Methyldopa/HCTZ

Generic Name: Methyldopa

  • What is Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    Methyldopa/hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is a combination medicine used to treat high blood pressure. Methyldopa/HCTZ contains two different medicines: methyldopa (a blood pressure-lowering medication) and HCTZ, a diuretic (water pill).

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

    Methyldopa/HCTZ is not for initial therapy in the treatment of high blood pressure.

    Methyldopa/HCTZ can cause liver problems. Tell your doctor if you develop a fever or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes).

    Methyldopa/HCTZ can cause hemolytic anemia (a blood disorder in which red blood cells are destroyed). Your doctor may order periodic blood tests during treatment to detect any blood abnormalities.

    Kidney problems can worsen if you already have kidney disease while you are taking methyldopa/HCTZ.

    Methyldopa/HCTZ can cause imbalances in your blood electrolytes (chemicals that are important for the cells in your body to function, such as sodium and potassium) levels. Stop taking methyldopa/HCTZ and tell your doctor immediately if you experience decreased production of urine, confusion, drowsiness, dry mouth, fast heartbeat, low blood pressure, muscular fatigue, muscle pain or cramps, nausea, restlessness, thirst, vomiting, or weakness. If methyldopa/HCTZ causes a decrease in blood potassium levels, this can lead to problems with your heart rhythm. Be sure to follow up with your doctor regularly to monitor your electrolytes.

    Methyldopa/HCTZ can increase your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, your doctor may adjust the dose of your insulin or diabetes medicine. Monitor your blood sugar levels.

  • Who should not take Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    Do not take methyldopa/HCTZ if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to other medicines that contain sulfonamide.

    Do not take methyldopa/HCTZ if you have liver disease, are unable to produce urine, or are on monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of drugs used to treat depression and other psychiatric conditions (such as phenelzine).

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

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with methyldopa/HCTZ. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have allergies, asthma, diabetes, liver or kidney problems, blood disorders, systemic lupus erythematosus (a disease that affects the immune system), 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: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your previous blood pressure medication and will increase your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.

    If you have kidney impairment, your doctor will adjust the dose appropriately.

  • How should I take Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    Take methyldopa/HCTZ exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

  • What should I avoid while taking Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    Do not drink alcohol while you are taking methyldopa/HCTZ.

    Do not get up too fast from a sitting or lying position because you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly, and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    If methyldopa/HCTZ 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/HCTZ with the following: alcohol, barbiturates (such as phenobarbital), blood pressure/heart medications, cholestyramine or colestipol, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), iron, lithium, MAOIs, medicines used to treat diabetes (such as insulin or metformin), narcotic pain medicines (such as oxycodone), or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as indomethacin).

  • What are the possible side effects of Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    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: decrease in potassium levels, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, fever, headache, heart failure, jaundice, rash, sudden fall in blood pressure, swelling, vomiting, weakness

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

    The effects of methyldopa/HCTZ during pregnancy are unknown. Methyldopa/HCTZ can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not take this medication if you are breastfeeding. 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 Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    If you miss a dose of methyldopa/HCTZ, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Methyldopa/HCTZ?

    Store at room temperature. Protect from light.