Is amlodipine banned in Holland
March 27, 2015 3:51 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to research this drug. The statement that it has been banned in the Netherlands shows up on several forums, but I can't find out if this is actually true.

From reports posted by MANY people, they commonly had such adverse side effects as insomnia, extreme fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, being in a mental fog & swelling in lower extremities, rash & other things. It just sounded terrible. The symptoms stopped when the drug was stopped.

My husband was recently prescribed this. He works with industrial machinery that could easily slice off, or crush a finger or hand. In this industry, it is a challenge to avoid this when you are completely clear minded. I am concerned about him starting this. Even if he were to gradually become accustomed to the drug, I don't think it's worth the risk if he has even a day of this. It's much like drinking and driving. Once could have dire consequences.

If if has been banned in any country, I'd like to know why. Also, the same sources say it is only allowed in many countries for veterinary use.
posted by Mimidae to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
According to the Dutch Wiki page, the patent expired several years ago, but many generic alternatives are available with a prescription.
posted by stillmoving at 4:14 PM on March 27, 2015

Amlodipine appears to have been legal in the Netherlands at least as recently as 2011.

Keep in mind that people who have positive or neutral experiences with a drug are generally not taking to Internet forums to talk about it. The picture that you're getting is unavoidably slanted negatively. I suspect "one bad day could have dire consequences" could also be very true applied to the condition that the drug is being prescribed to treat.
posted by kagredon at 6:03 PM on March 27, 2015

Amlodipine is an incredibly safe drug; it's the antihypertensive I prescribe most often because it has so FEW side effects - the main one is slightly swollen ankles. It has not been banned in any country that I am aware of, nor can I imagine any reason why it would be banned in the future. It has been around for years and is very widely used.

Most of the other side effects you list are related to lower blood pressure. If somebody has had high blood pressure for years and then it is lowered, the person will often feel as if they have low blood pressure for a few days while they get used to the newly normal blood pressure. Symptoms like lightheadedness, dizziness, etc. Most people don't get those symptoms, but the people who do would likely get those symptoms from any blood pressure tablet.

If he doesn't want to take amlodipine there are plenty of alternative blood pressure meds out there, but all of them may come with some side effects because they work.
posted by tinkletown at 7:20 PM on March 27, 2015 [5 favorites]

Your husband could time the first few days on this drug with a couple days off work, too see if he experiences any side effects, but as mentioned above, the side effects you mention are mostly a consequence of lowering the blood pressure - which is the intended effect.

Unfortunately, the well-documented side-effects of untreated high blood pressure is stroke and heart attack.

I avoid taking medications and I think it's very smart that you are cautious about new medications. These days, meds are handed out quite cavalierly. Many people take a dozen medications a day. However, medicating high blood pressure is quite well supported by large scale, well designed studies. People with untreated high blood pressure are more likely to die than people who take blood pressure medications and keep their pressure down.

Your husband (and everyone) would benefit from daily aerobic exercise, stress reduction, and a diet that is moderate in meat and fats, and high in fiber and fruits and vegetables. These are all very safe, non medication based interventions he can try. For some people, these measures are enough to lower blood pressure without medication. Unfortunately, for some people, even these methods are not enough.
posted by latkes at 10:04 PM on March 27, 2015 is a trustworthy Dutch website about medicine (it's run by the Netherlands' national professional organization for pharmacists). Here is the page on amlodipine. It doesn't indicate that amlodipine is banned, and in fact lists these products that contain it: Amlodipine, Norvasc, Coveram, Sevikar, Exforge, Exforge HCT, Rasilamlo, Natrixam, Triplixam, Perindopril/Amlodipine.

Also, is a Dutch site where people can post "reviews" of medicines they've taken. You can find discussion about amlodipine here. There are quite a few comments from 2015; the most recent comment is from March 3, 2015. So it appears that it's commonly prescribed.
posted by neushoorn at 1:15 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

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