Amlodipine is a long-acting medication in the family of calcium channel blockers.
It is commonly prescribed for heart arrythmias, angina or chest pain and hypertension or high blood pressure. In the U.S., amlodipine is only available by prescription. The National Institutes of Health explains that amlodipine causes the blood vessel walls to relax and dilate, helping to reduce hypertension. Amlodipine can cause long-term effects on the body.
Long-term use of amlodipine medication can cause skin side effects in some cases. Drugs.com lists these to include itching, swelling, inflammation, rashes and reddening of the skin. Dryness of the skin and mouth and increased sweating may also occur.
Mental and emotional side effects due to long-term use of amlodipine are rare but can occur in some individuals, according to Drugs.com. These effects include depression, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia and sexual dysfunction in both women and men.
As amlodipine and other calcium-channel blockers relax the muscles of the heart and blood vessels, other muscles may also be affected. If the muscles of the esophageal sphincter between the esophagus and stomach become relaxed and loosened, stomach acids may regurgitate into the esophagus. This leads to dyspepsia, heartburn and ulcers, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Other gastrointestinal effects of this medication include difficulty swallowing, vomiting, pancreatitis, gassiness, constipation and diarrhea.
Amlodipine and other calcium-channel blockers can affect the heart and blood vessels in adverse ways in addition to their benefits. Drugs.com notes that these effects are not common and may be caused by incorrect dosages of the medication. Patient should consult a doctor regarding any side effects. The cardiovascular effects of amlodipine include atrial fibrillation or uneven pulsing of the atria, arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythm, tachycardia or fast heart rhythm, bradycardia or slowed heart rhythm and hypotension or low blood pressure.