BiDil

Generic Name: Hydralazine

  • What is BiDil?

    BiDil is used with other medications in self-identified black patients to improve survival, to prolong time to hospitalization for heart failure, and to improve patient-reported functional status.

  • What is the most important information I should know about BiDil?

    BiDil may cause severe low blood pressure, possibly marked by dizziness or fainting, especially when you stand or sit up quickly. This is more likely to happen if you are taking medication for high blood pressure. If you already have low blood pressure, use BiDil with caution. Not drinking enough fluids or losing too much fluid through perspiration or vomiting may increase your likelihood of developing low blood pressure. If you faint while taking BiDil, discontinue the drug and contact your doctor.

    Use caution when taking erectile dysfunction drugs. Use of BiDil may produce an extreme drop in blood pressure that may result in fainting or may cause chest pain or a heart attack.

    BiDil can cause headaches, especially when first beginning treatment. Headaches usually lessen with continued treatment. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen, to manage your headaches. If headaches continue, talk with your doctor to have your BiDil dose adjusted.

  • Who should not take BiDil?

    Do not use BiDil if you are allergic to any component of this medication or if you have a known allergy to organic nitrates.

    The safety and effectiveness of BiDil have not been determined in those <18 years.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of BiDil?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with BiDil. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you suffer from low blood pressure, are dehydrated, if you have recently had a heart attack, if you have an enlarged heart, or if you suffer chest pain due to an enlarged heart. Also, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: Each BiDil tablet contains 20 milligrams (mg) of isosorbide dinitrate and 37.5 mg of hydralazine HCl. The initial dose of BiDil is one tablet three times a day. The maximum dose is two tablets three times a day.

  • How should I take BiDil?

    Take your dose of BiDil exactly as directed by your doctor. Tablets may be cut in half and taken three times a day if intolerable side effects occur, but the dose should be increased to the recommended dose once side effects subside.

  • What should I avoid while taking BiDil?

    Get up from bed or from a seated position slowly to avoid lightheadedness or fainting on standing. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excessive fluid loss from sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.

    Avoid alcohol while using BiDil.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with BiDil?

    If BiDil is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining BiDil with the following: drugs that can lower blood pressure, MAO inhibitors such as phenelzine or tranylcypromine, and vasodilator drugs for erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil.

  • What are the possible side effects of BiDil?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: headache, dizziness, chest pain, lack of strength or energy, nausea, bronchitis, low blood pressure, sinusitis, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, excess blood sugar, inflamed or runny nose, "needles and pins" sensations, vomiting, "lazy eye," high cholesterol

  • Can I receive BiDil if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of BiDil during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of BiDil?

    If you miss a dose of BiDil, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store BiDil?

    Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature. Keep away from light.

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