Methyldopa

What is the most important information I should know about Methyldopa?

· Do not stop taking Methyldopa suddenly. This could cause severely high blood pressure, nervousness, and anxiety.

· Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methyldopa may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

· Use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position, especially first thing in the morning. You may become dizzy while taking Methyldopa and you may fall and injure yourself if you get up quickly.

 

What is Methyldopa?

· Methyldopa lowers blood pressure by decreasing the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. This allows your blood vessels (veins and arteries) to relax (widen) and your heart to beat more slowly and easily.

· Methyldopa is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

· Methyldopa may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

 

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Methyldopa?

· You cannot take Methyldopa if you have any type of liver disease.

· Do not take Methyldopa if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or if you have taken one in the last 14 days. MAOIs, used to treat depression, include isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

· Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you     ·have any type of heart disease,     ·have had a heart attack or a stroke, or     ·have kidney disease.

· You may need a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment with Methyldopa if you have any of the conditions listed above.

· Methyldopa is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not likely to harm an unborn baby. Do not take Methyldopa without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

· Methyldopa passes into breast milk. It is not known whether Methyldopa will harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

· If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from Methyldopa therapy. You may require a lower dose.

 

How should I take Methyldopa?

· Take Methyldopa exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

· Take each dose with a full glass of water.

· Shake the suspension well before measuring a dose. To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid form of Methyldopa with a special dose-measuring spoon, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

· Do not stop taking this medication suddenly even if you feel better. You may need to take Methyldopa for the rest of your life to control your condition.

· Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

 

What happens if I miss a dose?

· Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

 

What happens if I overdose?

· Seek emergency medical attention.

· Symptoms of a Methyldopa overdose include drowsiness, lethargy, weakness, lightheadedness, a slow heart rate, nausea, vomiting, and possibly seizures.

 

What should I avoid while taking Methyldopa?

· Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Methyldopa may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

· Use caution when rising from a sitting or lying position, especially first thing in the morning. You may become dizzy while taking Methyldopa and you may fall and injure yourself if you get up quickly.

· Avoid alcohol while taking Methyldopa. It may increase the drowsiness and may also increase dizziness. Use caution even with small amounts of alcohol.

 

What are the possible side effects of Methyldopa?

· If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking Methyldopa and seek emergency medical attention:     ·an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);     ·a very slow heart rate (fewer than 60 beats per minute);     ·unusually high or low blood pressure (fainting, a severe headache, flushing of your face);     ·chest pain;     ·uncontrollable movements of your arms, legs, or facial muscles;     ·yellowing of your skin or eyes; or     ·unusual bleeding or bruising.

· Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Methyldopa and talk to your doctor if you experience     ·unusual fatigue, dizziness, or tiredness;     ·headache;     ·constipation, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;     ·insomnia; or     ·dry mouth (sucking on ice chips or sugarless hard candy may relieve this side effect).

· Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

 

What other drugs will affect Methyldopa?

· Do not take Methyldopa if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or if you have taken one in the last 14 days. MAOIs, used to treat depression, include isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and tranylcypromine (Parnate).

· Before taking Methyldopa, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:     ·lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid, others);     ·haloperidol (Haldol);     ·levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa, Sinemet);     ·tolbutamide (Orinase);     ·a respiratory medicine such as albuterol (Ventolin, Proventil, Volmax, others), pirbuterol (Maxair), or salmeterol (Serevent);     ·a beta-blocker such as carteolol (Cartrol), carvedilol (Coreg), labetalol (Trandate, Normodyne), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal), pindolol (Visken), or timolol (Blocadren);     ·a phenothiazine such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), prochlorperazine (Compazine), perphenazine (Trilafon), fluphenazine (Prolixin), or thioridazine (Mellaril);     ·a barbiturate such as phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or secobarbital (Seconal); or     ·a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), imipramine (Tofranil), doxepin (Sinequan), or nortriptyline (Pamelor).

· You may require special monitoring or a dose adjustment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

· Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Methyldopa or affect your condition. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

 

Where can I get more information?

· Your pharmacist has additional information about Methyldopa written for health professionals that you may read.