Why is Amlodipine Banned in Canada

Why is Amlodipine Banned in Canada?

What is Amlodipine?

Amlodipine belongs to a class/group of medications called calcium channel blockers or is also called calcium channel antagonists. It is used to treat high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and angina. By stopping calcium from entering certain tissues and arteries, amlodipine relaxes those tissues and arteries, thereby easing blood flow.

It prevents spasms of the coronary artery and reduces the rate in which the heart pumps blood thereby lowering the oxygen requirements of the body, which results in a reduction in blood pressure and lowers risk of heart attack or stroke. Amlodipine can be used alone or in combination with other heart medications. Amlodipine, however does not affect the amount/levels of calcium in the blood. 

Why Is Amlodipine Banned in Canada?

No, it is not. Amlodipine is not listed amongst the list of banned drugs in Canada. The reason why it is rumoured to have been banned is because a study alleged that women who took Calcium Chain Blockers like Amlodipine were prone to certain types of breast cancer after a long period of time (10years).

This theory was disproved by another research on a larger population that showed that Calcium Chain Blockers did not increase the risk of cancer, with strong evidence. Another reason is because it was recalled by the FDA for having defective bottles in February 2020. 

However, amlodipine can be bought with a valid prescription in Canada. You can also be allowed to into Canada with Amlodipine and border health authorities will also allow you to enter Canada with the medication required for treatment. 

History of Amlodipine

According to Wikipedia, amlodipine was approved for medical use in 1990 after it patented in 1982. It is also currently on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines and is available as a generic medicine. In 2019, it was the sixth most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 73 million prescriptions.


Benefits Of Using Amlodipine

Asides the fact that Amlodipine is a generic drug, research shows that has the ability to keep a person’s blood pressure at an acceptable levelsl during exercise and can increase their tolerance to exercise. With Amlodipine the heart rate during maximum exercise sessions does not change or is slightly reduced.

Amlodipine also has a long duration of action, with an effect that last for 24 hours, the highest concentration of amlodipine can occur between 6 and 12 hours after oral intake. it can stay in one’s body system for about 275 hours before it can be said to have fully left. It can also be taken with or without food.

On pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, the safety of using Amplodine in such conditions has not been established and is still unknown. Even though research shows that it does not affect pregnant animals and is not in their breast milk either, further research has not been conducted and so women in such conditions should ensure that they have proper consultation with their doctor.

Alternatives of Amlodipine

Other calcium channel blockers that work like and have the same effect as amplodine exist. Examples are lacidipine, felodipine, nifedipine and lercanidipine. Some other channel antagonists like verapamil and diltiazem have a separate effect on the heart.

Side effects of Amlodipine

Even though it is not banned and can be prescribed in Canada, Amplodine like every other medication has side effects.Generally, children and older people, people with some type of medical conditions like liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures etc or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. 

Children younger than 6years should not use Amplodine

For people between the ages 18 and 60, Its side effects may include swelling of legs or ankles, tiredness or extreme sleepiness, stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, flushing, irregular heart rate (arrhythmia),very fast heart rate (palpitations), abnormal muscle movements, tremors.

Side effects that require immediate attention include; low blood pressure (severe dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting). Lower doses may be recommended for patients with liver disease. When starting treatment in those already on antihypertensive treatment, use a lower starting dose of 2.5 mg/day.Increased chest pain or heart attack.

Symptoms can include: Chest pain or discomfort, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, unusual tiredness, nausea, lightheadedness.

Long use of Amlodipine may also result in weakening of the arteries and heart causing them to malfunction. It can also damage the blood vessels found in the brain, heart, and kidneys that can lead to stroke kidney or heart failure.

In case of overdose which rare, it’s toxicity can be managed or handled with fluid replacement monitoring ECG results, vital signs, respiratory system function, glucose levels, kidney function, electrolyte levels, and urine output. Amlodipine overdose can cause the blood vessels to widen, cause severe low blood pressure, and increase heart rate. Vasopressors can also be administered when low blood pressure is not alleviated by fluid resuscitation.

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