Amlodipine (Norvasc) is prescribed to treat high blood pressure. It does this by dilating blood vessels to improve blood flow. However, it can also come with some unpleasant side effects. The most common of these are nausea, headaches, mild swelling and stomach pain. To avoid these side effects, you may end up looking for an alternative.
What are the Alternatives to Amlodipine?
Few medications are as effective as Amlodipine, but Felodipine (Plendil) and Lercanidipine come close. Like Amlodipine, Felodipine and Lercanidipine are calcium-channel blockers, so they have a very similar effect. You might experience flushing, headache or swelling while taking these medications. Felodipine and Lercanidipine are generally considered safer than Amlodipine, but not quite as effective. If you aren’t happy with your body’s response to Amlodipine, you should ask your doctor about switching to another medication.
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What are the Alternatives to Calcium-Channel Blockers?
Other medications which use different mechanisms to reduce blood pressure are also available:
A chemical called angiotensin II causes your blood vessels to become narrower when it enters the bloodstream. A class of medications called ACE inhibitors block the production of angiotensin II by the body, helping to keep blood vessels relaxed. Enalapril, Lisinopril, Perindopril and Ramipril are all examples of ACE inhibitors. Most people do not experience side effects from ACE inhibitors, but possible side effects can include: dizziness, fatigue, rash and headaches.
Angiotensin II Bockers
Losartan and Candesartan (Amias), also interfere with angiotensin II. They block the receptors for angiotensin II which then helps prevent your blood vessels from narrowing. Angiotensin II Blockers (ARBs) do not frequently cause side effects, with vertigo being one of the most common.
Beta Blockers, such as Atenolol and Bisoprolol, work by blocking the effects of adrenaline (epinephrine). This causes your heart to beat more slowly and with less force, which in turn, reduces your blood pressure. Side effects are uncommon, but dizziness, fatigue and nausea may occur.
Bendroflumethiazide is a type of diuretic medication. It can help reduce your blood pressure by encouraging the body to filter out more salt from the bloodstream. As the salts are removed, water is removed with them, which lowers the levels of fluid in the bloodstream, and therefore reduces your blood pressure. There are several common side effects of Bendroflumethiazide including: digestive disturbances such as diarrhoea, increased blood sugar and increased calcium in the blood.
What are the Natural Treatments for High Blood Pressure?
It is often recommended that you try natural methods to lower your blood pressure before taking medication. Lifestyle changes can improve your blood pressure without the use of medication and exposure to potential side effects.
The best way to naturally reduce your blood pressure is to take care of your diet. For some people, reducing salt intake is key. Cutting back on refined carbohydrates and fats can lower levels of unwanted cholesterol in your body and put less stress on your heart. You can also reduce alcohol intake, as alcohol can be directly toxic to heart muscle. Studies have shown that 3 or more alcoholic beverages per day can lead to high blood pressure.
You could also combine a good diet with an exercise routine. Don’t start off with anything too strenuous, but do try to make it a program that is going to have a noticeable effect on your health. Doctors recommend doing 30 minutes of exercise that makes you feel out of breath, at least three times a week to stay healthy.
While it is often a good idea to try natural methods for lowering blood pressure first, they do take commitment and more time to act than blood pressure medications.
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- EMC - https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc