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Is long term use of amlodipine safe?

Q: I am 59 years old. I am moderately built and a non-diabetic. I am hypertensive for the past 5 years. I was prescribed Amlodipine bysalate 5 mg O.D. which I am taking regularly for the past 3 years. My blood pressure is 124/80. Recently I read an article saying that long term use of amlodipine should be avoided, as it may cause heart failure. Change of the drug should be considered. Should I change it with some other ACE inhibitor like Losarton potassium? Earlier, my doctor prescribed Lozadep (losarton potassium and amlodipine) for some time. I discontinued it because it lowered my blood pressure, and switched on to Amlodipine alone. Both the drugs are well tolerated by me. Kindly advise.

A:Amlodipine does not cause heart failure and can be taken for a very long time. It is not an ACE inhibitor but a calcium channel blocker. Since amlodipine is virtually to be taken for life, one needs to choose a good, least expensive brand from a reputed manufacturer (such as Amlodac from Zydus Cadila). There is a huge difference in prices of various brands, sometimes over 100%. Unfortunately many doctors do not pay adequate attention to the price aspect.

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