problems
  • Reddening and swelling of the gums
  • Redness, pain, swelling, or reddening of the eye, eyelids, or inner layer of the eyes lids
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Seeing double
  • Feel the sensation of spinning
  • Sense of being detached from one’s body or self
  • Unsteady walking and shaking
  • Shivering
  • Sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • sweating
  • swollen joints
  • Tenderness in the stomach
  • Thirst
  • Trouble releasing or holding urine
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Twitching
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems in muscle control or coordination
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Breast swelling or soreness, both in males and females

Amlodipine (Norvasc) Side effects according to the systems involved:

General Side effects:

  • The most commonly reported side effects are headache, dizziness, rash, fatigue, edema, and rash.

Cardiovascular Side effects of Norvasc:

Amlodipine may cause side effects that may be difficult to distinguish from heart disease. Edema or swelling of the body is a very common side effect that can cause unnecessary anxiety.

Edema is the most common side effect affecting 5 – 14% of the patients. Edema is more common in females compared to males. 14.6% of female patients who received amlodipine experience edema, compared with 5.6% in male patients. Edema was more common in patients receiving the 10 mg dose (compared with the 5 or 2.5 mg doses).

amlodipine side effects norvasc side effects
Edema is a common side effect of amlodipine affecting mostly females

Common cardiovascular side effects affecting up to 10% of the patients:

  • Palpitations and ankle edema.

Uncommon cardiovascular side effects affecting 0.1 to 1% of the patients:

  • Hypotension and  chest Pain

Very rare CVS-related side effects (< 0.01% of the patients):

  • Myocardial Infarction, arrhythmia (including bradycardia and ventricular tachycardia), vasculitis (including cardiac failure), pulse irregularity including extrasystoles, and hot flushes.

Amlodipine Side effects related to the Brain:

Common brain-related side effects (affecting up to 10% of the patients):

  • Somnolence, dizziness, and headache

Uncommon brain-related side effects affecting 0.1 to 1% of the patients:

  • Tremor, taste perversion/ dysgeusia, syncope, hypoesthesia, and paresthesias

Very rare and unreported side effects:

  • Hypertonia and peripheral neuropathy, migraine, amnesia and ataxia, extrapyramidal syndrome, postural dizziness, and vertigo.
  • Headache was common during clinical trials, particularly at the beginning of treatment.

Side effects of amlodipine related to the Gastrointestinal tract:

Common GI-related side effects affecting up to 10% of the patients:

  • Abdominal pain and nausea

Uncommon GI-related side effects affecting 0.1 to 1% of the patients:

  • Vomiting, dyspepsia and altered bowel habits (including constipation and diarrhea), and dry mouth.

Very rare GI-related side effects:

  • Gastritis, pancreatitis, and dysphagia.

Side effects of amlodipine (Norvasc) related to the skin:

 Common Side effects affecting up to 10% of the patients:

  • Flushing

Uncommon side effects affecting 0.1 to 1% of the patients:

  • Alopecia, skin discoloration, increased sweating/hyperhidrosis, pruritus, rash, and exanthema

Very rare side effects:

  • Erythema multiforme.

Other side effects:

  • Fatigue, Tinnitus, and asthenia.

Genitourinary side effects of Norvasc:

Uncommon (Affecting 0.1 to 1% of the patients):

  • Micturition disorder (nocturia), increased urinary frequency, and impotence

Very rare side effects:

  • Dysuria and polyuria

Musculoskeletal Side effects of amlodipine:

Uncommon affecting 0.1 to 1% of the patients:

  • Arthralgia and myalgia, Muscle cramps, and back problems. Muscle weakness is very rare and affects less than 0.1% of individuals.

Psychiatric side effects of amlodipine:

Uncommon affecting 0.1 to 1% of the individuals:

  • Depression, insomnia, mood changes (including an anxiety attack), and confusion

Respiratory Side effects of Norvasc:


  • Rhinitis, Dyspnea, and cough

Ocular Side effects of Norvasc:

  • Visual disturbance (including diplopia), Abnormal vision accommodation, xerophthalmia, Eye pain, conjunctivitis, and abnormal vision.

Metabolic Side effects of Norvasc:

Uncommon affecting 0.1% – 1% of individuals:

  • Weight gain or weight loss, and anorexia
  • Hyperglycemia, and increased appetite, are very rare (less than 0.1%).

Hematologic Side effects of Norvasc:

  • Purpura is rare affecting between 0.1% and 1% of individuals.
  • Other very rare side effects may include Leukopenia and thrombocytopenia

Endocrine related side effects of Norvasce:

  • Uncommon (0.1% – 1%): Gynecomastia

Hepatic Side effects of Norvasc:

  • Cholestasis has been reported and characterized by an increase in hepatic enzymes.
  • Some cases of severe hepatitis, jaundice, and/or elevated hepatic enzyme levels required hospitalization. However, in most cases, there was no evidence linking this drug to the cases.

Hypersensitivity reactions:

  • Very rare affecting less than 0.01% of individuals: Angioedema, allergic reactions.

How to deal with the side effects of amlodipine? What can you do to avoid these side effects?


  • Headaches can be caused by a lack of sleep and insufficient fluid intake. Don’t drink excessive alcohol. You can ask your pharmacist to recommend you a painkiller. Headaches usually subside within the first week of amlodipine intake. If they persist for more than one week, or if they are very severe, talk to your doctor.

Feeling dizzy:

  • If you feel dizzy from amlodipine, you can stop what you are doing and lie down or sit down until you feel better. If you feel dizzy every time you get up, your dose might need reduction. You should check your blood pressure while lying and standing up. If there is a drop in your blood pressure when you stand up, take adequate fluids and consult your doctor.


  • Try cutting back on alcohol, coffee, and tea. A fan or cooling fan might be helpful. Cool water can be used to spray the skin or you could drink ice cold drinks. After a few days, the flushing should disappear. Contact your doctor if it persists or is causing you trouble.


  • A pounding heartbeat is a sign that you are experiencing severe symptoms. Try to take amlodipine when it is convenient for you. You may want to reduce alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and large meals, as they can make the problem worse. Talk to your doctor if you still have problems after a week. They may be able to prescribe a new type of medicine.

Swollen ankles:

  • Lift your legs while you are sitting down, reduce salt intake, and avoid prolonged standing or sitting.
  • If the swelling is persistent or if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as reduced urine, shortness of breath, or chest pain, immediately consult your doctor.
  • For mild leg swelling, you may be either asked to switch to another antihypertensive medicine or you may be asked to take a low dose diuretic with it (such as hydrochlorothiazide or indapamide).


  • Constipation is one of the most common side effects of amlodipine. You can avoid constipation by increasing the intake of water and fiber in your diet.
  • Occasionally, for troublesome constipation, you may be asked to take a laxative.

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