Amlodipine Dermatological Effects

Blood pressure gauge examination
A woman gets her blood pressure checked. (Image: Michał Ludwiczak/iStock/Getty Images)

Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker medication that is used to treat high blood pressure and a type of chest pain called angina. The medication dilates the blood vessels and also lowers the heart rate to relieve the heart of some of the additional pressure it faces when distributing blood throughout the body. According to Pfizer, the manufacturer of Norvasc, a brand-name version of amlodpiine, the drug is safe for use in children over the age of six, as well as adults. Some people taking amlodipine may experience dermatological side effects, or adverse reactions involving the skin.

Jaundice

Drugs.com, an online source of information about FDA-approved drugs, reports that some people may develop the serious side effect of jaundice while taking amlodipine to lower blood pressure. Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes that can indicate liver disease or damage. Pfizer states that liver enzyme levels may become elevated when using Norvasc, which can lead to jaundice.

Rash

Skin rashes may be a dermatological effect of taking amlodipine, though this reaction occurs in a very small population of patients taking the drug. Pfizer states in Norvazc prescribing literature that a maculopapular rash--a rash involving both spots of discoloration and raised lesions, affects between 1 and 2 percent of the people using amlodipine. A rare, yet potentially serious allergic reaction called erythema multiforme may also affect the skin of people using this particular calcium channel blocker. Erythema multiforme is the occurrence of raised, redden lesions, blisters and nodules on the skin that can be painful and itchy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website states that minor cases of the condition may pass without much concern or harm; a more serious form called erythema multiforme major can lead to infection and death of skin tissue, and can be life-threatening.

Itching

People who take amlodipine may experience itchiness of the skin. According to Pfizer, dry skin, irritation classified as dermatitis and a cold, clammy feel to the skin are all possible side effects associated with the drug. These, however, affect just 0.1 percent of those using the medication.

Hives

Hives, also called urticaria, is a possible dermatological effect associated with the use of amlodipine. Hives are welts that appear on the skin, usually in response to an allergen. Hives or swelling in the facial area can signify an allergic reaction to the drug, according to Drugs.com, and should be reported to medical personnel immediately.

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