Amlodipine is a medicine that belongs to a group called calcium antagonists, used to treat high blood pressure and a chest pain known as angina.
Within the world of medicine, you often find that naming conventions follow a similar pattern so that it’s easier for you to identify what they’re used for. For example, the active ingredient in ED medications all end in ‘-afil’, while a lot of female-only medications (the contraceptive pill, the morning after pill and HRT treatments) end in ‘-elle’ or ‘-ette’. And the high blood pressure category is no different, because a lot of these end in ‘-dipine’. Nifedipine, Felodipine, Lercanidipine and Amlodipine.
All of these medications fall into a category of medicines known as calcium channel blockers, and they form a common treatment option for high blood pressure. Not all calcium channel blockers were born equal though, and you can actually break this category down even further into Phenylalkylamines, Dihydropyridines and Benzothiazepines. Essentially, Phenylalkylamines affect your heart, Dihydropyridines affect your arteries and Benzothiazepines affect both.
As the name suggests, calcium channel blockers (also known as calcium antagonists) prevent calcium from entering the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls. Calcium plays an important role in how the muscles in your arteries and heart constrict, so by reducing the amount that enters your cells, you can effectively treat a number of ailments.
Calcium channel blockers not only reduce how strongly and quickly your heart contracts (therefore lowering your heart rate), but they also help the blood vessels to relax and cause the arteries to widen. Because of this dual effect, calcium channel blockers can act as an effective treatment option for high blood pressure, angina, and Raynaud’s phenomenon.