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Amlodipine Besylate vs. Amlodipine: What’s the Difference?

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Amlodipine is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure, certain types of chest pain (angina), and coronary artery disease (narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). This medication is available in various formulations, such as amlodipine maleate, amlodipine mesylate, and amlodipine besylate. Amlodipine is the active ingredient, whereas mesylate, maleate, and besylate are the different salts in these formulations. The active ingredient is the component of the medication that is responsible for the effects or side effects of the drug, whereas the salt component of the medication helps with the process of dissolution and absorption of the drug, thus, improving the overall effectiveness of the medication. Please continue reading to learn more about the differences between amlodipine vs. amlodipine besylate.

What is amlodipine? How does it work?

Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker. It is prescribed to hypertensive patients (people with high blood pressure). It also treats angina (chest pain) and coronary artery disease. Amlodipine can be used as monotherapy (by itself) or along with other medications.

By blocking the movement of the calcium ions into the cells of the heart and blood vessels, amlodipine relaxes the heart muscles and dilates (widening) the blood vessels, making blood flow easier; arterial blood pressure reduction occurs as a result of this mechanism. The exact mechanism of how amlodipine helps with angina is unclear; it is believed that amlodipine reduces the heart’s workload and lowers the oxygen requirement for the heart, thus, relieving symptoms of chest pain.

However, keep in mind that amlodipine is only indicated to manage ongoing chest pain for people with chronic, stable angina; this medication should not be used to relieve acute chest pain during angina attacks or worsening chest pain during acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks). Medications like sublingual nitroglycerin are used for this purpose. 

Is amlodipine the same as amlodipine besylate?

Technically, amlodipine and amlodipine besylate are not the same. Amlodipine is the active ingredient or active drug, whereas amlodipine besylate is the combination of amlodipine and a salt form - besylate. 

Some other salt forms of amlodipine products are mesylate, maleate, and camsylate. The purpose of using a salt form or “pharmaceutical salt” is to help with the drug delivery system; for example, the salt form may help improve the solubility or absorbability of the drug. Also, some people have fewer side effects with certain salt forms. In other words, salt form and ether form are designed to improve tolerability in patients as well.

So, the key point is that the active ingredient in both the drugs, amlodipine and amlodipine besylate, is the same. Similar to other amlodipine products, the salt form does not significantly affect efficacy and side effects.

What is the difference between amlodipine besylate and amlodipine?

Amlodipine besylate is a formulation in which amlodipine is combined with a salt (besylate) to help with drug delivery. Though the salt besylate has shown to have better water solubility than amlodipine alone, these different salt forms - besylate, mesylate, and maleate, are considered interchangeably. Regarding antihypertensive efficacy, it is pretty much the same for the two drugs; therefore, there is no notable difference in peripheral blood pressure.

The adverse effects of amlodipine vs. amlodipine besylate are typical of calcium channel blockers: peripheral edema (swelling) - mainly in the feet and ankles, lightheadedness, tiredness, stomach pain, and nausea.

One notable difference between these two drugs is that amlodipine can only be used in humans, and amlodipine besylate can be used in humans and animals

Does amlodipine besylate have another name?

Amlodipine besylate is a generic drug that is available under the brand name Norvasc. Norvasc brand name and Norvasc generic contain the same active ingredient—amlodipine—and are equally safe and effective. A BuzzRx amlodipine discount coupon can help you obtain brand name Norvasc at a fraction of the retail prices.

Should I take amlodipine besylate?

Amlodipine besylate belongs to a group of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It is an effective antihypertensive therapy and can help to control hypertension, alone or in combination with other drugs. Amlodipine besylate is also used to treat chest pain (angina). This medication can be used in adults and children who are at least 6 years old.

The usual dose of amlodipine besylate is 5 to 10 mg by mouth every day for most patients. However, elderly patients, those with low body weight, and those with liver problems may require a dose reduction. For example, a lower dose of 2.5 mg daily is used to treat high blood pressure in patients with liver disease; however, a 5 mg daily dose would be used to treat angina in patients with liver impairment. The prescriber will determine the most appropriate amlodipine dose based on the indication (what is being treated) and other health factors. 

It is worth noting that while amlodipine besylate (Norvasc) can help control high blood pressure and angina, it does not cure these conditions. Therefore, you must keep taking amlodipine besylate even if you feel well. Your doctor may ask you to measure your blood pressure at home and report the numbers. If amlodipine besylate is ineffective in lowering your blood pressure, your doctor may recommend other calcium channel blockers or medications from another drug class. 

A deciding factor in choosing a medication for high blood pressure, angina, or coronary artery disease may also be drug interactions, i.e., interactions between amlodipine besylate and your other medications. 

Your doctor will help you decide whether you should take amlodipine besylate, other calcium channel blockers, or other medicines for your condition. The availability of different dosage forms of amlodipine allows your doctors and pharmacists to choose the most appropriate formulation for you.



  1. https://bmccardiovascdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12872-016-0350-z
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a692044.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5086392/