Methyldopa

  • What is Methyldopa?

    Methyldopa is used to treat high blood pressure. It is effective when used alone or with other high blood pressure medications.
  • What is the most important information I should know about Methyldopa?

    Before you begin taking methyldopa, your doctor should perform a complete study of your liver function, and it should be monitored periodically thereafter. If you have a history of liver disease, this medication should be used with caution.

    Methyldopa can cause liver disorders. You may develop a fever, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), or both, usually within the first 2 to 3 months of therapy. If either of these symptoms occurs, stop taking methyldopa and contact your doctor immediately. If the fever and/or jaundice were caused by the medication, your liver function should gradually return to normal.

    Hemolytic anemia, a blood disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed, can develop with long-term use of methyldopa; your doctor may do periodic blood counts to check for this problem.

    Methyldopa can cause water retention or weight gain in some people.

    If you are on dialysis and are taking methyldopa for high blood pressure, your blood pressure may rise after your dialysis treatments.

    Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking methyldopa if you have a medical emergency and before you have surgery or dental treatment.

  • Who should not take Methyldopa?

    If you have liver disease or cirrhosis, or if you have taken methyldopa before and developed liver disease, do not take this medication.

    If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to methyldopa, or if you have been prescribed the oral suspension form of methyldopa and have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfites, you should not take this medication.

    If you are taking drugs known as monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, you should not take methyldopa.

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medication you are taking before beginning treatment with indapamide. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems or blood disorders such as anemia
  • 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: The usual starting dose is 250 milligrams, 2 or 3 times per day in the first 48 hours of treatment. Your doctor may increase or decrease your dose over the next few days to achieve the correct blood pressure. To reduce the effect of any sedation the medication may cause, dosage increases will usually be given in the evening.

    The usual maintenance dosage is 500 milligrams to 2 grams per day divided into 2 to 4 doses. The maximum dose is usually 3 grams.

    Your doctor will also adjust your dosage of methyldopa when it is taken in combination with certain other high blood pressure drugs.

    If you take methyldopa with a non-thiazide high blood pressure medicine, your doctor will limit the initial dosage to 500 milligrams daily divided into small doses.

    Dosages will be adjusted, and other high blood pressure drugs may be added, during the first few months of treatment with methyldopa. Those with reduced kidney function may require smaller doses. Older people who are prone to fainting spells due to arterial disease may also require smaller doses.

    Children: The usual starting dose is 10 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight daily, divided into 2 to 4 doses. Doses will be adjusted until blood pressure is normal. The maximum daily dose is usually 65 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight or 3 grams, whichever is less.

  • How should I take Methyldopa?

    Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Try not to miss any doses. Do not stop taking the drug without your doctor's knowledge.
  • What should I avoid while taking Methyldopa?

    Methyldopa can cause you to become drowsy or less alert, especially during the first few weeks of therapy or when dosage levels are increased. Avoid driving or participating in any hazardous activity until you know how this drug affects you.
  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Methyldopa?

    If methyldopa 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 methyldopa with the following: antidepressants known as MAO inhibitors, dextroamphetamine, imipramine, iron-containing products, lithium, other blood pressure medications, phenylpropanolamine, propranolol, and tolbutamide.
  • What are the possible side effects of Methyldopa?

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

    Side effects may include: drowsiness during the first few weeks of therapy, fluid retention or weight gain, headache, weakness

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

    The use of methyldopa during pregnancy appears to be relatively safe. However, if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Methyldopa appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If this medication is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.
  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Methyldopa?

    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. Never take 2 doses at the same time.
  • How should I store Methyldopa?

    Keep methyldopa in the container it came in, tightly closed. Store methyldopa tablets at room temperature. Protect from light.