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Amlodipine for Dogs and Cats

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General Drug Information and Indications

Amlodipine belongs to a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers, and is used to treat high blood pressure in cats and dogs. It is also used to treat some forms of heart disease in dogs. High blood pressure is more common in cats than in dogs and older cats with kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, heart disease and diabetes are at the highest risk.

Amlodipine is sometimes given with other types of heart drugs known as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta blockers. Amlodipine is usually given once a day by mouth. Some animals, particularly cats, become stressed when given medicine by mouth. Since it is desirable to avoid additional stress in pets with high blood pressure and heart disease, a transdermal form of amlodipine may be considered. Like many other drugs in veterinary medicine, this drug is not FDA approved for use in animals and is not available from a veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer. Instead, it is compounded by a specialty pharmacy.

How to Give this Medication

Give this medication to your pet exactly as your veterinarian prescribes. If you miss giving your pet a dose of amlodipine, give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, return to the regular schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.

Amlodipine may be given with food.

Wash your hands after giving your pet this medication.

Side Effects

Be sure to discuss any side effects with your veterinarian immediately.

Side effects are not common in cats but they may include depression, decreased kidney function, increased heart rate and weight loss.


Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. Amlodipine is a prescription drug and should be used according to your veterinarian's directions. It should only be given to the animal for which it was prescribed. Do not give this medication to a person.

Amlodipine should be used with caution animals with liver problems so tell your vet if your pet has a history of liver problems.

Amlodipine should not be used in pregnant or lactating animals.

Drug Interactions

Be sure to review with your veterinarian any medications or supplements your pet may be receiving.

Amlodipine is frequently used with other drugs that also lower blood pressure (diuretics, beta blockers, and vasodilators). In some cases, your pet's blood pressure could become too low.


Overdose with amlodipine will cause very low blood pressure and slow the heart rate. If you suspect your pet or another animal was overdosed accidentally or has eaten this medication inadvertently, contact your veterinarian or the A.S.P.C.A.'s Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435. Always bring the prescription container with you when you take your pet for treatment.

If you or someone else has accidentally ingested this medication call the National Capital Poison Center at 800.222.1222.


Different strengths or dosage forms of amlodipine may have different storage requirements. Read the labeling or ask your pharmacist for the storage requirements of the prescription you receive.

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About the Author

Dr. Barbara Forney

Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.

She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.

Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.