What Is The Difference Between Amlodipine And Amlodipine Besylate

Amlodipine is a commonly prescribed medication for controlling high blood pressure and treating heart-related chest pain. Yet, within its family, variations exist, notably amlodipine besylate, leading to questions about their differences and uses. Despite their close relationship, distinct differences in their chemical composition and clinical effects are notable.

Amlodipine and amlodipine besylate are essentially the same active ingredient, with the latter being a salt form. This means amlodipine besylate includes both amlodipine and the besylate salt, which aids in the drug’s absorption and stability. Clinically, this form helps in maintaining consistent levels of the drug in the bloodstream, thus effectively managing blood pressure over time.

While amlodipine in its generic form is widely recognized, the besylate variant offers specific advantages that may enhance patient compliance and effectiveness. Understanding these can help patients and healthcare providers make informed decisions about which form is more appropriate for individual health needs.

Amlodipine Basics

Definition and Use

Amlodipine is a widely prescribed medication known for its efficacy in managing high blood pressure (hypertension) and preventing certain types of chest pain (angina). This drug belongs to a class of medications called calcium channel blockers. It works by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily, and improving heart function. This reduction in blood vessel resistance is crucial for preventing stroke, heart attacks, and kidney problems, which are potential risks associated with uncontrolled hypertension.

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Common Formulations

Amlodipine is available in several formulations, which cater to different patient needs and preferences:

  • Oral Tablets: The most common form, available in strengths ranging from 2.5 mg to 10 mg.
  • Combination Pills: Often combined with other antihypertensive medications like valsartan or atorvastatin to enhance efficacy and convenience for patients requiring multiple therapeutic agents.

Amlodipine Besylate Basics

Besylate Explained

Amlodipine besylate is a specific form of amlodipine, where the active ingredient is combined with a besylate salt. This addition helps in creating a more stable compound, which enhances the drug’s absorption and prolongs its effect in the bloodstream. The chemical stability ensures that the medication maintains its potency and efficacy from production until it reaches the patient.

Typical Applications

The primary applications of amlodipine besylate mirror those of standard amlodipine, focusing on cardiovascular health:

  • Blood Pressure Control: It is effective in lowering blood pressure, which reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system.
  • Angina Management: Helps in managing angina by improving blood flow to the cardiac muscles and reducing their workload.

Chemical Differences

Molecular Structure

At a molecular level, amlodipine besylate differs from amlodipine base due to the addition of the besylate salt. This modification influences the drug’s pharmacokinetics – essentially how the drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted from the body. The structural formula of amlodipine besylate is designed to enhance the solubility and stability of the drug, making it more effective for prolonged use.

Impact of Besylate Salt

The incorporation of the besylate salt in amlodipine has several impactful benefits:

  • Enhanced Absorption: The besylate form is more easily absorbed in the digestive tract, leading to more consistent levels of the medication in the blood.
  • Improved Stability: The stability of amlodipine besylate ensures that it maintains its efficacy throughout its shelf life and within the body, contributing to better patient adherence to the medication regimen.
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Pharmacological Variance

Absorption and Metabolism

Amlodipine and amlodipine besylate are processed by the body in subtly different ways, primarily due to the besylate salt in the latter. Amlodipine is absorbed from the digestive tract within 6 to 12 hours, reaching peak blood levels in about 6 to 9 hours. This process is influenced by the presence of food, although not significantly, making it flexible in terms of dosing schedule.

Amlodipine Besylate, on the other hand, is designed to be slightly more efficient in terms of absorption due to the besylate salt, which facilitates a more predictable release and absorption rate. This can be particularly beneficial for maintaining steady drug levels, crucial for conditions like hypertension where fluctuations in drug concentration can impact efficacy.

Efficacy Comparison

Both amlodipine and amlodipine besylate are effective in lowering blood pressure and controlling angina. However, the besylate formulation can offer more consistent drug levels in the bloodstream, which might translate into slightly better control of symptoms and a lower risk of peak-trough fluctuations.

Side Effects Profile

Common Side Effects

Both forms of amlodipine share a similar side effect profile, which includes:

  • Swelling (edema)
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness

These effects are generally mild and manageable, but they can be distressing and impact patient compliance.

Differences in Reactions

While the overall side effect profiles of amlodipine and amlodipine besylate are similar, the besylate form may cause fewer gastrointestinal side effects due to its enhanced absorption properties. This can result in a lower incidence of stomach-related discomfort, which is a significant advantage for long-term treatment adherence.

Clinical Implications

Prescribing Variations

Doctors might choose between amlodipine and amlodipine besylate based on several factors:

  • Patient history of drug responses
  • Potential for drug interactions
  • Specific health conditions like liver health, which can influence drug metabolism
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Patient Response Variability

Patient response to amlodipine versus amlodipine besylate can vary based on individual biological differences, including genetic factors affecting drug metabolism. Some patients may find that one formulation works better or has fewer side effects, which can significantly influence the choice of medication.

Market Availability

Forms and Strengths Available

Amlodipine is available in various forms and strengths, enhancing its accessibility and suitability for different patient needs:

  • Tablets: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg
  • Combination products: Often combined with other antihypertensives or lipid-lowering agents

Amlodipine besylate typically mirrors these options, providing similar flexibility.

Global Market Differences

The availability of amlodipine and amlodipine besylate can vary globally, influenced by:

  • Regulatory approvals in different countries
  • Market demand
  • Manufacturing and distribution capabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

What is amlodipine used for?

Amlodipine is primarily used to treat high blood pressure and certain types of chest pain. By relaxing the blood vessels, it allows blood to flow more easily, reducing the heart’s workload and helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

How does amlodipine besylate differ from amlodipine?

Amlodipine besylate is the besylate salt form of amlodipine, aiding in the drug’s absorption and stability within the body. This formulation is designed to enhance the therapeutic effects by maintaining more consistent drug levels in the bloodstream.

Is amlodipine besylate better than amlodipine?

While both forms are effective for their intended uses, amlodipine besylate may offer advantages in terms of drug stability and absorption. The choice between the two generally depends on individual health profiles and doctor recommendations.

Can amlodipine besylate cause side effects?

Yes, like all medications, amlodipine besylate can cause side effects. Common ones include headache, swelling, fatigue, and dizziness. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider if unusual symptoms occur.


In summarizing, while amlodipine and its besylate counterpart are pharmacologically similar, the besylate form provides a stable, effective solution for managing blood pressure and heart conditions. Its ability to maintain consistent therapeutic levels makes it a viable option for many patients.

Recognizing the distinctions between amlodipine and amlodipine besylate is crucial for healthcare providers and patients alike in optimizing treatment outcomes. Ultimately, the decision on which to use should be guided by clinical experience and individual patient needs. This understanding ensures that treatment choices are tailored to provide maximum benefit while minimizing potential risks.

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