Amlodipine is a long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker (DHP CCB) which is primarily used to treat hypertension and angina either alone or in combination with other drugs. Once daily dosing produces a sustained effect of 24-hour blood pressure control with a relatively low incidence of side effects.1 Current guidelines recommend the option of initiating single or multidrug therapy when initial blood pressure readings are elevated, including the use of calcium channel blockers, specifically.2,3
Several analyses of prescribing trends suggest that amlodipine is becoming more common. Hwang et al analyzed prescription claims data from the Marketscan database of employer-based insurance programs representing nearly 30 million Americans between 2008 and 2014.4 Use of DHP CCBs, including amlodipine, increased 6.8% among people with treatment-resistant hypertension over that time period. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found 20.9% of 261,854 adult hypertensives were taking calcium channel blockers in 2010.5 Amlodipine was the most frequently used CCB, often in combination therapy. According to Medicare Part D claims data from 2016, 7,836,052 beneficiaries took amlodipine between 2012 and 2016, either alone or in combination with other drugs.6 Compare these numbers with the most commonly prescribed anti-hypertensive, lisinopril, which was prescribed to 46,573,906 beneficiaries, alone or in combination, over the same period.
- Sheraz MA, Ahsan SF, Khan MF, Ahmed S, Ahmad I. Formulations of amlodipine: a review. J Pharm 2016; 2016 : 1-11.
- Whelton PK, Carey RM, Aronow WS, et al. 2017 ACC/AHA/AAPA/ABC/ACPM/AGS/APhA/ASH/ASPC/NMA/PCNA Guideline for the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association task force on clinical practice guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol 2018; 71 (19): e127-e248.
- Flack JM, Sica DA, Bakris G, et al. Management of high blood pressure in blacks: an update of the International Society on Hypertension in Blacks consensus statement. Hypertension 2010; 56 (5): 780-800.
- Hwang AY, Dave C, Smith SM. Trends in antihypertensive medication use among US patients with resistant hypertension, 2008 to 2014. Hypertension 2016; 68 (6): 1349-1354.
- Gu Q, Burt VL, Dillon CF, Yoon S. Trends in antihypertensive medication use and blood pressure control among united states adults with hypertension: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001 to 2010. Circulation 2012; 126 (17): 2105-2114.
- US Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicare Drug Spending Part D All Drugs 2016. Accessed June 1, 2018.