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What Are the Different Types of Amlodipine Tablets?

Amlodipine tablets may be used to treat angina pain.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
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Amlodipine tablets may vary in strength and some of them contain other medications as well. There are numerous manufacturers of this drug, which is used to treat hypertension and certain forms of angina, and this means people can expect considerable variation in the appearance of tablets. The medicine may also be available in a capsule form, especially if it is mixed with other drugs.

Most amlodipine tablets are available in two basic strengths. These are 5 milligram (mg) and 10 mg pills. Even if the drug is mixed with other active ingredients it is still likely to be included at one of these strengths. The appropriate amount and the frequency of dosage depend on individual response and a person’s underlying health condition.

There is significant variation in the actual appearance of 5 mg and 10 mg amlodipine tablets. They might be any one of a number of colors, including white. Common shapes are round, square, or elliptical. Sometimes the shape is even more unusual, and the pills could be triangular or hexagonal. Suppliers may score the tablets for easy splitting or they could be unscored and simply imprinted with information about the manufacturer, the medication, and the dose.

Since there are so many suppliers of amlodipine tablets, slight differences in inactive ingredients should be expected. If patients are sensitive to certain things like dyes or lactose, they may be able to find a supplier that doesn’t use these ingredients. This can take work, but pharmacists are often able to help.

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As stated, amlodipine tablets may contain other active ingredients. Some of the common medications that are added include hydrochlorothiazide, valesartan, or atorvastatin. Alternately olmesartan, telmisartan or aliskiren could be combined with amlodipine. Sometimes two drugs are added to amlodipine tablets and these are generally hydrochlorothiazide and either olmesartan or valesartan.

These additions increase the functionality of amlodipine. Hydrochlorothiazide reduces water retention. Olmesartan, telmisartan, aliskiren, and valesartan can create a stronger blood pressure reducer when they are taken with amlodipine. Atorvastatin reduces cholesterol and heart attack risk. These combination medications are likely to have differences in appearances too, depending on who makes and supplies them.

Occasionally, amlodipine is manufactured in a non-tablet form — for example, in capsules. The principal difference is that a capsule usually cannot be split. In some cases, patients are directed to open capsules and sprinkle them on food, but this should only be attempted if a doctor advises it.

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Discuss this Article

turquoise
Post 3

@burcinc-- I use Exforge (amlodipine and valsartan) 5 mg and there isn't a generic version of it out yet because the company still has the patent. When that expires though, the generic version will probably be out soon and I will make the switch.

From what I understand, the generic versions of amlodipine and its combinations are made by different laboratories. The "recipe" so to speak will not be exactly the same as the brand.

My brother-in-law is a pharmacist though and he tells me that generics work just as well as the brand medications and they are not overpriced like the brand ones. Apparently, when generic versions of drugs come out, the brands tend to lose a lot of money because people prefer the generic.

As far as quality goes, I don't see why the generic would be less quality than the brand. It might be a case of trial and error to see which works better for you but I think you should give the generic a try.

And ask your pharmacist too, they can tell you if they've heard people complaining about the inactive ingredients or additional side effects in generic amlodipines.

burcinc
Post 2

I've heard that amlodipine tablets also come in generic form (without a specific brand) and those are actually more affordable. But are the generic ones as good as brand amlodipine?

I'm taking amlodipine 5mg tablets under the brand name "Azor" right now. It's a combination of amlodipine besylate and olmesartan medoxomil. I've thought about switching to generic though because I always have to pay a difference at the pharmacy. My insurance is not too great and doesn't cover everything.

I'm a little worried that the generic tablets might not be as good quality as the brand ones. Has anyone used generic amlodipine tablets? Can you compare the quality between brand name and generic ones?

discographer
Post 1

I take Istin 10mg for hypertension. The tablet shape is a hexagon which is something I saw for the first time when I started taking this medicine. I know that the active ingredient is amlodipine medication but I'm not sure about the inactive ingredients.

It's white and has AML-10 written on one side and the brand name on the other side. It's not scored, which is something I dislike about it. I know that it also comes in 5mg tablets but I like to break it in two and take half in the morning and half in the evening. I use a knife to cut it and it doesn't always work well especially since the tablet is so small.

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